Kestrel sets season standard at Miami Valley
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The initial race in the new Miami Valley Lucky Buckeye series for older Ohio-sired horses produced not only a track record, but a national season’s record for trotting mares on a five-eighths mile oval.
Kestrel (Josh Sutton), a 4-year-old daughter of Triumhant Caviar, went gate to wire in 1:52.1 to better the local standard set by Hannelore Hanover in the 2016 Miami Valley Distaff Grand Circuit stake and post the quickest mile in North American for her age and gait in 2017. It was the 11th win in 20 lifetime starts for Kestrel, who banked $350,400 in her first two juvenile stakes seasons. Sandy’s Victory (Aaron Merriman) and Honey B (Kyle Ater), both trained by Ohio Hall-of Famer Dan Ater, finished second and third in the $25,000 clash.
Trainer Chris Beaver co-owns the winner with Wilbur Lang. Following two strong qualifiers Kestrel’s Lucky Buckeye three-length victory was her maiden voyage for money this year. Both Kestrel and Hannelore Hanover are eligible to the $100,000 (est.) 2017 Miami Valley Distaff slated for May 8, closing day of the meet.
Mr Wiggle Pants (Kayne Kauffman), another first time seasonal starter, captured the Lucky Buckeye division for older pacing horses with an impressive 1:51.2 2017 debut. The son of Mr Wiggles left hard from an outside post, then yielded to favored Whataboy (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) in the lane the first time around. After pocket-sitting until just before three-quarters of the way through, Mr Wiggle Pants angled out from behind the pacesetter just before he called it a night, then held off fast-closing Man He Can Skoot (Chris Page) by three parts of a length. Stand Out At Dawn (Kyle Ater) was next best in the $25,000 contest.Tra
iner Jim Mulinix co-owns the winner with Denny Miller, William Rufenacht and the DM Stable. He has now banked $314,885 in just 24 trips to post.
A third $25,000 Lucky Buckeye race, for older Buckeye-bred male trotters, saw Another Breath (Jason Brewer) run his win streak to three with a 1:55.1 score over The Next Triumph (Tony Hall) and I Know My Chip (Kayne Kauffman). Fresh off a victory in the final of the Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial late-closing series, the son of Lou’s Legacy got away third, but moved to the front after passing the quarter mile marker and cruised to a length and a half tally with relative ease. Richard Mishkin owns Another Breath and entrusts the training to Jeff Johnson Jr.
The annual Craig Colston Memorial, honoring the memory of the deceased popular area horse owner and occasional TV commentator at old Lebanon Raceway, brought together a field of eight for a $22,000 Open Pace. Control Tower (Dan Noble) lowered his life speed badge to 1:50.2 with an impressive score over My Buddy Ninkster (Josh Sutton) and Angelo J Fra (Chris Page), who were both lapped on to the winner at the end of the quick mile. The mild upset ($13.00 to win) was pulled off by posting front end fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22.3 before closing with a :27.4 final panel.
Steve Sexton, a long standing patron of the Noble training stable at the Xenia fairgrounds, owns the son of Panspacificflight