Lebanon, OH — Saint Patrick’s weekend has certainly been a time of celebration for the Kayne Kauffman Stable. After winning the $25,000 championship of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series for mares with Tura Lura Lural on Friday night, Kauffman returned to the Miami Valley winner’s circle on Saturday night (March 16) by winning the $25,000 championship leg of the George Williams Memorial Series for male pacers.
Gerardo, a 4-year-old son of Rockin Image, took a new lifetime mark of 1:51.2 while topping Reagan’s Avenger (Chris Page) and Velocity Smoke (Dan Noble). Despite drawing outside his main contenders, Kauffman sent Gerardo on a mission when the gate swung open, pacing three-wide around the first bend before clearing to the front just past the :26.3 opening panel.
With an outer tier developing quickly thereafter, Kauffman kept the pedal to the metal through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:22 before bravely pacing a :29.2 final quarter to seal the deal. Reagan’s Avenger finally got to the winner’s wheel at the head of the stretch, but Gerardo dug down deeper and widened to a 2-1/2 length margin at the wire.
Gerardo’s 1:51.2 clocking represented a new speed badge for owner Mark Bogen’s newest acquisition, purchased at auction in February. Gerardo now has five career triumphs and $127,030 in purse earnings.
Two races later, Fan Of Terror (Sam Widger) pulled a mild upset in the weekly feature, the $25,000 Open I Pace, also establishing a new lifetime mark of 1:50.4. The former claimer, a 7-year-old Western Terror gelding, also went gate to wire, holding off a determined Granite (Brett Miller) and fast-closing Dancin Yankee (Chris Page) with a gritty performance.
Latest owner Therl Hensley has almost recouped the $30,000 he plucked down to claim Fan Of Terror a month ago. In three starts he has earned $28,750 with two wins and a second—all in Open class company. Peter Redder is now training the winner of 30 career races, including six victories in eight tries already this season.
Angelo J Fra (Brett Miller) copped the $20,000 Open II, finding room along the pylons in the stretch to sneak through for a 1:51 score. Fox Valley Reggie (Tyler Smith) was runnerup and Evergreen Elite (Kyle Ater) picked up the show dough.
Kris Hinchcliff has trained the winner, who surpassed $400,000 in earnings, for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC for the past several years.
Driver Chris Page topped the driver’s colony on Saturday night with a Grand Slam. His first of four wins came behind the trotter No Whip Chip, who paid $4.60 for his 1:56.1 score. His other triumphs were with The Optimist (1:53.1, $6.60), A True Rock Star (1:51.4, $9.20) and GD Western Joe (1:50.4, $8.00).