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Putnam County Fair concludes its 2018 racing program
Thursday, June 28, 2018 - by Thom Pye, for the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association

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Ottawa, OH --- They had a watchful eye out for the weather as an early downpour put "a little water" on the Putnam County Fair track on Wednesday (June 27).

"We had an awful lot of rain this morning," said one worried volunteer as he stood by the fence. "We don't need any more. The track crew's been out there for awhile."

And through the diligent efforts of everyone involved, including a steadily drying westerly wind, announcer Doug Ballinger called the first race of the Western Ohio Colt Racing Association 2-year-old pacers for the post parade, on schedule, at 5 p.m. Then it was Gerald Mijal's Tanner J who covered a mile in 2:03.2 for trainer Steve Novak as driver Art McIlmurray idled him home by eight open lengths.

The $5,510 WOCRA 3-year-old filly trot put everyone one their toes in the grandstand as it was a rousing stretch drive between Ed Greeno Jr. aboard Trot LLC's Dontstopdreaming (Dontyouforgetit) and eventual victor David Myers' Thisisshe (My MVP) before a photo separated their noses.

Officially Nub, the Cameron McCown-trained and driven 3-year-old Art Official gelding, made the track crew's efforts official when he won the $4,145 WOCRA by 15 lengths as he paced the mile in 1:59.3, last quarter in :28. CG's Boy Toy (Roger Hughes Jr.) was second as Park Official with Jeff Nisonger took third. Officially Nub would give McCown a three-in-a-row driving triple for the day.

The Mark Winters Sr.-conditioned Dontforgetyourluck in the $5,510 WOCRA 3-year-old filly trot gave Jeff Nisonger the first of his four in a row as the LMN Bred Stable's daughter of Dontyouforgetit bested Momentsoffire and Party Upfront in 2:07.

Nisonger and RJ Jetpac fired off an impressive mile in 2:00.2 in the $4,680 WOCRA 2-year-old colt pace as they sprinted home in :29.4, by six lengths, over Doug's Jaxx (Duke Sugg) and Jim Tom driven by Mark Winters Jr. The race was in honor of retiring Director Eleanor Risser's 36 years of service to the Putnam Fair.

Rockin M (Pet Rock) and Nisonger clipped off a handy mile in 2:01 for owners Rose & Berger Farms LLP in the WOCRA 3-year-old colt pace second division.

Indiana trainer and native Mervin Schmucker had driver Pierce Henry aboard Fix Up Farms' Mystical Rock in the first division of the Signature Series. The 5-year-old gelding by Rockin Image paced to victory in 1:59 and added to his lifetime winnings of more than $325,000.

The 12th race second Signature Series division saw a game Light Up The Sky (Luke Hanners) cut the mile before being collared at the wire by Splended Party (Dan Venier) and winner Twinspeak as Jack Daily and the Randall Bond-owned 5-year-old gelding by Well Said stepped off a mile in 2:00.

Jeff Nisonger scored his fifth win of the day in 2018's season finale when he brought Scott Hagemeyer's 3-year-old gelding Pacin To Paydaze (World Of Rocknroll) home in 2:01.2 for trainer Mark Winters Sr. in the $4,145 WOCRA third division.

And as the smiling crowd walked out of the Putnam grandstand saying their goodbyes, most of them added, "See you next week at Marion."

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