Snowball’s Romeo wins Dayton’s 5/8th dash
November 05, 2019
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Hollywood Dayton Raceway hosted the first odd-distance race in its six-year history on Tuesday afternoon, a five-eighths mile sprint dubbed the “Election Day Dash To The Polls.”
When the limestone dust settled, Snowball’s Romeo (Josh Sutton) emerged victorious with a 1:10.3 triumph over Respectable Dream (Chris Page) and Waterside Champ (Jeremy Smith). Sutton left with alacrity from the six hole behind the gate, but spent the first turn three wide before finally clearing over to the front just before a :27 opening panel.
“When this horse is just right, he can get out of there quicker than that,” said a smiling Sutton immediately following the race. “But he kept at it the whole lap and didn’t cave in, so it was a lot of fun.”
Snowball’s Romeo reached the half-mile mark in :55.2 and tacked on a :15.1 final eighth to secure the victory. It was just the third win from eight 2019 starts for the 6-year-old son of McArdle, raising his lifetime bounty to just under $200,000. Trainer Phil Belanger co-owns him with partner Jeffrey Koesters.
“I’m a big fan of odd-distance racing,” chimed in leading driver Brett Miller, who guided Electric Lad to a fourth-place finish in the dash. "It’s nice to change things up occasionally and require some different driving strategies. I’ve been in quite a few longer distance races with bigger than normal fields and I can tell you those races do present new challenges that drivers aren’t used to.”
Race secretary Gregg Keidel has written a 1-1/4 mile race for next Tuesday titled the “Horse For The Course Endurance Test.” The $10,000 special event is limited to horses that started for a purse of $8000 or less in their last start. The entry box for Hollywood Dayton’s Tuesday matinee will close Friday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. (Hollywood Dayton)