Four full fields of $5000 claiming mares went post-ward on Monday (Feb. 6) afternoon at Miami Valley in the first leg of the annual "Survivor Series", chasing $6000 purses.When the dust settled the original 40 horse field was reduced in half for a pair of $7500 second round divisions next week.
The first split produced a whopping $166.40 payoff for a $2 ticket when Rambling Reegan (Kyle Ater) upset favored Elm Grove Joanette (Kayne Kauffman) and Togetherforever (Tyler Smith) in 1:55.3.Certitude (Trace Tetrick) produced a milder upset when she paid $17.80 besting My Marisa Clair (Jeremy Smith) and Fox Valley Ruby (Simon Allard) in the second elimination heat.
Favorites prevailed in the final two eliminations with My Hare Lady (Jason Brewer, $5.80) topped Bruisers Sister (Kayne Kauffman) and Well Wishers (Simon Allard) in 1:54.3; and Crucial Moment (Trace Tetrick, $5.80) beat Last Minute Cindy (Mike Oosting) and Simply Burbon (Tyler Smith) in a 1:55.4 photo finish thriller.
In addition to the top three from each heat, the fourth and fifth place finishers also advanced to the semi-final round. Finishing fourth were Ms Memphis Bird, Peacelovepace, Endeavors Ladyluck and E R Taylor. By virtue of fifth place finishes Mama’s Home, Wrong Girl, Hillbilly Charmer and Frosty Delight picked up the final spots in next week’s races. If any of the top five finishers fail to enter for the second elimination round, the sixth place finisher in that race will qualify to advance.
Four mares, including one of the winners, will have new connections. Crucial Moment was claimed and will be moving from the Tyler George Stable to the Charlie Stewart Stable for her next elimination. Others plucked via the claiming box on Monday were Elm Grove Joanette, Last Minute Cindy and Simply Burbon. In accordance with the series conditions, the four claimed mares will be the only one carrying tags in round two, but with a 20% boost in base claiming price.