Ohio Sires Stakes season for juveniles starts Wednesday at Northfield

by Dean A. Hoffman, for the Ohio State Racing Commission

Columbus, OH — A new generation of harness hopefuls take to the track at Northfield Park on Wednesday night (July 3) in the opening leg of Ohio Sires Stakes action for 2-year-olds. Both trotters and pacers will be in action in five races, each with a $30,000 purse.

The action in juvenile races early in the season is often unpredictable as the youngsters have so little racing experience. Some fail to follow through on their early promise while others seem to come alive after their first few starts.

One youngster that has already impressed observers in his first start is Dibs, the 6-5 favorite in the third race, one of the three divisions for pacers. In his career debut at The Meadows, Dibs won in 1:55.4 by 2-1/2 lengths. He is a brother to Pink Camo, already a winner of two Ohio Sires Stakes for 3-year-old fillies this season.

Dibs has post two for driver Tony Hall and trainer Ron Burke in the seven-horse field. His primary threats seem to be Friskie Adam (2-1 in the morning line) and Player’s King, who starts from post one and is listed at 9-2 in the morning line.

Rocket Beau, a son of Pine Valley like Dibs, gets the favorite’s role in the second division based on a 1:58 effort in his only start at Scioto Downs. Top trainer Brian Brown will pair with driver Chris Page in hopes of getting Rocket Beau to the winner’s circle. Upfront Clays Boy, a winner in 1:58.2 at Scioto in his last start, will have the driving services of Dan Noble and is 2-1 in the advance odds. Feel The Heat is given the nod for third.

In the third division for juvenile pacing males, the favorite’s role falls on Chance I Might, driven by Tony Hall for trainer Jim Dailey. He has been timed in 1:56.3 and 1:57 in recent starts at Scioto Downs.

The opening division for Ohio-sired trotters is seen by the track odds-maker as a three-horse race between A Brilliant Idea, Can’tcutthatchip and Mainstreet Willy.

A Brilliant Idea starts from post position two in the seven-horse field and has top driver Chris Page in the sulky. He was beaten a half-length and timed in 2:02 in a recent qualifier at Scioto Downs. Can’tcutthatchip has won in 2:03 and Tony Hall drives him from post six while Mainstreet Willy has the outside post for driver Chip Noble and has won in 2:04.

In the second division for trotting youngsters, Bradymeister brings an impressive 2:01.2 mark into the race from a victory at Balmoral Park, but he also has a 2:02.4 qualifying win at Northfield Park. Kurt Sugg trains and drives, and Bradymeister will start from post two.

To his right behind the starting gate is Soul Train, a winner already in 2:03.3 for Ryan Stahl. Stahl will be back in the bike on Wednesday. Master Mighty is the third choice in the evening’s fifth race.

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