The good news for Ohio racing fans is that Rompaway Galaxy is starting off 2014 just like he finished last season. But that's bad news for the connections of other 3-year-old male trotters in the Buckeye State.
He promises to be a heavy favorite in his Ohio Sires Stakes at Scioto Monday afternoon. Each of the four OSS events go for a $40,000 purse. Post time for the card is 1 p.m.
Last year Rompaway Galaxy dominated the Ohio Sire Stakes, winning all four legs and the final. His only loss of the season came in an Ohio Breeders Stake at Scioto when he got trapped behind a tiring leader and was beaten by a head by Soul Train.
Otherwise he was perfect in his eight starts and he wrapped up his season by winning the $150,000 Ohio Sires Stakes final with a 1:57.4 mile, his personal best.
An indication of how impressive Rompaway Galaxy has been is that he's been made the odds-on favorite every time after his first career start.
This year Rompaway Galaxy signaled his readiness with an impressive win in the $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes opening leg at Miami Valley Racing. In that event, he was parked from post nine for a long way before clearing to the front and making a mockery of his pursuers with his 1:58 win. His margin was 6 1/2 lengths.
Rompaway Galaxy heads the 11th race on the 15-race holiday card at Scioto. He starts from post two with rival Soul Train in post 10 in the second tier.
Rompaway Galaxy is owned by Rompaway Farms of Michigan and is trained by Krista Harmon. Mike Micallef handles the reins. He is a son of Rompaway Wally.
Harmon said that gelding the youngster as a 2 year old helped him focus on his business. That decision and his abundant natural made him into a champion. Micallef noted that the trotter is bigger this season and yet still has the speed and ability that gave him dominance over his rivals last season.
The other division for Ohio-sired trotting sophomore males is headed by Can'tcutthatchip, a winner three times in five starts this season with a best time of 1:57.4. He is a slight favorite over nine rivals.
There are two pacing splits for Ohio-sired sophomore pacers. Friskie Adam is seeking to make it five straight wins this season for trainer Dan Ater and his son Kyle, who will handle the driving chores. He's already won in 1:53.2f this year and his rivals will be hard-pressed to match strides with the son of Feelin Friskie.
The other pacing division features Big Bossman, a winner in 1:55.3f this season in a trio of starts. Greg Grismore drives for trainer Doug Hinklin. (OHSS)