Dayton, OH — Team Northfield Park members Kurt Sugg and Greg Grismore both scored driving doubles to lead their squad to a convincing 507-445 triumph in the initial “Buckeye Battle” at Hollywood Dayton Friday (Dec. 14)–benefitting the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.
Sugg captured the sixth and seventh legs of the eight-race contest, while Grismore won leg two and the eighth and final leg to secure the victory for the Northern Ohio quintet. Aaron Merriman also won a leg to give Team Northfield a 5-3 advantage over Team Hollywood Dayton in the win column.
Tyler Smith, Jeremy Smith and Josh Sutton won “Buckeye Battle” races for the home team, who had a narrow 364-350 lead after six of the eight races.
The overall point leader was Kurt Sugg who accumulated 130 points. Greg Grismore was a close second with 119, followed by Jeremy Smith 112, Tyler Smith 96, David Lake 95, Aaron Merriman 94-1/2, Josh Sutton 84, Brett Miller 83, Kayne Kauffman 70 and Chris Lems 68-1/2.
Winning horses were Fancy Footwork (Tyler Smith, 1:54, $9.00), Colonys Best (Greg Grismore, 1:54.1, $8.00), Parkin In Heaven (Aaron Merriman, 1:53.3, $3.00), Vegas Again (Jeremy Smith, 1:53.2, $8.00), Imajean Rocks (Josh Sutton, 1:52.2, $5.80), Risk N (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $16.60), Sportsmuffler (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $10.00) and Arrival (Greg Grismore, 1:52.3, $28.40).
$3,000 was donated to the Disaster Relief Fund, which is being used to repair buildings as well as families following a horrific tornado that swept through Dayton last Memorial Day.
“It is just wonderful that people who weren’t affected by the devastation keep coming together to help those that were,” said the Dayton Foundation’s Carrie Dalrymple. “We can’t thank the horsemen enough for choosing to make a positive difference in total stranger’s lives tonight. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association are to be commended for creating this fun event to raise awareness that this is a long term relief project that will take years to finish and more help is still needed.”
Although Josh Sutton had the misfortune of having two horses scratched during the Buckeye Battle, he still lead all drivers on the overall 14-race program with a Grand Slam–four trips to the winner’s circle on the night.