The "Roarin' Grand” is on its way to southwest Ohio as Miami Valley Raceway presents its first-ever national stakes races this Sunday night, May 4. The $50,300 Sam "Chip" Noble III Memorial Pace for older pacing mares and the $60,000 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares are scheduled as the 8th and 9th races on an 11-race program which will bring the curtain down on the new track's inaugural season. The combined earnings of the two fields is $7,542,251 and combined win total is 214 races.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the response to our first national stakes offerings,” said race secretary Gregg Keidel. "We have horses that have earned over $1 million and winners of many of the most prestigious stakes races in North America, including Breeders Crowns. It will be great to host Maven, one of the absolute best trotting mares in the world; and having an array of nationally-acclaimed drivers, including two Hall Of Famers, fly in for these events is certainly a big plus!”
Yagonnakissmeornot, fresh off a second-place finish in the $371,400 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final at Yonkers in which she won four preliminary legs, has been tabbed the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Chip Noble Memorial—honoring one of the most talented and respected horsemen in Ohio harness racing history, who succumbed to cancer earlier this year. Driver Daniel Dube will start from the two hole with the half-million dollar earner who is trained by Rene Allard.
Despite the fact she has won more races in 2014 than the rest of the field combined there are some other extremely talented mares to deal with. Shebestingin will start from the four hole with Hall Of Famer and local driving legend David Miller on her lines. The Joe Holloway trainee has a four-race win streak entering this contest including an eye-popping 1:50.4 win in her only 2014 start. She won the Nadia Lobell, the Matron and the Glen Garnsey in her final 2013 starts.
Jerseylicious is another outstanding mare who won nine times last season and earned $295,154. Corey Callahan will sulky-sit for trainer Wayne Givens. The powerful Ron Burke stable will be represented by Camille, a 6-year-old mare with over $1 million in her bankroll. Yannick Gingras will be at Miami Valley to guide her. Three mares with Ohio connections round out the field: Ohmybelle (Tyler Smith), She's Shocking (Kayne Kauffman) and Best Impressions (Josh Sutton).
The Jonas Czernyson Stable, ripe with many of the top trotters in the United States, has four mares entered in the Miami Valley Distaff, including morning line favorite Maven at 4-5. With special permission from the Ohio State Racing Commission all four of Czernyson's horses will be uncoupled for wagering purposes making for a most interesting and competitive race. Maven has won 25 of 40 lifetime races and earned a remarkable $1.4 million. She won the older mares Breede's Crown last October and also took her lifetime speed record winning in 1:51.4 over the Delaware, Ohio half-mile track in September. Regular driver Gingras will steer Maven from the five hole behind the starting gate.
Czernyson owns a piece of all three of the other entrants from his stable with a variety of partners. D'Orsay (Daniel Dube) has been listed as the 4-1 second choice while stablemates Ma Chere Hall (Callahan, 6-1) and Mistery Woman (Miller, 10-1) also have the credentials to make the race extremely exciting.
Trainer Benoit Beillargeon has entered Rockin With Dewey (Jason Brewer, 6-1), who already has four 2014 triumphs at Woodbine Raceway in Canada. Cowgirl Hall (Dave Palone, 8-1) will carry the Burke Stable banner into the race; while Daylon Miracle (Aaron Merriman, 12-1) and Angies Lucky Star (Trevor Henry, 15-1) round out the talented field.
Post time for the season-ending Sunday night program at Miami Valley is 6:30 p.m. (Miami Valley)