Lebanon, OH — The final pair of Claim To Fame finals were contested at Miami Valley on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 26), wrapping up the popular series that was divided into nine different claiming classes and offered over $500,000 in purses.
In the final for $12,500 claiming mares, Persistant Xample overcame the outermost post position and sailed to a gate-to-wire, 1:56 win over a damp track. Driver Brett Miller launched the Virgil Morgan Jr. trainee and never looked back after reaching the top just past the :28.2 opening panel. Pressing forward through middle fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.3, the 5-year-old Bettor’s Delight mare held her competition off in the lane. Bellini Seelster (Josh Sutton) tried gallantly to catch Persistant Xample, but ultimately had to settle for second. Glenferrie Bronte N (Billy Mann), a winner of two straight preliminary legs, garnered third in the $20,000 event.
In the $22,500 final for $8,000 male pacers, Believeinthespirit (Dan Noble) bested Anarchy Hanover (Miller) and Portrstownchris IR (Chris Page). The 10-year-old son of Art Major had no problem grabbing the track, winning in 1:53.4. Although Noble retained the drive behind the winner throughout the three-week series, Believeinthespirit had three different owners as he was collared via the claim box in each of the two preliminary legs, ultimately ending up with owner Jana Cromer and trainer Charlie Stewart for the final.