Lancaster, OH – On Thursday (Oct. 10), the Fairfield County Fairgrounds was the site for the wrap-up of the 2019 Ohio County Fair racing season in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd.
Cam McCown and Mr. Kim Haven’s Friday Night Blues opened up the action on Wednesday (Oct. 9) in the $5,199 OCRA 3-year-old pace with a well-gauged come-from-behind triumph in 2:01. McCown made the move down the backstretch with the gelded son of Pet Rock and bested Sausalito Hanover (Brady Galliers) and pacesetter Pace Of Grace (Jonas Hershberger) by a length with a last quarter in :30 flat. It was the 10th win for the Jessica McCown-trained student in his 19th seasonal start.
Owner-trainer Jessica Smith’s Crosswind Layla and driver Brady Galliers demolished the $5,761 OCRA 2-year-old pacing filly field after favorite Mae Be Magic’s (Jeff Nisonger) pedestrian-paced to a 1:37 three quarters and was stung by the daughter of Yankee Cruiser, who drew off by 5-1/2 lengths with a last panel in :28 seconds flat. Johns Flighty Girl with Dustin Bothman was up for 3rd.
Nisonger would send Matt Rowe’s 3-year-old McArdle gelding WrongswhatIdobest to a half in :59, guiding the Mark Rowe trainee to a :32 second breather on the backside. He paced home in a quick :29.1 to take the $5,199 OCRA stake over Deena’s Lil John (Ken Holliday) and David Young II aboard Petacular Rock with a 3-3/4 length victory in 2:00.1.
In the $10,697 OCRA 2-year-old colt pace, Final Coat Hanover and Brady Galliers had the final word over Cash Talks (Roy Burns) and Walk This Way (Chris Page) when the altered son of Western Vintage crossed the wire 14-1/2 open lengths in front and under wraps in 2:11. Hutchinson Harness LLC, Dustin Arledge, and Tamara Hoovler own the Dustin Arledge-conditioned juvenile.
Galliers would get his three-bagger on the day catch-driving Rebecca Sugg’s Star Chip in the Signature Series Trot 1st division as the Kurt Sugg-trained 8-year-old by Chip Chip Hooray earned career win number 47 as he topped Frost Free Hanover (Nisonger) and David Myers on Jailhouse Hooch.
Chris Page had a driving double, first with Don Tiger’s Bridge Works in the $9,847 OCRA 3-year-old trot with the Sophie Desroches student by 8-1/2 lengths in 2:04.1 His second win was with Mary and Brian George’s Sizzling Chip in the 2nd division Signature Series Trot by a close 3 parts of a length over Up Front Corbin (Alex Hawk) while Haul N Dash with Randy Smith was third. Sizzling Chips completed the mile in the 2:05.2 mile with a last panel in :29.1.
Thursday’s short card of six races was still witness to a packed grandstand. In the opener, Herb Le Van-trained Team L and driver Hank Le Van had a front-ended, 4-3/4 length tally in the $9,797 OCRA 2-year-old filly trot. The lass by Team Six stepped home in :29.2 and bested Susie D (Bryan Weaver) and Yankee Sis (Ed Greeno Jr) in 2:06.2.
The Steve Carter-conditioned Heythere Lisamarie with Ryan Holton driving churned out conquest number 18, the most wins in North America this year by a 3-year-old pacing filly. The Steve Carter & Ron Paltani-owned daughter of Pet Rock-Sunshine State pushed her seasonal earnings to $103,341 in taking the $5,049 OCRA stake by two lengths in 2:07 as she commanded every inch of the racetrack coming home in :29 flat to win over Cruisin Camnation (David Young II) and Cheryl’s Book and Alex Hawk.
In the $5,049 OCRA 3-year-old 2nd division trainer Chris McGuire’s part-owned, along with Brian Carsey and Casey Meyers, Dragon Fly (Dragon Again), driver Jeff Nisonger had to step up the pace a bit with a hard fought nose-to-nose battle with Oh Miss Rylee and Chris Page in the last half. Dragonfly prevailed with a three-quarters of a length victory in 2:01. Delight Kate with Ken Holliday was up for third.
And the old cliché of “Save the best for last” rang true at Lancaster in the John Ricketts Pace Signature Series. Don Tiger’s Mr Wiggle Pants challenged pace-setting Dirty Steve (Alex Hawk) eye-to-eye from the half home before 6-year-old gelding and driver Chris Page put ‘em away by half a length thanks to a last quarter in :28.4 for a final time of 1:59. In Trouble Again and Jeff Nisonger matched them stride for stride to earn third. Sophie Desroches tutors the son of Mr Wiggles who just missed the all-time track record by two ticks of a second.
On Sunday (Oct. 13), Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway will host eight $40,000 2019 Ohio Fair Finals. First post time 2:15 p.m.