Bye Bye Felicia ties 4YO mare pacer world record
July 31, 2018
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Sass trotted home for his sixth straight win Monday in Northfield Park's 10th race, the $19,000 Open Trot. The 5-year-old stallion is owned by Paul and Patricia O'Neil of Saratoga Springs, N. Y. and trained by Jessica Roegner. Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive.
Sass was assigned post eight and was parked through fractional times of :28 and :56.1. He made the lead in the third quarter and never looked back through times of 1:25.1 and 1:55. Despite the tough trip, he bested his competition by 2 ¼ lengths.
Monday's triumph increased Sass' lifetime earnings to $252,536. He was the favorite and returned $4.00 to win.
Merriman also won the evening's $19,000 F&M Open with Bye Bye Felicia, who tied the 1:50.3 four-year-old pacing mare track and world records. The clocking tied a 2017 record of Lakeisha Hall (Matt Kakaley) at Northfield Park.
Leah Rhoades of Clarksville, Pa. owns Bye Bye Felicia and William Rhoades is her conditioner.
Bye Bye Felicia (Woodstock-Tea Time-Camluck) now has six wins in 28 starts this year. Monday's victory represents her 13th career score and bolstered her bankroll to $232,356. She paid $5 to win.
Bye Bye Felicia and Sass were just two of the eight wins on the night for North America's leading driver Merriman. His other triumphs were with Gotta Laugh Again ($2.60) in race six, Anoche ($6.00) in race seven, Khan Blue Chip ($5) in race nine, Beach Boy Brody ($2.20) in race 12, Crusoe Hanover ($4.60) in race 14 and A Bettor World ($3.40) in race 16.
Although Aaron Merriman was not the pilot, in the evening's fourth race Joyfulntriumphant crossed the finish line as the fastest 4-year-old-trotting-mare ever at Northfield Park when she won a $12,500 conditioned event in 1:54.2.
The former 1:54.4 record was held in a tie by Like Old Times (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) from 2016 and Rose Run Sydney (Ryan Stahl) in 2018.
Christopher Beaver of Radnor, Ohio leases and trains Joyfulntriumphant. Chris Lems was in the sulky for the winning drive.
Joyfulntriumphant (Triumphant Caviar-Happy Everything-Ken Warkentin) now has 13 lifetime wins and a bankroll of $89,159. She paid $12.80 to win. (Northfield Park)