Northfield, OH — Fairiesdelight A made her first start off the shelf a winning one on Saturday (Feb. 10) in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at MGM Northfield Park.
Fairiesdelight A (Aaron Merriman) had been off since mid-January and qualified well at The Meadows in preparation for her return to the races.
There were several that made a bid for the lead as the gate sprung with Fairiesdelight A firing off the wings, but she had to deal with immediate pressure to her inside with Rockabillycockshut (Luke Hanners) and Kat (Greg Grismore) defending pylon position. Rockabillycockshut led into the backstretch, but Fairiesdelight A was relentless, grinding away on the outside and crossing over before the field reached the paddock. Fairiesdelight A dealt with immediate pressure from Think Of Galaxies (Billy Davis Jr.), who cleared the leader before a testing opening quarter of :27.2.
Davis got a :29.2 breather in the second panel, with not much pressure being applied as the field passed the half, but Kat began to bid for the lead first-over with Creme Delight (Hunter Myers) riding her coattails. Creme Delight tipped three-wide into the backstretch and muscled her way into second past three-quarters in 1:26. With an eighth of a mile to race, Merriman somehow found a way off the pylons and had plenty in the tank as Fairiesdelight A powered past Think Of Galaxies, holding off Creme Delight in the final strides and winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.4.
Owned by M T Stables Ontario Inc. and trained by Braiden Rhoades, the 8-year-old by Bettor’s Delight now has earnings of $172,924 with 23 victories from 110 starts.
Live racing resumes at MGM Northfield Park on Monday (Feb. 12) at 6 p.m.
MGM Northfield Park currently races on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information on live racing and promotions, visit www.northfieldpark.com.