Merriman and Page double up in Ohio Sires Stakes action

Grove City, OH — The first leg of Ohio Sires Stakes action for 2-year-olds concluded Sunday (July 10) at MGM Northfield Park as Aaron Merriman and Chris Page each won two races. Six $40,000 divisions were contested, three for the colts and three for the fillies.

Spaaaanzano rolled to his second win of the year in the first leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes for freshman colt trotters. Casalinova Photography.

In the first division for the filly trotters, Roxanna with Merriman was fourth around the final turn but found a gap mid-stretch and charged to the line to win by a half-length in 1:59.4. It was the first career start for the daughter of What The Hill who is trained by Chris Beaver and co-owned by Sandra Burnett and Beaver. Sedona Hill finished second with Midnight Daydream third.

Sugar Instead and Ronnie Gillespie took the pocket trip and rallied down the stretch to nip Possibility and Merriman at the line to win by a neck in 1:58.1, the best time of the three OSS filly divisions. Trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., the Volstead filly has a win and a second-place finish in her young career. Sugar Instead has earned $57,500 for owners Joyce McClelland and Larry Wills. My Rory finished third.

In the third division, Chris Page and even money favorite Iam Independent got away eighth but worked their way through the field going three-wide up the backstretch and around the final turn. The Triumphant Caviar filly found another gear down the stretch, reeling in the leaders to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.4. Trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Hatfield Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi, it was the first win in two starts for Iam Independent. She’s Spicy was second with Kaminari third.

In the first division for the freshman colt trotters, Rose Run Zoom and Don Irvine Jr. went three-wide to grab the lead at the quarter and never looked back, winning in 1:57.4. The son of Uncle Peter is trained by Rosy Weaver who co-owns with Heartland Acres and Kabby D. It was the first win in two starts for Rose Run Zoom. Commander Tom finished second with Tt’s Magnum Force finishing third.

Page and Burke picked up their first win of the night with Tennessee Tom in the second division for the colts. The son of Long Tom charged up the backstretch from fifth to catch the leader E-pass at the top of the stretch. The two battled on the way home with Tennessee Tom first to the wire by a neck in 1:58.4. It was the first win in two starts for the Burke trainee. Tennessee Tom has earned $57,500 for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Hatfield Stables, and Knox Services. Long Ridge was third.

Coming off his win in the Preferred Equine Next Generation, 1-9 favorite Spaaaanzano with Merriman made it look easy, going gate-to-wire to win by three lengths in 1:58.4. The son of Coraggioso is trained by Beaver who co-owns with Spaaaartners, Bill Manes, and Leo Fleming. Spaaaanzano has won both of his starts this year and has earned $95,000. Do Whats Right was second with Smooth Talkin third.

Ohio Sires Stakes action resumes Saturday (July 15) at MGM Northfield Park with the second leg for 2-year-old colt pacers.

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