Elmo Blatch surprises in Dayton open
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For the third straight Thursday night, a new winner emerged in the weekly $17,000 Open Handicap Trot at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. This time it was 23-1 longshot Elmo Blatch (Cameron McCown) who topped Merci Monsieur AS (Kayne Kauffman) and I Know My Chip (Jeremy Smith) in 1:55.4.
It was a night when horses were aided by strong gusting winds down the backside, but were slowed by an equally strong headwind in the stretch.
Northmedo Mission (Dan Noble) cut the early fractions (:27.2, :56.4 and 1:25) before Pine Dream (Josh Sutton) and then Elmo Blatch moved up to challenge around the final bend.
It was the first time McCown had driven Elmo Blatch, who won nine races and $100,000 in 2018 but had been struggling to regain that form this season. The 6-year-old son of Andover Hall now sports a pair of seasonal scores and has banked another $26,045 in 2019. He is owned and trained by David Lough.
Earlier on the program Hollywood Dayton presented the third annual All Grey Halloween Handicap featuring eight gray or roan pacers who compete regularly at the local five-eighths mile oval. Roan Color (Josh Sutton) bested Payne For Pres (Trevor Smith) and Marc Mellow Man (Jeremy Smith) in a competitive race for a $10,000 purse.
Sutton was content to sit mid-pack in the early going before moving first up on the outside approaching the halfway point. From there, the 4-year-old roan son of Marced Card ground down his fellow gray foes before reaching the wire first in 1:53.4.
Trainer Ken Terpenning's Strike Point Racing LLC owns Marc Mellow Man. (Hollywood Dayton)