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Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers challenge on Saturday

December 06, 2016
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The stage is set for the second annual "Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers Drivers Challenge" on Saturday night (Dec. 10) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. The top drivers from Hoosier Park in Indiana will invade to take on the top drivers at Hollywood Dayton in a six race contest to determine bragging rights for the next year. In the inaugural event a year ago, the ‘Buckeyes' used a near sweep of the top spots in the final race to secure the win. The two tracks are just over an hour apart and the competitors from each squad are closely acquainted with each other, so the races are keenly contested. The Indiana team is intent on evening the count in Year 2 of this event.
 
Each team will have the odd numbered post positions in half of the six races. Each driver was assigned approximately equal overall post positions; and the horses were randomly drawn into those pre-assigned drivers. Scoring will be based on the following schedule: 30 points for a win, 24 for a second, 18 for third, and 14-11-8-5-3-1 for fourth through ninth place finishes.

Morning line oddsmaker Myles Linderman gives a slight nod to the Buckeyes squad to repeat. Ohio drivers have been assigned slight morning line favoritism in four of the events, with Indiana reinsmen favored in the other two. The contest races consist of a NW 4 PMs condition/claimer, and one each of a straight $8000, $10,000, $12,500, $15,000 and $15,000-$20,000 claimer.

The visiting Hoosiers will be captained by leading driver Trace Tetrick, who will be joined by Sam Widger, Ricky Macomber, Tyler Smith and Andy Shetler. Dash leader Josh Sutton will captain a Buckeyes squad that includes Kayne Kauffman, Jeremy Smith, Dan Noble and Peter Wrenn.

Hollywood Dayton Raceway has put up a $2,500 prize pool for the contest, $2,000 to the winning team and $500 to the losers. However, both squads have already voted to donate all of their winnings to Dayton Firefighters Local 16 for the second consecutive year. This year they are asking their fellow owners, trainers, caretakers and patrons to join them in bringing in a new toy for distribution to needy children at Christmas by the fire department, whose goal is to make sure every child in their district has a happy holiday.
 
Their monetary donation this season will go to Crystal Wilson, a paramedic who chaired the Local 16 toy drive last year, but who suffered a catastrophic fall from a ladder a couple months ago which paralyzed her from the waist down. Crystal often manned the required ambulance stationed trackside during every racing program at Dayton Raceway through its first two seasons, providing immediate medical attention whenever called on, and the horsemen want to repay her in kind with the large contribution to her rehabilitation costs.

In the first contest race, the condition-claimer, driver Tyler Smith will be guiding lukewarm favorite Dark Horse, who has been assigned 5-2 starting odds. Betorluckythangood (3-1, Kauffman), Eddie Eddie Eddie (7-2, Tetrick) and J B's Hero (9-2, Sutton) should also get public support.

Pipecreek Yankee (5-2, Sutton) will open as the favorite over Putnams Attack (3-1, Kauffman), Lexington Avenue (7-2, Jeremy Smith) and Showdown At Sun Up (9-2, Tetrick) in the second leg, an $8000 claimer.

Strange Hanover (5-2, Tyler Smith) gets the early nod over Jetstreamdonttouch (3-1, Macomber), No Hable (7-2, Shetler) and Poison Oak (9-2, Widger) in what looks like the Hoosiers best chance to pile up a ton of points in a single race, this $10,000 claimer.

When the $12,500 claimers come on the track, Lieutenant Steve (2-1, Wrenn) will attempt to live up to his morning line favoritism over Onesportonly (3-1, Kauffman), Electric Lad (7-2, Sutton) and Restless Native (9-2, Tetrick).

Smiling Terror (5-2, Dan Noble) will try to top the $15,000 claimers, but will get a stern test from Chipchompinchampin (3-1, Shetler), Frass Bluegrass (7-2, Widger) and Every Play Counts (9-2, Kauffman).

In the contest clincher, a $15,000 to $20,000 claiming handicap, Prince Bayard (5-2, Sutton) gets the opening nod over Sunday Poker (3-1, Jeremy Smith), Flashy Trick (7-2, Noble) and Mach My Point (9-2, Wrenn).

The six race "Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers Drivers Challenge" will be contested as races 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 on the 14-race program. First race post time is 6:15 p.m. (Hollywood Dayton)

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