Northfield, OH – Test Of Faith strengthened her case for divisional Horse of the Year honors by continuing her streak of Grand Circuit victories in Saturday’s (Oct. 16) $100,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year old filly pacers at MGM Northfield Park.
Driven by Harness Racing Hall of Famer David Miller, Test Of Faith sat the pocket through fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.2 before tipping in the final quarter and winning by 2- ¾ lengths in 1:50.2. The clocking ties the track record for sophomore filly pacers.
Oakwoodanabella IR (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) carved the expeditious fractions and finished second, Think Of Galaxies (Matt Kakaley) followed the top-two the entire mile and finished third.
Brett Pelling conditions Test Of Faith for owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran.
Completing the field were Smothastenesewisky, Continualou and Summer Touch. State Of Mind was scratched sick.
Test Of Faith (Art Major – Cannae Cammie – Cam’s Card Shark) now has 20 wins in 23 lifetime starts. Saturday’s victory increased her career bankroll to $1,205,239. She was heavily favored and returned $2.20 to win.
The races leading up to the Grand Circuit feature consisted of eight $60,000 Buckeye Stallion Series Finals.
Miss Cowboy Star (Long Tom-Emerald Myway) was able to wear down Purple Aura (Aaron Merriman) through the stretch to capture the Buckeye Stallion Series Championship for freshman filly trotters in 1:57.3. Purple Aura was stretched out by Miss Cowboy Star (Kurt Sugg) at the opening quarter of :28.3. Merriman was able to get a :29.4 breather through the second panel and tried to create some separation past three-quarters in 1:27.1. Purple Aura got leg-weary through the stretch, and Miss Cowboy Star came up the passing lane to by a head over a hard-charging Toes In The Water (Ryan Stahl). Miss Cowboy Star is owned by Rebecca Sugg, Steven Maas, and John Duke Sugg and the victory gave her career win eight in 12 starts this season.
After a slow start to her career, Bittrsweetsymphony (Well Said-Just Too Spoiled) put together a string of 12 straight wins heading into Saturday night’s Buckeye Stallion Series Championship Final for 2-year-old filly pacers. Bittrsweetsymphony (Tyler Smith) sat just off the pace with She Means Business (Chris Lems) setting the pace early, through a quick first quarter of :27.2.
Bittrsweetsymphony made her aggressive first-over move just past the half of :56.3. Heading up the backstretch, she cleared She Means Business and drew off in the stretch to win by 6-1/4 lengths in 1:53.2 over Love Me Hill (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and She Means Business, who held on for third. With the victory, she pushed her career earnings to over $105,000. Bittrsweetsymphony is owned by CNC Stables LLC and David J. Miller.
All Gas No Brakes (Uncle Peter-Norse Comer) took no prisoners once clearing the lead and won the Buckeye Stallion Series Championship for 2-year-old colt & gelding trotters by 4-1/4 lengths in a new lifetime best 1:57.2. All Gas No Breaks (Trevor Smith) got away fourth and stayed out of trouble, with Stay Tuned (JD Wengerd) making a break through the first turn. A Handsome Face (David Miller) secured the lead from Rose Run Xalted (Don Irvine Jr.) through the first quarter of :28.1. Smith began to make his first-over move at the half of :58 and cleared the lead past three-quarters in 1:27.1. All Gas No Brakes kicked clear through the stretch to win, increasing his bankroll to over $70,000 in career earnings for Black Magic Racing LLC and trainer Todd Luther.
The 2-year-old colt and gelding pace had fireworks early as there were three different lead changes through the first 5/8ths of a mile. Dirge (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was able to make the lead just past the opening quarter of :27.4, but had to deal with immediate pressure from Western Ready (Western Vintage-My My Marie) at the half of :56. Once Western Ready (Aaron Merriman) made the lead he never looked back winning easily by 6-3/4 lengths in 1:52.1. With the victory, he pushes his career earnings to just over $100,000 for owner Brendan Toops.
Fiesty Pistol (Triumphant Caviar-Franniegetyourgun) took advantage of a miscue by heavy-favorite Cash N Chips (Hunter Myers) to win the Buckeye Stallion Series Championship for 3-year-old filly trotters. Merriman guided Fiesty Pistol through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:27.3 in route to a one length victory in 1:57. Fiesty Pistol has amassed just over $100,000 in career earnings for co-owners Christopher Beaver, David Meola, Donnald Robinson, and RBH Ventures Inc.
Disaronno Hill (Brett Miller) took the lead at the five-eighths pole and cruised to a 2-3/4 length victory in the Buckeye Stallion Series Championship for 3-year-old filly pacers in 1:53.3. Reachthruthesky As (Merriman) set the early pace, making it to the quarter in :27.2 and to the half in :56.1 before dealing with pressure from the eventual winner. Disaronno Hill is owned by the partnership of Carl Howard, Kiara and Tre Morgan, and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. She now has 10 wins in 30 starts with over $120,000 in career earnings.
Aggresively driven from post four, Castyourcrown (Matt Kakaley) made every pole a winning one in route to a victory in the Buckeye Stallion Series Championship for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Castyourcrown led through fractions of :28.3, :58.3, and 1:27.2 in route to a 2-1/4 length victory over Blank Space As (Trevor Smith) and Very Smart (Ryan Sthal). Castyourcrown is owned by Blake Daniels and is just shy of $70,000 in career earnings.
Walkinafter Midnite scored from the rail to capture the sophomore colt pacing division in 1:54.1. Driver Trevor Smith sat the pocket and scored by way of the passing lane for trainer Jeff Smith and owner Bet The House LLC. The victory increases the pacers earnings to $96,973. Sir Charles Of Sky (Chris Page) cut the mile and finished second. King’s Cruiser (Tyler Smith) finished third.