The girls pretty much had their way with the boys in Sunday night's $8,000 championship final of the month-long Madness in March tournament at Miami Valley Raceway.
A field of sixty-four $4,000 claiming horses began the Madness in March elimination tournament with the field reduced to 32 after week one, 16 after week two and the Elite 8 after week three. While the 'brackets' for the first three weeks were divided by gender, the final pitted the top four surviving geldings versus the top four surviving mares in a "Battle of the Sexes."
When the dust settled, Rock Ann Rolling was crowned tournament queen following a track record 1:53.4 performance, the fastest clocking ever by a female over the age of four at Miami Valley to date.
A pair of other mares raced creditably against their male counterparts with Taylors Artist (Josh Sutton) finishing third and C L Life Road (Dan Noble) fourth across the finish line.
Rock Ann Rolling is owned by driver Jason Brewer and conditioned by his father, Jeff Brewer. It was the 13th career win for the 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare.
The best any of the four geldings could do in the championship was a runner-up finish by Communicator (Pat Berry) who fell just three-quarters of length short for the P T Stable, who claimed him in the first week of the tournament. Olive Loaf (Kyle Ater) garnered the final paycheck for his fifth-place effort.
A pair of co-featured Fillies and Mares Open paces were also highlights of the program. Rev Me Up (Dan Noble) captured the $9,500 Open I for the second straight week in 1:54, which stood for one race as the track record for older distaffers until Rock Ann Rolling bested it.
Despite the eight hole, Rev Me Up fired when the wings opened and went gate-to-wire, holding off Whisty's Paradise (Berry) and Canary Island (Chris Page) in a thrilling photo finish. Patrons who backed the repeat winner were rewarded with a $22.80 mutuel payoff on the Kathy Millman trainee who is leased by Merl P'Pool.
The $7,500 Open II went to favored Ohmybelle (Tyler Smith) with a narrow victory over Everymileamemory (Berry) and Bazooka Terror (Randy Tharps). The speedy 1:53.3 clocking established a new standard for 4-year-old mares who have raced at Miami Valley during the track's initial two months in business. Janet Banks owns the daughter of Ponder who is trained by Tyler's father, Jeff Smith. (Miami Valley)