It was a start-and-stop race, but Gordie How had enough pace in the stretch to win Scioto’s featured Open Pace on Saturday evening in 1:54.1 for trainer-driver Kurt Sugg.
The7-year-old gelding was assigned the outside post position in the field, which was reduced to five by two scratches. The pacers sprinted away from the gate to get position, resulting in a :27.4 opening panel with Sugg determined to get the lead with Gordie How. Once he got to the front, Sugg tapped the brakes and the field of five coasted past the grandstand, biding their time.
The pace picked up again in the third quarter, covered in :28.1. In the final turn, the gallant 10-year-old Stringtowner, making the 199th start of his career, loomed as a threat on the outside. He seemed to have momentum to surge past Gordie How, but Sugg and his pacer fought back resolutely in the stretch to hold the challenger at bay by a neck.
It was the sixth wins in 16 starts this season for Gordie How, who shipped in from Northfield after racing regularly there this spring. He pushed his career earnings past the $150,000 mark. The gelding is owned by Dean Davis of Wooster, Ohio, who also bred the son of Stand Forever.
Stringtowner held for second, bumping his career earnings past $440,000. Mm’s Shocking Guy was third.
In the previous race, the large Saturday night crowd witnessed a cavalry charge down the stretch with Little Gary Perry prevailing by ¾-length in 1:55.4 for Dan Charlino. The first seven finishers were within 3-1/4 lengths.
Racing action at Scioto resumes on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. when the track will feature its Dollar Menu with special prices on draft beer, hot dogs, soft drinks and popcorn. Fans will be entertained by music from the Round Mound of Sound, a prominent central Ohio deejay. (Scioto)