Manhattan Beach won the $18,500 Open Pace; Kayne Kauffman and Jeff Brewer were crowned leading driver and leading trainer; and starter Mike Woebkenberg was presented with an appreciation blanket for his yeoman efforts promoting harness racing--all as the curtain dropped on Hollywood Dayton Raceway's fourth meet on Saturday, its most successful to date.
Driver Trace Tetrick got Manhattan Beach on the muscle early and was determined to make the balance of the full field play catch-me-if-you-can. After posting a :27.1 first quarter despite single digit temperatures, Tetrick throttled the eventual winner to a :56 halfway point. Forced to speed up by the first-over attack of Starlite Kid (Trevor Smith), Manhattan Beach tripped the three-quarter beam in 1:23.4 and then scooted home a clear winner in 1:52.3. Heavy favorite Enoch (Chris Page) enjoyed a pocket ride throughout but could never really threaten, settling for runner-up honors. Starlite Kid held for third.
Manhattan Beach is a 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere owned by John McGill and Brian Carsey and trained by Walter Haynes Jr. It was the sixth seasonal win from 24 2017 starts and left the winner less than $1,000 shy of a $100,000 year.
Kayne Kauffman won his first Hollywood Dayton dash title, although he has previously won meets at nearby Miami Valley Raceway and the old Lebanon Raceway. The 39-year-old reinsman won 120 races during the 76-day meet, good for purse earnings of over $850,000. Career-wise Kauffman is nearing 3.000 wins and eclipsed the $17 million earnings plateau on closing night.
Jeff Brewer notched his second Hollywood Dayton training title by sending out 41 winners in 210 starts during the recently concluded meet. Brewer is closing in rapidly on the $10 million earnings achievement and has accumulated 1,921 lifetime training wins. This was his first million-dollar season with $1,119,366 deposited into his stable owners' coffers.
Starter Mike Woebkenberg was surprised with a handmade commemorative blanket to thank him for his tireless efforts to promote harness racing. Fans Ann and Ray Lufkin presented the blanket with the aid of special guest Roger Huston, Deb Noble and members of the local drivers colony.
Hollywood Dayton enjoyed competitive racing with full fields, excellent track conditions, several new track records and an impressive increase in average daily handle during 2017.
The management at Hollywood Dayton wants to thank all the owners, trainers, drivers and caretakers who participated in the racing program this season. We look forward to September 2018, when our fifth season of live racing gets underway.