In what could only be described as a heavyweight fight, Lather Up out dueled and out lasted a feisty Bounding Dragon and drew away to an impressive 1:49.4, track record victory in a $59,400 division of the Director of Agriculture pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Eldorado Scioto Downs on Saturday night.
Bounding Dragon (Dan Noble) took the early lead while Lather Up (Montrell Teague) was three-deep in the turn around Slick Mick (Chris Page) trying to get to the front. After they got to the quarter in :26.4, Lather Up drew even with Bounding Dragon in front of the stands and tried to push ahead. However Noble had no intentions of letting the 1-9 post time favorite take the lead and Lather Up’s parked-out journey continued.
They got to the half in :53.3 and when they straightened out, Teague asked Lather Up for more and the colt responded; passing Bounding Dragon and hitting the pylons in 1:21. But just as soon as he settled, Noble pulled Bounding Dragon again and came right back after Lather Up in the final turn. Noble was highly animated in the bike, urging Bounding Dragon to rally, but the closest he got was to the leader’s tail. Teague sat chilly with the lines raised high as Lather Up finished the job in 1:49.4, winning by two lengths.
The time was a new track record for 3-year-old pacing colts at Scioto Downs breaking the old standard set by P-Forty-Seven in 2005.
This was North America Cup champion Lather Up’s first start back after making a break in the $500,000 Hempt Stake at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 30 and the time off looks to have paid off. After finishing second in a qualifier to Lazarus N in 1:48.3 with a blistering :25.3 final quarter at the Meadowlands last week, Lather Up looks to be back to the early season form that saw him undefeated to that point.
Going off the 1-9 favorite, Lather Up ($2.10) now has seven wins in eight starts this year and breaks the half-million mark with for earnings with $500,365 in the bank. The I’m Gorgeous colt out of Pocket Comb is owned by Gary and Barbara Iles and is trained by Clyde Francis.
The other $58,700 division of the Director of Agriculture pace went to Sectionline Bigry (Pet Rock-Aquatic Yankee) who benefited from a patient drive by Aaron Merriman. After overcoming being locked in fifth at the three-quarters, Sectionline Bigry found room to move in the last turn and rushed up the pylon lane which opened when Cinnamack (Chris Page) pulled the pocket on the leading Rockathon (Dan Noble) and motored through the opening to outpace the leaders by a half-length in 1:50.1.
It was the sixth win of the year for Sectionline Bigry ($10.20) who has now earned $111,640 for owners Harold Lee and Harold L. Bauder. Steve Baulder trains the gelding.
There were also two divisions of the Governor’s Cup Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the card Saturday.
Two O B Wonkenobi (Dejarmbro-Shannon Hall) was victorious in the fastest $57,700 division after he got away third and waited out an early front-end battle before pulling first over and taking the lead by the half. From there he ripped off a quick :27.3 third panel and opened up a gapped two-length lead at the wire where he was a wrapped-up winner in 1:53.2 for driver Sam Widger.
Two O B Wonkenobi ($12.20) now has five wins on the year which have helped him earn him $77,045 for owners Shara Weaver and Madeline Roche. The gelding is trained by Ernie Gaskin.
The other $57,000 division was won by Pass The Vape (Dejarmbro-Vapor Rises) and driver Derek Watiker who took the lead at the quarter and dictated fractions the rest of the mile, holding off a late charge by MVP Luke (Dan Noble) and Uncle Buck (Aaron Merriman) to win by a half-length in 1:55.3.
Pass The Vape ($6.40) now has five wins for the year and they have pushed his bankroll to $99,360 for owner Lionel Ray Watiker. The winner is trained by his driver, Derek Watiker. (USTA)