Lebanon, OH — A pair of elimination heats for next week’s $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship for Ohio-sired 3-year-old pacing colts were contested on Saturday (April 13) at Miami Valley Raceway. Two of the biggest and most successful stables in the sport were well represented and each won a division. Brian Brown advanced all three of his entrants to the final with a win and two second place finishers. Ron Burke qualified just one of his four, but that one was an impressive winner. Driver Chris Page was in the sulky hitched to both winners, one for Brown and one for Burke.
Dislocator copped the first split in 1:51.1, turning back High On Paydaze (Brett Miller), Yankee Boots (Dan Noble) and Dashing To Da Wire (Tyler Smith). In seven starts as a 2-year-old, the son of Big Bad John produced a 2-2-2 scoreboard with earnings of $113,116. Both the winner and runner-up hail from the Brown barns at the Delaware (OH) county fair and were making their first starts after two qualifiers at Spring Garden Ranch in Florida, where they wintered. High On Paydaze won five of seven freshman starts including the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship, a race in which Dislocator finished third last September.
“Dislocator was a nice colt last year,” said Page in the winner’s circle. “And he seems to have grown a little and matured quite a bit over the winter. He seems to have it all together now.”
Seattle Hanover found a seem in the lane to triumph in the second Hackett division for the Burke Brigade. The Dragon Again gelding just nipped Smackitwithahammer (Cameron McCown) by a head in 1:51.3. Also advancing to the final next week were Ohio Vintage (Dan Noble), Bombay Hanover (Brett Miller) and See You In Tuscanny (Kyle Ater), who qualified for the nine-horse championship tilt as the fastest fifth place finisher.
It was just the second career win for Seattle Hanover, although the colt has earned over $60,000 already.
“When Ronnie puts a horse in to race, I know it is ready to rock,” Page often says. “It’s a pleasure to be in this situation, driving good horses for great trainers.”
Granite (Brett Miller) was a repeat winner in the weekly $25,000 Open I Pace, scoring in 1:50.2 over 28-1 longshot Sadiq Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) and Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith). It was the fourth seasonal victory for Granite in 13 tries and pushed his earnings to over $78,000 already this season and over $435,000 lifetime.
The 6-year-old altered son of Real Desire is owned by The Panhellenic Stable and trained by Ken Rucker.