Lebanon, OH---In her first start of the year, Maven, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older female trotter, set a track record 1:53.3 in the $60,000 Miami Valley Distaff on Sunday night (May 4) at Miami Valley Raceway. A race earlier, after causing a recall, Shebestingin set her own track record of 1:50.4 in winning the $50,300 Sam “Chip” Noble III Memorial.
|USTA/Mark Hall Photos|
|Maven set a track record of 1:53.3 in winning the Miami Valley Distaff.|
Both new records were set in the first two Grand Circuit races ever contested at Miami Valley Raceway on the final night of the track’s inaugural season.
In the Miami Valley Distaff, Rockin With Dewey led the field through the first quarter in 27 before driver Yannick Gingras guided the 1-5 Maven to the lead and never looked back through splits of 56.4 and 1:26.
“I was a little afraid when we were hung on the outside around the first turn,” said trainer Jonas Czernyson. “But she handled it pretty good and was really strong. Yannick never even pulled the plugs.”
|Shebestingin (4) won the Noble Memorial in 1:50.4, a track record.|
The 5-year-old Glidemaster-M Stewart mare, who is headed for Sweden to race in the Elitlopp, finished 2-3/4 lengths ahead of early leader Rockin With Dewey and paid $2.40 to win.
“We might race one more time at The Meadowlands if we can get in a race before going to the Elitlop in Sweden,” said Czernyson, who trains the mare for William Donovan.
In the inaugural Chip Noble Memorial, Shebestingin broke approaching the starting gate causing a recall.
“She has her quirks; you just have to work with her,” said trainer Joe Holloway after the record victory. “She needs a little room and that can happen when they start on a tight turn.”
|Friends and family of Chip Noble gather in the winner's circle after the race.|
But the false start didn’t deter the 4-year-old mare, who completed a three-for-three hat trick by driver David Miller. He was returning to the Buckeye State, where he started in the early 1980s and won his first race. Miller also won the fifth (Canary Island) and seventh (Babe’s Chip) races.
She’s Shocking was first off the gate and set the pace through an opening quarter of 27 before yielding the lead to eventual runner-up Yagonnakissmeornot, who led the field through splits of 55.3 and 1:23.2.
Shebestingin stalked the leader first-over and gained steadily on the backstretch and through the final turn before taking the lead at the top of the stretch and drawing away for a 1-1/2-length victory. The winner paid $5.00. Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L&L Devisser LLC co-own the daugther of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Tussle.
“It felt really good, especially because it was the Chip Noble,” said Holloway. “I was friendly with Chip.”