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Fast times at Bellefontaine
Thursday, July 12, 2018 - by Thom Pye, for the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association

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Bellefontaine, OH --- It was a perfect summer evening at the Logan County Fair on Wednesday (July 11) and the track and the race fans responded as the largest crowd seen in years came out to enjoy some sterling miles by the Western Ohio Colt Racing Association trotters and pacers.

Bret Swartz and Steve Sexton's Gold Bolt electrified the air as Cameron McCown brought the 2-year-old son of Feelin Friskie to the wire in 2:01.4, using a last quarter of :28.3 to hold off RJ Jetpac and Jeff Nisonger by a half-length in the $3,454 WOCRA first division as Zip Zip Will with Beau Brown grabbed third.

McCown took another division with Akron (by McArdle) in 2:05.1 while Mark Winters Jr. captured the third division with the Mark Winters Sr.-owned and trained Jim Tom (by World of Rocknroll) in 2:04.2. Hulking, the Brian Brown-trained son of Pet Rock driven by Beau Brown, made his own statement as he took the fourth division in a sharp 2:02, tossing a last quarter of :29.2 at the rest of the field.

Chris Beaver unveiled several more good trotters including a nice colt by Broadway Hall who dominated his $4,100 WOCRA 2-year-old division as Beaver himself teamed Roscoe Village to victory in 2:05 by 10 open lengths.

There were challenging stretch drives and close photos throughout the evening that added to the enjoyment but the fireworks were still to come and it was the three $4,120 WOCRA divisions for 3-year-old colt pacers that lit up the sky.

Starting with a pop and a crackle it was Rose and Buerger Farms LLP's Rocking M, with Jeff Nisonger guiding the Mark Winters Sr.-trained altered son of Pet Rock to his eighth win in 21 starts as they won by a half-length in 1:58.3 over Gone Again (Cameron McCown) and Tinker Toy piloted by 17-year-old Luke Hanners.

Catch-driver Jack Dailey got the call aboard CG's Boy Toy and took the Roger Hughes Jr.-owned and trained Powerful Toy gelding to his first 2018 win as they zipped the mile in 1:59.3.

Scott Hagemeyer's Pacin To Paydaze (by World of Rocknroll) grabbed the third division in 1:58.2 as Jeff Nisonger used a last panel of :29.4 with the Mark Winters Sr.-student to hold off McHarry L (Harrison Le Van) and Matty Will (Cameron McCown) by three lengths.

Two of the three $4,868 WOCRA divisons for 3-year-old colt trotters were taken by Chance Lane and Cash Lane, both by Cash Hall, both owned by Richard Finfrock, and both trained and driven by Mike Polhamus. Ironically each were part of the Racing With The Stars contest and while semi-retired sports official Kent Knight of Sidney enjoyed his first "victory" ("that was really fun") it was 7-year-old Izzy Strayler of nearby Huntsville who was smiling the widest in her visit to the winner's circle. As she happily stood with her dad Josh and accepted her prize package from the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association I thought "we might have made a fan for life."

In the third division the Mark Winters Sr.-conditioned Lane Of Stone (by Wishing Stone) with Jeff Nisonger -- one of three he took on the card -- trotted home in :29.3 to win in 2:07.4 by three lengths.

The evening's final three races for 2018's Speed Program were the Signature Series for 4-year-old and up pacers and had several class warriors entered that showed they still hadn't lost it.

Le Van Stable's Steady Warrior, a 7-year-old with more than $252,000 on his card, basted Twinspeak (Jack Dailey) and Pence Hanover (Roy Wilson) in 1:57.4 which was the night's fastest.

Mystical Rock, a 5-year-old by Rockin Image driven by Pierce Henry, got by front-running $472,000-plus winner Light Up The Sky (Luke Hanners) and took the win in 2:00. Jack Dailey with Bunny Direct M got up for show.

The 15th race closed out the Logan County 2018 racing season as Sherif Cunmalaj's 13-year-old gelding Andy Roo, with Roy Wilson, left the fans in awe as he paced in 1:58.3. The winner of more than $878,000 lifetime threw in a last kicker of :29.3 to best Lyons Gingerninja (Piece Henry) and Hanky L (Harrison Le Van) as he garnered victory number 51 in 319 career starts and left us wanting to see more.

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