Lebanon, OH — Trevor Smith guided Rose Run Vision to a mild 1:52.3 upset in the $30,000 Mares Open Pace at Miami Valley on Tuesday (Jan. 18), and 18-year-old Clayton Pfeifer earned his first pari-mutuel driving victory in just his second start at the southern Ohio harness racing venue, guiding JLS Yankee Rose to a 14-1 upset.
Rose Run Vision’s gate-to-wire effort was good enough to hold fellow Indiana stalwarts Somebodyslilly (Brandon Bates) and Sandy Sue (Trace Tetrick) at bay It was the 20th career win for the 5-year-old daughter of Time To Roll, who hails from the Don Eash stable.
Rose Run Vision used :27.1 opening-quarter speed to seat Seventimesacharm (John DeLong), who ultimately finished fourth, and heavily favored Somebodyslilly. Following middle fractions of :57 and 1:24, Smith was able to pull away from the field in the lane. Somebodyslilly got up for second and Sandy Sue closed best of all from well back in the field to garner third.
The winner, who eclipsed the $200,000 earnings plateau with this success, paid $11.40.
Elsewhere on the card, Pfeifer, mere weeks after being awarded his provisional driving license, earned his first pari-mutuel victory in just his second start. The rookie driver guided JLS Yankee Rose to a 2:00.1 tally in a field of seven maiden pacing fillies. The 3-year-old daughter of Yankee Cruiser paid $31.60 to win.
“I felt a lot more comfortable today than my first start,” laughed the son of trainer Dustin Pfeifer. “I was pretty nervous my first race at a commercial track!”
“I have won a couple county fair races, but this was far more exhilarating than my first victory two years ago at the Wellston (Ohio) Fair.”
Pfeifer started working with horses at age 12, primarily at his dad’s stable. He was a varsity pitcher on the baseball team at Waverly High School until needing Tommy John surgery on his shoulder following his sophomore season.
“I didn’t want to chance re-injuring my shoulder after that, so I started concentrating on the horses. I enjoy driving and hope I can make a living at it,” Clayton concluded.
The Tuesday program also included a pair of second leg Claim To Fame races for $12,500 distaff pacers (who were granted a 30-percent claiming price premium if they started in the first leg).
Atlantic Star (Tony Hall, 1:54.1) won for the second straight time in the series to earn probable favoritism in next Tuesday’s $22,500 final. Bellini Seelster (Josh Sutton, 1:55.1) captured the other split in her first outing for trainer Mike Hitchcock, who claimed her out of the initial leg. Joining those two winners in the final will be Odds On Algorithm, a winner in the first leg, and other top money winners in the series Always Be Lucy, Friskie Jolie, Shesrockingwichita, Dancing Lisa, JD’s Queen Lori, Shes A Fireball and Glenferrie Bronte N.