Limelight Beach on Saturday will race in Ohio for the first time since winning last year's Little Brown Jug. Not counting, of course, all the times co-owner Charles Wingfield has enjoyed replays of Limelight Beach racing in the Jug from his Kenton, Ohio, home.
"I'd hate to say how many times I've watched it,” said a laughing Wingfield, who is joined by brothers Robert, Thomas and William as part of Limelight Beach's ownership group. "It would be a bunch. That (win) is our biggest thrill in racing.”
Limelight Beach is among the 10 horses in Saturday's $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial for older male pacers at Scioto Downs. State Treasurer, who last weekend won the Canadian Pacing Derby for his fourth victory in a row, is the 7-5 morning line favorite. Limelight Beach finished third in the CPD.
Saturday's "Super Night” card
at Scioto Downs also includes the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older trotters, where Wind Of The North is the 2-1 morning line choice, and eight $225,000 Ohio Sire Stakes championships. In addition, there will be a fundraiser
for driver Brad Hanners, who was diagnosed recently with kidney cancer.
Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Noble Memorial is race No. 3 and the Ewart Memorial is No. 14.
Limelight Beach, trained by Ron Burke, has one win in 15 races this year but has earned $186,986 as the result of picking up a check in 13 starts. He finished second to stablemate All Bets Off in the Prix d'Ete two weeks prior to his third-place finish in the Canadian Pacing Derby. His earnings from the CPD pushed his career purses to $1.01 million.
"Last week he was really good; he finished ahead of some awful nice horses,” Wingfield said. "He's only won one time, but he's doing alright. With the caliber of horses he's racing against and the purses, you don't have to win them all. He's respectable, I think. It's just nice to have a horse like him to follow around.”
Limelight Beach is owned by Wingfield Brothers, Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and M1 Stable. CharlesWingfield was among the horse's original owners, with his brothers being added to the ownership prior to the beginning of Limelight Beach's 3-year-old campaign.The remainder of the current group came on board in July 2014. The gelding began his career with trainer Brian Brown, winning divisions of the Bluegrass, International Stallion, and Arden Downs stakes at age 2.
Last year Limelight Beach's wins included the Jug and divisions of the Bluegrass and Circle City. He won an elimination for the Breeders Crown, defeating McWicked by a half-length, but was scratched sick from the final.
Wingfield is looking forward to seeing Limelight Beach in Ohio again, even though he faces a tough task in the Ewart. In addition to State Treasurer, the field includes All Bets Off, Graduate Series champion Doo Wop Hanover, and Levy Series winner Domethatagain.
"It's a horse race,” Wingfield said. "I was hoping State Treasurer wouldn't be there. He is really on a roll. But there are a lot of them in there that are just tough to beat. Who knows? You just hope for the best.
"A lot of the family is going to make it,” he added. "They don't get to see him race (in person) very often. Everyone is excited.”
Following is the field in post order for the Ewart Memorial with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds:
1. State Treasurer, David Miller, Ian Moore, 7-5
2. Mykindachip, Jason Brewer, Jim Dailey, 15-1
3. Limelight Beach, Chris Page, Ron Burke, 10-1
4. Let's Drink On It, Aaron Merriman, Joe Seekman, 12-1
5. Doo Wop Hanover, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Steve Elliott, 7-2
6. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 4-1
7. Domethatagain, Dan Noble, Rene Allard, 12-1
8. Kanaris, Josh Sutton, Joe Seekman, 20-1
9. Bigtown Hero, Dave Palone, Rene Allard, 8-1
10. Somewhere In L A, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 10-1
Following is the field in post order for the Noble Memorial with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds:
1. Southwind Pepino, Hugh Beatty, Hugh Beatty, 6-1
2. Gural Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1
3. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver, 5-2
4. Kirty Dream, Josh Sutton, Jeff Hochstetler, 15-1
5. Wind Of The North, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 2-1
6. Rompaway Galaxy, Chris Page, Krista Harmon, 5-1
7. Major Athens, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock, 12-1
(Harness Racing Communications)