Hoosiers vs. Buckeyes on tap Saturday at Dayton

Dayton, OH – Team Hoosier will invade Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night (Dec. 15) to battle Team Buckeyes in the fourth annual “Hoosiers vs. Buckeyes Drivers Challenge.”  The six-race competition starts in the first race on the program, slated for 6:15 p.m.  Download free TrackMaster program pages for the solid Saturday night program by visiting: https://www.trackmaster.com/products/tfp/download.

The Hoosier squad is comprised of Captain Trace Tetrick and teammates Ricky Macomber Jr., LeWayne Miller, Mike Oosting and Brandon Bates.  Well-known Hoosier Park Handicapper Emily Gaskin will also be present to share on-air insight alongside Hollywood Dayton’s Barry Vicroy.

The Buckeyes squad includes the five dash leaders at the current meet: Jeremy Smith, Dan Noble, Chris Page, Josh Sutton and Kayne Kauffman.  Captain Smith has guaranteed a Buckeye victory, stating “they have about as much chance of winning as Indiana would of beating Ohio State (in football).”

Oddsmaker Myles Linderman rates the clash as a tossup.  Each squad has three morning-line favorites over the six races, but other finishes are important as well as the graduated scoring system, which rewards drivers additional points for every horse they beat.

“After reviewing the races, it looks like the Buckeyes need to get a solid early lead and then hope to hang on,” said Race Secretary Gregg Keidel.  “I believe the luck of the draw favored the Ohioans in the early races and the Indianaites in the late ones.”

The Buckeyes won the inaugural Challenge in 2015 and held on for a narrow victory again in 2017.  The Hoosiers were convincing winners in 2016 and would like nothing better than to even the series score Saturday night.

On Friday night (Dec. 14), Hollywood Dayton presented its customary co-features—a $17,500 Open Mares Pace and an $18,500 Open Trot.

Zoe Ellasen (Aaron Merriman) captured $17,500 Open Mares Pace Friday at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Friday. Conrad Photo.

Zoe Ellasen (Aaron Merriman) captured the distaff pace in 1:53, topping A Little Starstruk (Trevor Smith) and Doc’s Ravenna (Charlie Conrad).  The triumph was the 4-year-old daughter of Santanna Blue Chip’s sixth of the year and 17th in her career.  She surpassed $90,000 in seasonal earnings and $300,000 in lifetime bounty with the score.  She is owned by trainer Tyler George in partnership with Ron Steck.

Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) won the top trot for the first time, besting Pine Dream (Aaron Merriman) and Monopoly Blue Chip (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:54.3.  The 5-year-old son of Psychic Spirit is nearing $200,000 in lifetime bankroll, more than $73,000 of that sum this season.  He is owned by trainer Robert Phillips and Sharry Boledovich.

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