Ohio Super Night on Saturday will be one of the richest nights of racing ever in more than a half-century at Scioto Downs. The card features 16 races, half of them being $100,000 Ohio Sires Stakes finals.
The supporting card is outstanding in itself as the $30,000 Invitational Pace features many of the fastest pacers from various tracks in Ohio and neighboring states.
"Super Night is always the best night of racing in Ohio, and this year it's going to be much, much better,” said Stacy Cahill, general manager of racing at the Columbus track.
It's been a epic year at the harness racing showplace as Ohio's first racino opened in early June to widespread praise from patrons. The racino has helped handle and attendance at the track show significant increases. Purses have increased dramatically.
"Super Night will cap off a fantastic season at Scioto,” said Cahill, who added that the track will race next Thursday and Friday to make up for programs cancelled due to summer heat.
Scioto is offering a Pick 8 wager on all eight Ohio Sires Stakes championship events, programmed as races five through 12.
"It's got a 25-cent minimum,” noted Cahill, "and there is a guaranteed $2,500 pool in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program.”
Scioto's regular Pick 4 will be moved to encompass races nine through 12 and the track will guarantee a $5,000 pool in conjunction with the USTA. Superfecta Wagering will be held on all 16 races.
The glamour divisions of the Ohio Sires Stakes will be the sophomore boys, trotters and pacer, and they're guaranteed to put on a good show.
Count Me In heads the eight 3-year-old colts and geldings seeking top trotting honors. He was dominant last year and has carved out five wins in a dozen starts this season.
"A lot of the other 3-year-old trotters have improved a lot this year,” said Chip Noble, who regularly drives Count Me In for trainer Marty Wollam.
Count Me In starts from post seven with one of his rivals, Countmymuscles, outside of him in post eight. Other contenders include Cody Coy, We Belong Together and Rock N Jesse.
The sophomore pacers promise to stage a slam-bang battle. Jetstream Friskie, Noble Trick, Gun Show, and Mr I Am all have legitimate shots of winning.
Jestream Friskie has won half of this dozen starts and sports a 1:52.3f mark for trainer Joe Essig and driver Kayne Kauffman. Noble Trick has found the winner's circle five times in 10 tries this season and his mark is 1:53f.
Rose Run Nellie and trainer-driver Scott Cox look to be the favorites in the sophomore filly trot while Special Lady D and Standing Danette should be the strongest contenders in the 3-year-old filly pace.
The Ohio Sires Stakes championships for 2 year olds are also sure to be exciting as the newest stars in Ohio racing get to showcase their talents.
In the $30,000 Invitational Pace, seven of the eight starters have won in 1:51 or faster this season so you're sure to see some wicked fractions and perhaps a new track record. (The current track record is 1:50).
Schoolkids starts from the rail for driver Greg Grismore and needs just $700 to pass the $100,000 mark in earnings for the fifth consecutive season.
Post time for Ohio Super Night at Scioto is 6:30 p.m. (Scioto Downs)