The first of nine "Lebanon Legends” series, honoring the memory of revered former successful Lebanon Raceway horsemen, kicked off at Miami Valley Raceway on Thursday night (March 12) with two divisions of the George Williams Memorial Series. Alwaysfoolnaround and E R Oliver captured their respective splits in impressive style.
Randy Tharps guided Alwaysfoolnaround to a 1:53.4 triumph over Alwaysagoodthing (Dan Noble) and Tassies Little Art (Chris Page) in the first $7,500 division. It was the first seasonal win in six tries for the Michael Goldberg-owned son of Always A Virgin, who recently was shipped to trainer Chris Short after a relatively unproductive stint at the Meadowlands. The winner returned $7.40 to win with the exacta returning $64.40.
Tyler Smith swung ER Oliver four-wide at the head of the stretch and swept past the pacesetters to win in 1:53.1, a new lifetime best, over No Excuses Please (Dan Noble) and Awinkandagrin (Jeremy Smith). Heavily favored Poison Oak, who cut all the early fractions, faded to fourth. It was the second win of 2015 in five tries for ER Oliver, who is owned and trained by Don Eash. As the second choice of the betting public, the winner returned $11.00 and combined with the 65-1 runner-up to produce a $406.40 exacta.
The George Williams Memorial Series is for male pacers who are non-winners of four pari-mutuel races or $30,000 lifetime at time of nomination.
Other Lebanon ‘Legends' being honored with Memorial Series in the coming weeks are Red Owens, Omar Hiteman, Skeeter Brown, Herb Coven Jr., Ray Paver Sr., Tom Tharps and veterinarians Dr. Don Mossbarger and Dr. Dan Farwick. (Miami Valley)