Northfield, OH — On Saturday (Oct. 10), MGM Northfield Park hosted the Ohio Fair championships, a series of eight $40,000 races that celebrated the Buckeye State’s rich network of county fair racing.
The highlight of the evening’s competitive and exciting racing was the freshman filly trotting division, where Designer Specs (Full Count-Avalon Hall) completed her freshman season a perfect 14-for-14. Those 14 victories tie her as the winningest horse in North America this year with Lazy Day Hanover, First Gunner and Bad Ms Johnson.
Driver Ryan Stahl found the garden spot with Designer Specs, an unusual place for the filly that is typically on the lead, and sat the pocket through times of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:27.1. Stahl tipped the flawless filly in the final quarter and she bested her closest competition by a half-length in 1:57.4.
The clocking represents a new lifetime mark for the filly that is owned by Louise and Jay Weller. Designer Specs trains under the tutelage of Jay’s sister, Jayne Weller. The championship elevated her earnings to $56,664.
Timestorm (Stormin Normand-Tymal Sonata) captured the sophomore colt trotting final in 1:55.1 with driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. for trainer Kent Hess and owner Ted Boschma. Saturday’s victory was his 22nd win in 29 lifetime starts.
Ball Diamond (We Will See–A Diamond In June) and Aaron Merriman came from post eight to win the 2-year-old filly pace division in 1:56.1 for trainer Lonnie Graber and owner Dannie Ray Hostetler. The win represents her seventh in 13 starts.
Checkmate (Broadway Hall–Dance With A Dolly) also overcame a poor post draw to score in the freshman colt trotting final. Hunter Myers drive the colt for owner Donna Jean Anderson and trainer Bryan Weaver. The mile was Checkmate’s sixth win in 16 starts and lowered his mark to 1:59.
Feelin Western (Western Terror–Suite Feelin) lowered his mark to 1:53.2 in winning the 2-year-old colt pacing final with driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. It was the colt’s seventh win in 12 starts. Brian Brown trains for the owning partnership of VIP Internet Stable and Joseph Rotella.
Bad Ms Johnson (Big Bad John-Jenava) won the sophomore filly pacing championship in 1:54.2 with trainer/driver Hank Le Van for owner Ricco Johnson. She now has 14 wins this year and is tied for the winningest horse in North America. The win brings her lifetime bankroll to $79,390.
Electric Ridge (Triumphant Caviar-Frannie’s Ridge) received a perfect trip and scored in the 3-year-old filly trot division. Aaron Merriman drove for trainer Chris Beaver, who co-owns with James Gallagher, Moger-Delia Racing and Steven Zeehandelar. The race’s 1:56.2 clocking equaled the lifetime mark for the filly that now has earnings of $90,622.
Rockin Daddy O (Rockin Amadeus-Cristal Daddy Girl) rocked his competition from post eight at odds of 80-1 in the sophomore pacing male final in 1:51.2. Greg Grismore drove for Philippe Belanger who owns with Jeffrey Koesters. His impressive rally was his 10th win in 31 lifetime starts and carried his bank account to $58,294.
MGM Northfield Park’s October racing schedule is Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at 6 p.m. Parking and admission are always free.