Hot Rod Dylan wins Hiteman final for Willis, LeVin
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A $22,000 Open Trot, a $17,500 championship of the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series, a pair of $12,500 first-leg splits in the Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial Series, and a guaranteed $10,000 pool in the Buckeye High-5 wager made for an exciting Tuesday (April 4) matinee at Miami Valley Raceway.
Fashion Chocolate (Josh Sutton), making his first local start, triumphed over a classy field of Open trotters in 1:55.3, beating Pine Dream (Trace Tetrick) and I Know My Chip (Kayne Kauffman). Pine Dream sped away when the gate sprung and hit the quarter marker in :28.4 before Sutton quarter-moved back to the front with his 6-5 favorite.
Racing unchallenged through middle fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.4, Fashion Chocolate tacked a :28.4 final panel on to coast home a relatively easy winner.
Jeff Hochstetler trains the 5-year-old Chocolatier gelding for Philip Hochstetler. It was his 17th career tally and boosted his bankroll to $145,686 in just 37 lifetime starts.
The Open Trot was the designated Buckeye High-5 race, and the 10-cent wager returned $390.78 to 31 winners.
Hot Rod Dylan extended his 2017 win streak to seven capturing the Hiteman final for colts and geldings who hadn’t won two races or $15,000 lifetime on March 4. Driver Mike Oosting put the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding, who did not race at age 3, on the front end early and coasted through a mile in :27.2, :57.1, 1:25.3 and 1:54. Without an anxious moment, Hot Rod Dylan coasted through the finish line three-quarters of a length better than Heracer (Chris Page) with Sunny’s Bro (Greg Grismore) garnering the show dough.
Nelson Willis, 75, whose public stable is celebrating its 50th year, trains the winner for Shirley LeVin—who also has enjoyed a lengthy career in the sport, having owned over 300 horses, including over 150 she bred.
"I didn’t have him at 2," quipped Willis, "and when I trained him down at 3 his knees got sore so we quit with him. He has come back exceptionally sound and is proving to be quite a colt. I’m getting phone calls every week from folks wanting to buy him, but Mrs. LeVin loves her horses and likes to see them race."
Farwick Series winners were The Land Shark (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:55.3 and Lets Go Bucks (Peter Wrenn) in 1:57. The late-closer is limited to trotters who were non-winners of six pari-mutuel races or $60,000 lifetime on March 22. (Miami Valley)