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Red Storm sets Miami Valley mark in Hackett elims

April 09, 2018
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The Ohio stakes season kicked off Monday afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway when a pair of $15,000 elimination heats were contested by 3-year-old Buckeye-bred trotting fillies nominated to the James K. Hackett Memorial Series. The top four finishers in each heat plus the fastest fifth place finisher will reassemble next Monday afternoon for a $40,000 divisional championship race.
 
Red Storm (Aaron Merriman), a winner of $109,975 in her freshman season, opened her sophomore campaign will an impressive track record 1:56.2 score in the first elimination. Favored Impinktoo (Peter Wrenn), a half-sister to Hambletonian winner Pinkman and last year's Ohio Sires Stakes champion, closed well to finish second, while California Love (Trace Tetrick) advanced with a show finish. Kellie's MVP (Ray Paver Jr.) qualified for the final with a fourth place finish, as did Spunky Bottom Girl (Tyler Smith) on the merits of the quickest fifth place finish. Chris Beaver trains Red Storm, a chestnut daughter of Stormin Normand, for owner Sandra Burnett.
 
Heavily favored Non Smoker, a gray filly by My MVP, lived up to expectations with a handy 1:57.1 score for trainer-driver Dan Noble in the second split. Sesame (Merriman), Bang (Kayne Kauffman) and Bugs MVP (Tetrick) followed the winner through the wire to qualify for their lucrative final. Steve Sexton owns Non Smoker, who was making her seasonal debut after a conservative freshman campaign that included two county fair victories. (MIami Valley)
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