Americans sweep GLADA competition at Northfield

Northfield, OH — GLADA amateur drivers Steve Oldford, Henry Beachy and Edward Miller were the stars under the stars at Northfield Park on Monday night (Sept. 18), sweeping the Spanish visitors in “friendship” challenge competition.

Oldford, who scored his 199th career victory at Delaware, Ohio, kicking off Little Brown Jug week in this competition, reached his new milestone win — number 200 — by guiding Oldford Racing’s Holton (Dontyouforgetit) to a 6-1/2 length victory in 1:58.2 with Spain’s Vicente Mata next with Impulse Buy and Golden Genes, handled by Larry Ferrari, third.

Oldford gave his charge picture perfect handling while sitting in the garden spot before pulling just a few strides shy of the three-quarter pole and then using an auspicious :28.3 kick home to easily seal the victory.

Holton sent his 2023 scorecard to 4-2-3 in 15 starts, good for $29,392 this semester and $187,730 lifetime. Off as the 3-2 favorite, Holton paid $5.00 to his multitude of faithful.

Henry Beachy stepped up the plate in the second of the three USA-Spain Friendship Challenge events. Using a big rally from sixth with a quarter-mile to go, Beachy closed fastest of all with Brigotto to score in 1:59.4.

Beach owns and trains this 6-year-old gelding, who won by a half-length over Back Door Man, driven by Floyd Rhodes, who recovered from a miscue early on before launching a huge middle-of-the-track binge on the backside to actually take a short lead in the lane. Rose Run Xtreme, with Spain’s Vicente Mata in the sulky, cut all the panels and finished third, less than a length away.

For Brigotto, it was his second success of the season in 23 starts, sending his yearly bounty to $17,393 and $210,960 lifetime. For Beachy, who drives only sparingly in GLADA events, it was his first win since Nov. 9, 2021 and his 84th success lifetime. The winner paid $14.00.

The American team completed the sweep as the 5-year-old gelding Brady To Gronk (Western Maverick) sat confidently and patiently in the pocket for Edward Miller, found room turning for home and went on to score by a length in 1:57.2. Miler also trains the winner for owner Ashley Dunn. Masterson finished second for Lauren Harmon while Mach Stockn Barrel, driven by Eric Miller, was a neck further back in third. Spain’s Santiago Roig rallied his charge, Current Yankee, to finish fourth.

Brady To Gronk now has two wins in 26 starts and $16,871 on his 2023 scorecard and paid $7.20 as third choice in the betting. The 26-year-old Miller, who normally uses catch-drivers, earned his 50th win and sent his 2023 UDR up another notch to .481 on the strength of a 12-8-7 record in 39 starts. His UDR the past three seasons has been well over .400.

The Spanish-American Friendship competition concludes at Delaware, Ohio, on Little Brown Jug day.

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