Lucky Lime completed the climb to the top of the ladder at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night by winning the $25,000 Open I Pace in 1:51.1. It was the 9-year-old altered son of Rocknroll Hanover’s third straight victory, following wins in a top conditioned pace two weeks ago and a triumph in the Open II last Saturday.
Driver Kyle Ater, despite being sent postward as the betting favorite, raced midpack along the pylons in the early going, then watched as foe after foe left the cones allowing him to move up closer and closer to pacesetter Night Pro. When the field fanned five wide for a thrilling stretch drive, Lucky Lime found just enough room to zoom up the inside just in time to keep his win streak alive.
Heza Thrill N (Trace Tetrick) and Southwind Amazon (Tyler Smith) were flying in the middle of the track but had to settle for place and show finishes.
The victory was the 41st in Lucky Lime’s career and ballooned his lifetime earnings to $471,353. He is owned by Kirk Nichols and conditioned by Dan Ater.
The Open II earlier in the program was captured by Savage Seelster (Jason Brewer) in a 1:51.3 coast-to-coast front-end effort. The 8-year-old Camluck gelding topped Fancy Creek Elusiv (Tony Hall) and Dalhousie Dave (Shawn Barker II) for his fourth win already in 2018, although it was his first in Open company.
Robert Bellamy and Chris Bulak own Savage Seelster, who is trained by Jeff Brewer—meaning both Opens were won by father-son trainer-driver tandems.
A pair of opening leg divisions were also contested in the George Williams Memorial late closing series for non-winners of four pari-mutuel races or $40,000. Mindtrip (Peter Wrenn) was an impressive 1:52 winner in the initial split, beating Real Gorgeous (Tim Deaton) and Stubble Trouble (Chris Page).
Melanie Wrenn trains the 5-year-old son of American Ideal for owner Dana Parham.
The second $12,000 split also went to the favorite, Parklane Official, who paced a 1:53.2 mile for driver Trace Tetrick, trainer Nelson Willis and owner Shirley LeVin. A lightly-raced 3-year-old sired by Art Official, the winner now owns five wins in just a dozen lifetime starts. (Miami Valley)