A neck separated the top four finishers in Saturday’s (Feb. 11) featured $22,000 Open Pace at Miami Valley Raceway, with Latest Desire pushing a nose in front at the wire. As the 3-5 favorite off an impressive 1:50 triumph a week ago, driver Simon Allard was able to coax a 1:51 mile from Latest Desire this week to down nine rivals in 1:51.
Fancy Creek Elusiv (Mike Oosting) got the first quarter-mile marker call in :27.3 with Latest Desire right behind and Sparky Mark (Dan Noble) and Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater) in hot pursuit. Sparky Mark was able to clear to the front and trip the halfway beam in :55.1.
Noble was able to keep his charge in front at the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but Latest Desire had pulled the pocket and was lapped on and gaining on the leader. At the head of the stretch Meadowbrookthunder (Trace Tetrick) found a seam and the four horse stampede to the wire was underway. The quartet raced on even terms in a thrilling stretch duel that wasn’t decided until Latest Desire stuck his nose in front in the final stride.
Lucky Lime, Meadowbrookthunder and Sparky Mark—who all raced very gamely--followed him through the wire.
Virgil Morgan Jr. trains Latest Desire for the AWS Stable, the Fairway Stable and Milton Leeman, all of Ohio. It was the 31st lifetime win in 93 starts for the 7-year-old Real Desire gelding, who now has $390,936 in earnings. (Miami Valley)