Lebanon, OH — Stars Align A, a winner of the highest conditioned race at Miami Valley in 1:51.3 last week, duplicated that effort on Thursday (Jan. 13), which was good enough to capture the track’s weekly $28,000 Open I feature.
Driver Dan Noble urged the 9-year-old son of Art Major to the gate-to-finish triumph, but had to stave off serious threats from Blank Stare (Tony Hall) and Sectionline Bigry (Brett Miller) in deep stretch.
Noble’s wife Christi trains the winner for Joshua Graber, who returned the 44-time winner to the Noble Stable in Xenia, Ohio, as the calendar turned to 2022. The Nobles did quite well with Stars Align A at the 2021 Miami Valley meet before he was sent to trainer Jenn Bongiorno to race at the east coast tracks the second half of the season.
The victory for Stars Align A raised his lifetime bankroll to $615,786. He paid $6.20 to win.
A co-featured $24,000 Open II was also contested with Alwaystellthetruth (Sam Widger) proving best in 1:54. The 5-year-old Tellitlikeitis gelding came from behind to nail runner-up Saying Grace N (Josh Sutton) in the final strides. My Hero Ron (Tony Hall) also got a late call with a closing kick that came up just short.
Walter Haynes Jr. conditions Alwaystellthetruth for Jeff Fought Racing and Brian Carsey. It was the 11th triumph for the winner and bumped his total bounty up to $184,324. Punters who liked Alwaystellthetruth were rewarded with an $8.20 return.
Miami Valley will be dark on Friday and Saturday, but will return with 4:05 p.m. post times five consecutive days from Sunday (Jan. 16) through Thursday (Jan. 20).