Hollywood Dayton Raceway successfully kicked off its fifth season of live racing with a 14-race Monday (Sept. 10) matinee, highlighted by driver Jeremy Smith’s 2,000th career victory as well as strong support from simulcast partners throughout the industry.
"I’m very pleased with the results of our Opening Day," said Vice President of Racing Mark Loewe. "Despite inclement weather all weekend leading up to our first card, the track surface was in excellent shape. Our export simulcast handle was up substantially over last year, an indication that the betting public appreciates the consistent full fields of competitive races we are able to present with the help of our southwest Ohio horsemen’s colony."
On the track, driver Jeremy Smith was the star of the show. Needing three triumphs to reach the 2,000 career wins plateau, Smith scored five tallies on the program to take the early lead in the local dash derby.
The 38-year-old red and white clad reinsman captured the first race of the meet with Reagan’s Avenger, then followed up with trips to the winner's circle behind Fast Date, Sports Band, Monopoly Blue Chip and Little Woody.
"I really wanted to get off to a fast start at this meet," said Smith after his milestone score. Following his "one-for-the-thumb" fifth victory, he added, "Things couldn’t have worked out much better for me today. I sure would like to keep this early momentum going until the end of the year!"
Smith, who has resided in nearby Washington Court House his entire life, won his first race at the Troy, Ohio, county fair when he steered Crosswind Ms Vicki to a 2:06.4 score in August 2002. In February 2015 he notched his 1,000th win with Eternal Expectation at Miami Valley Raceway.
"I love the horses and what I do," Smith explained. "My only other hobby is restoring old muscle cars. I ‘flip’ some and I keep some to drive. Good looking cars and a lot of fast horses…that’s what keeps me motivated."
Hollywood Dayton will present four more programs this week before taking a short respite next week in deference to Little Brown Jug week in Delaware, Ohio. Tuesday (Sept. 11) races begin at 2:15 p.m., with evening programs on tap for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with a 6:15 p.m. post time. (Hollywood Dayton)