With the temperature hovering around five degrees on Opening Night at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday (Jan. 5), Safe From Terror stayed as hot as ever, capturing the $23,000 Mares Open Pace in 1:53.3. The victory was Safe From Terror's 23rd in the past year and sixth out of her last seven starts. The 6-year-old daughter of Western Terror is now right at the $900,000 career earnings plateau for Winchester Baye Acres LLC.
Driver Chris Page was determined to put Safe From Terror on the front end, but was forced to race three-wide around half of the first turn and didn’t clear eventual runner-up Juslikeaqueen (Jeremy Smith) until the pair had passed the quarter-mile beam in :27.3.
Following a 29-second quarter breather, Firstup (Trace Tetrick) provided the initial first-up pressure at the 1:25 three-quarters station, but Safe From Terror rebuffed the challenge and had enough left in the tank to hold Juslikeaqueen off in the stretch. Jerseylicious (Tyler Smith) benefitted from a second-over journey to grab the show dough.
Mike Conklin conditions Safe From Terror when she is racing in her home state of Ohio.
Racing resumes Saturday night (January 6) at Miami Valley with a powerful 14-race program starting at 6:05 p.m. A total of $194,500 in purse money will be on the line, including $24,000 for the 12th race Open Pace.
The North America Drivers Championship will highlight three consecutive matinee programs on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 7-9). Drivers from throughout the United States and Canada will convene to determine the champion.
The Canadians in the field hail from Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Americans are descending on Ohio from Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Indiana, in addition to most of the Buckeye State’s best pilots. All three matinees begin at 2:05 p.m. (Miami Valley)