Columbus, OH — The finest 2- and 3-year-old Standardbreds in the Buckeye State converged upon Eldorado Scioto Downs on Sunday evening (Sept. 6) to contest an octet of Ohio Sires Stakes finals, with $300,000 on the line on each occasion.
Merry Ann, the 8-5 favorite, captured the final for 2-year-old trotting fillies with a front-stepping 1:57 effort for driver Chris Page and trainer Ron Burke. The daughter of Southwind Spirit and Witty Girl held off the late-charging Celebrate With Me (Kurt Sugg), while My Jazz (Anthony MacDonald) was third. Bred by Knox Services, Merry Ann is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services and Weaver Bruscemi. Merry Ann now has $245,200 in career earnings.
Page and Burke teamed up again in the 2-year-old filly pace with 1-5 favorite Summer Touch, who took her fifth straight triumph in 1:52.3. The homebred daughter of Well Said and Real Touch is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services, Slaughter Racing and Weaver Bruscemi and was driven by Chris Page. Rainy Day Chic was second for Brett Miller, with Leave Her Wild was third with Mike Wilder driving. The victory upped Summer Touch’s lifetime bankroll to $255,000.
Tyler Smith piloted Penpaperpaige to a 12-1 upset over 7-5 favorite Artful Dancer (Dan Noble) in the 3-year-old filly pace in a new career mark of 1:52.1. The daughter of Pet Rock and Park Lane Paige is owned and was bred by Shirley LeVin and is conditioned by Jeff Smith. Rockngo BB (George Brennan) was a strong third. The win pushed Penpaperpaige’s career earnings to $273,026.
Trainer Chris Beaver harnessed 6-1 Perron (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) to capture the 2-year-old colt trot, and also accounted for the third-place finisher Tango With Me (Peter Wrenn) and fourth-place finisher Panzano (Chris Page). Street Gossip was second for driver Brett Miller. The winning time of 1:58 was a new career clocking for the homebred colt by My MVP and Long Island Tea who pushed his lifetime earnings to $198,300 for owners Steve Stewart, David Wright, Greg Wilcoxen and Kevin Doherty.
Even-money favorite Guinevere Hall kept her unblemished seasonal record intact by capturing the 3-year-old filly trot. The daughter of Cash Hall and Garbo Hill stopped the clock in 1:53.1 — just a tick off the track record — for driver Peter Wrenn and trainer Melanie Wrenn. Guinevere Hall, who was bred by Alan Leavitt and is owned by the M T Pockets Stables and David McDuffee, now has $415,081 in her career coffers. She is seven for seven this year with 10 wins in 17 starts lifetime. A Fancy Face was second for Chris Page, whileRobin Banks got up for third with Kurt Sugg.
Charlie May (Brett Miller), the 9-5 second choice, bested 3-5 rival Heart Of Chewbacca (Danny Noble) in late stretch to prevail in the 2-year-old colt pace. His time of 1:50.2 was a new track record and a national season’s record for freshman pacing geldings on a five-eighths-mile track. Trained by Steve Carter, the altered son of McArdle and Stipple Hanover notched his fifth win in seven starts for breeder-owner Don Tiger. Laughagain Hanover was third for David Miller. Charlie May now has $295,181 in lifetime earnings and has five wins in seven career starts.
Brett Miller gave 1-5 Action Uncle a perfect steer to capture the 3-year-old colt trot in 1:53. Trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., the son of Uncle Peter and Action-Broadway picked up his seventh win of the year for Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland and Larry Wills. Bred by Kenneth Sommer, Action Uncle upped his career earnings to $545,825, with his 10th lifetime victory in 14 starts. Wading Boots was second for David Miller, while It’s Academic got up for third with Chris Page in the bike.
Sandra Burnett’s homebred Ocean Rock, the 1-5 favorite in the 3-year-old colt pace, demolished his rivals in a blistering 1:49.4. Dan Noble drove the gelded son of Rockin Amadeus and Ocean Pearl for trainer Christi Noble as he captured his 10th career win and his fifth of the season. Elver Hanover was second with Chris Page, and Gray Dragon was third for Brett Miller. Ocean Rock now has $495,677 in his career bank account.
The Ohio Sires Stakes Veteran finals for 4-year-olds and up will be held on Oct. 16 at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, and the Ohio Sires Stakes consolations for 2- and 3-year-olds will be held on Oct. 17 at MGM Northfield Park.