My Last Chance stands tall in Ohio Breeders
August 26, 2012
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My Last Chance was the smallest horse in the field of nine starters in the $20,000 Ohio Breeders Stakes Saturday at Scioto Downs, but he was standing tall in the winner's circle after the race.
The 2-year-old gelding upset heavily-favored Feelin Lika Winner to notch his fourth victory in eight starts this season. Trainer-driver Chip Noble did his mother Carol Noble, the breeder and owner of My Last Chance, proud by driving her pony-sized pacer to victory in 1:56.1.
Feelin LIka Winner was sent off as the 2-5 favorite from post one position and he rocketed away from the gate for driver Kayne Kauffman. My Last Chance, starting from post five, tested the favorite into the first turn, but Noble could see that his pacer wasn't going to get to the front.
"I didn't think Kayne would let me go,” said Noble afterwards. Noble was cleverly able to slip his small pacer into the pocket behind the pacesetter.
Kauffman then slowed the tempo with Feelin Lika Winner and dared anyone to challenge him. No one did. So for much of the race it looked as if the favorite was home free until the stretch when Noble shot My Last Chance into the passing lane and collared Feelin Lika Winner in deep stretch. His margain was three-quarters of a length
Noble also won the $18,000 Ohio Breeders Stake with Count Me In, the top freshman trotter in Ohio last season. He scored in 1:57 over a fast-closing Who Took Sam while It's Jesse Time took third.
Noble said, "He's come back good this year, but the others have improved.”
It was the third win in the last four starts for Count Me In, who is trained by trotting master Marty Wollam for Patricia Wollam and the Acadian Farms.
Noble Trick shot up the inside to win the $16,000 Ohio Breeders Stakes for sophomore pacers in 1:53 for driver Aaron Merriman. Trainer Ron Steck owns the colt in partnership with Darlene and Julie Hawkins and Mike Claussen.
Dan Noble sent Gun Shot to the front early and then stole a soft second quarter in :29.3. That promoted a move from third from the favored Jetsteam Friskie as Kayne Kauffman sent him up to challenge Gun Show. Meanwhile, Merriman had Noble Trick snugly on the back of Gun Show.
"I've raced against Danny Noble enough to know that I'll follow him anywhere,” said Merriman. "I knew we'd be in a good position in the stretch.”
Once they turned for home, the Merriman asked Noble Trick for pace and the colt responded by pacing past the leaders on the inside to win in 1:53.
It was his fifth victory of the season and his third in a row.
Action SJ swept wide around the final turn to win the $15,000 Open Trot in 1:55.3 for driver Chris Page, owner Kenneth Sommer, and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. Lima Legend set the fractions, but he was no match for Action SJ in the homestretch as Brother Gus trotted past Lima Legend to get second.
Cmon Blaze prevailed in a blanket finish to win the $15,000 Open Pace in 1:52 for trainer-driver Ray Paver. He surged past the leader in the stretch and then held off the late rush of Carol;s Comet to win by a neck. Jerry Sommers and John Rhoads own Cmon Blaze, a consistent performer at the highest levels at Scioto this summer. (Scioto Downs)