Lebanon, OH — Yacht Week (Aaron Merriman) was the upset winner of the final $23,000 Open Handicap Pace of the 2021 Miami Valley meet on Saturday (May 1).
The 5-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere topped Americanfirewater (Brett Miller) and Havefaithinme N (Dan Noble) in 1:50.3, a new lifetime mark.
Larry Finn conditions the winner, who returned $23.60 to his backers, for owners Brian Witt and Chad Slone.
The special Kentucky Derby Day program, which began at noon, opened with a $20,000 Open II Handicap, which was won by Wild Bill (Merriman) in 1:50.4. The 6-year-old winner, also a son of Somebeachsomewhere, topped Great Vintage (Miller) and Snowmoon (Tyler Smith) for his ninth career victory.
Kris Hinchcliff trains Wild Bill for owners Hinchcliff Racing, Rtk Racing and Bret Greiner.
Merriman also won three of the eight Buckeye Stallion Series races on the Saturday card, giving him a handful (five) on the day. Unfortunately, North America’s unflappable leading driver learned that someone had run into and damaged his car in the paddock parking lot just prior to his final triumph.
The four Buckeye Stallion filly trot winners were Irish Princess (Merriman, 1:58, $2.20, trainer Chris Beaver), Sewin Sue (Chris Page, 1:57.2, $2.60, Ron Burke), Fanciful Invention (Merriman, 1:57.3, $12.80, Beaver) and Jogging Sweets (Kurt Sugg, 1:56.4, $7.80, Edward Miller).
On the pacing side, Buckeye Stallion winners were Finesse (Page, 1:54.3, $4, Kent Sherman), Pompatuse Of Love (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54.1, $30,80, Kim Dailey), Diamond Official (Hunter Myers, 1:54.1, $9, Trent Stohler) and Pal O Mine Hanover (Merriman, 1:54.3, $4.80, Terry Hall).
The final two programs of the 2021 Miami Valley season, featuring first leg Ohio Sires Stakes action for the state’s best 3-year-olds, will be Sunday (May 2) and Monday (May 3) with 2:05 p.m. post times on both days.