Favorites prevailed in both $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes contested at Scioto Downs on a beautiful Friday evening as 17 sophomore colt trotters battled in fourth leg action.
Two O B Wonkenobi, the 3-5 choice with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. at the helm, chose the front-stepping route to notch his first OSS triumph of the season for Indiana owners Shara Weaver and Madeline (Mickey) Roche. The win, timed in 1:54.4, upped the Dejarmbro gelding’s career earnings to $120,065 as he finished a half-length in front of 3-1 Uncle Buck (Aaron Merriman) and 13-1 longshot MVP Luke (Danny Noble).
Interestingly, the accomplishments thus far of Two O B Wonkenobi have been a bit of a shock to his owners as he also has two seconds and one sixth place finish in the previous three OSS legs.
"We bought his dam in foal to Dejarmbro privately for $17,000," Roche offered. "Initially, we were going to sell the foal but then we decided to keep and race him. This is literally our first broodmare and our first racehorse we’ve owned together."
Co-owner Weaver -- who was in Paris on vacation -- listened to the race via Roche’s cell phone.
"We both are so blessed and lucky and grateful for this horse, and no matter what happens with him in the future, we’re having a blast with him right now," Roche stressed.
Bred by Pond-A-Acres, Two O B Wonkenobie -- whose "O B" moniker stands for "old broads" -- was slow to figure things out as a 2-year-old, Roche said.
"He was distracted all the time until we gelded him, and then he became more focused and kind of figured things out," Roche noted about the imposing hefty-sized gelding. "He’s such a big, rangy horse and I think he just needed a little more maturity."
Trained by Indiana-based conditioner Ernie Gaskin, Two O B Wonkenobi has nine wins, six seconds and two thirds in 20 career starts for his owners, who also have a gelded Uncle Peter half-brother yearling named Two Cool Beans waiting in the wings.
Two O B Wonkenobi is the fifth foal out of the Garland Lobell mare Shannon Hill 3,1:54.1 ($108,787), and has half-siblings in Massive Drama (by Credit Winner) 4,1:57h ($204,802) and Maeap Verified (by Jailhouse Jesse) 3,1:56.4s ($21,149).
In the second OSS division 5-2 Pass The Vape didn’t disappoint his backers, trotting to a 1:55.1 triumph with trainer Derek Watiker at the lines for owner/breeder Lionel Ray Watiker. This bay Dejarmbro gelding overtook the leading 4-5 Northemdo Mission (Aaron Merriman) to prevail by a head under the wire, with 36-1 longshot Dontforgetmaster (Josh Sutton) picking up third place money.
Pass The Vape also scored his first OSS victory of the season, having finished second in two previous legs and eighth in the other. The winner’s career earnings now stand at $133,404 with eight wins, four seconds and two thirds in 17 starts. He is the fifth of eight foals out of the Vaporize mare Vapor Rises 3,1:55.3 ($107,598), and is a half-brother to His Dream Girl (by SJ’s Caviar) 4,1:56f ($114,551) and to Deweyknowigotit (by Deweycheatumnhowe) 3,1:57.2f ($17,515).
The following nine horses have qualified for the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes final, set for Sept. 8 at Scioto Downs. They are, with points included: Northmedo Mission (129 points); Uncle Buck (116); Two O B Woneknobi (104); Pass The Vape (104); Mission Accepted (103); Get The Cash (78); MVP Luke (74); Rising MVP (66); and Sultan Of Cash (64). (OSDF)