Northfield, OH — Seven Ohio Sires Stakes were contested on a pleasant Saturday evening (Aug. 14) at MGM Northfield Park. The fourth and final leg of the series for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings solidified the top eight contenders who will vie in the $300,000 championship, set for Sept. 4 at Northfield.
Sitting atop the standings with nine undefeated starts this season is Winning Ticket, who cruised to an easy 1:54.1 triumph for Aaron Merriman in the first of two $50,000 divisions over the Cleveland half-miler.
Owned by Chris Beaver, Steve Zeehandelar, Tim Homan and James Burnett, the son of Triumphant Caviar notched his 13th career victory and pushed his career earnings to a hefty $284,547 with this latest win. Winning Ticket, who was bred by James Bender, has earned $100,000 in Ohio Sires Stakes competition alone this season, winning his previous OSS legs in 1:55.3, 1:54, and 1:53.1 before this latest score.
McStoned Again took a new career mark of 1:56 in the second $50,000 split for sophomore trotting colts with Tony Hall at the lines. The son of Wishing Stone is conditioned by Crist Hershberger for owner Sonia Vermilye and picked up his sixth career victory and first in OSS competition. This homebred finished a solid third in leg two and upped his earnings to $58,745 with this triumph.
A trio of $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts saw Up Blueberry Hill, The Mighty Hill and Slim Jimmy all take their respective divisions.
Up Blueberry Hill, the 4-1 second choice, posted a 1:57 clocking for driver Chris Page and trainer Ron Burke. The 7-5 favorite The Mighty Hill trotted to a 1:56.1 score, a new track record for a 2-year-old trotting gelding, in rein to Merriman. Chris Beaver trains the son of What The Hill. Slim Jimmy, who hails from the barn of Jason McGinnis and driver Anthony MacDonald, trotted to a winning 1:56.3 in his division as the 1-5 favorite.
Finally, two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes contests for 2-year-old pacing colts saw 2-1 Terminator score in 1:52.2 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Chris Page, with 8-1 Tre Cruz posting a 1:52.2 clocking for driver Brett Miller and trainer Steve Carter in third round action.
Round four of the 2021 Ohio Sires Stakes season wraps up next weekend with races on Friday night (Aug. 20) at Scioto Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters and pacers; on Saturday night (Aug. 21) at Scioto Downs for 3-year-old colt pacers and 2-year-old colt trotters and pacers; and on Sunday night (Aug. 22) at Northfield Park with divisions for 2-year-old filly trotters and pacers.
Ohio Sires Stakes championships get underway beginning on Saturday (Sept. 4) with four $85,000 championships for 4-year-olds and up at Scioto Downs, followed by the $300,000 championships for 2- and 3-year-olds at Northfield on Sunday (Sept. 5). The $75,000 consolations for 2- and 3-year-olds will be raced on Friday (Oct. 2) at Dayton Raceway.