A pair of $15,000 eliminations in the James K. Hackett Memorial division for trotting colts, and a milestone accomplishment by driver Chris Page, were highlights of the Tuesday (April 10) matinee card at Miami Valley Raceway.
Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) was ultra-impressive in the first Hackett elim, crushing a field of 3-year-old Ohio-sired colts in 1:55.1. With just a pair of qualifiers under his girth, the son of Dejarmbro—with just four starts and $6,169 in earnings as a 2-year-old—turned a two-hole trip into a dominating 3-1/4 length romp over Sultan Of Cash (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and Banker Twentyfive (Trace Tetrick). Also qualifying for next Tuesday’s $40,000 championship were fourth-place finisher In My Dreams (Sandy Beatty) and fifth-place finisher Bealot (Cameron McCown).
Pass The Vape is a homebred owned by Lionel Watiker, whose son was in the sulky. Dispatched at 18-1 in a field that included two Ohio Sires Stakes 2-year-old finalists and a colt with Grand Circuit experience as a freshman, the winner paid $38.20. His initial 2018 performance will likely make him the favorite with a decent post draw in next Tuesday’s final.
Sand Cash, a recent acquisition by the Ron Burke Stable, won the second split in 1:56.4. Driver Chris Page rushed the son of Cash Hall to the front, briefly relinquished the lead to eventual runnerup Two O B Wonkenobi (Tyler Smith) between the quarter and half, then cruised to a 3-1/2 length score.
Show finisher Ride The Rails (Tetrick) and fourth-place finisher MVP Luke (Dan Noble) also advanced to the $40,000 championship tilt.
In addition to Burke Racing Stable, new partners on Sand Cash are Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Richard Lombardo and Josh Green.
Chris Page surpassed the $30 million earnings plateau when he won with Clarksville Boy in the day’s second race. The 34-year-old Mt. Vernon, Ohio, native went winless in his first nine lifetime starts in 2000, earning $489.
After five more years of limited success, primarily at county fairs, his career blossomed in 2006 at age 22 and has been consistently excellent every campaign since. Page has won over 150 races a year the past 12 seasons, including the last five years in which he has topped 400 victories.
He has totaled over 1,000 wins in 2016-17 alone and earned over $10 million with horses he has driven in the last two years.
This year looks like another stellar season for Page. He currently ranks third in the Miami Valley dash standings and has accumulated over 100 wins and over $1.1 million in purse earnings in the first 100 days of this calendar year. (Miami Valley)