Miami Valley Raceway’s Friday night co-features did not disappoint. Up Front Flor Ida (Kayne Kauffman) set a new track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies in the $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial final and Zoe Ellasen (Tyler Smith) established a new lifetime mark winning the $25,000 Mares Open Pace.
As the winner of one of the two Hackett eliminations a week ago, Up Front Flor Ida entered the championship tilt full of confidence. Rather than coming from way back like she did in the elimination, Kauffman sent her sailing from the outset with the big money on the line. Despite heavy pressure from Just Zip It (Keith Crawford) for the first five-eighths of the mile and then runner-up Kay Again (Chris Page) the rest of the way, the winner was able to rebuff all challenges enroute to a 1:52.4 score. It established a new track standard, lowering the previous 1:53 clockings by both Rose Run Skyler and Rosemary Rose in 2017.
Up Front Flor Ida has now notched four wins in her first 10 lifetime starts, banking $75,901 for owners Kevin McKinney and Virginia McKoy. With the triumph, trainer Tim McKoy’s standout filly earned an instant invitation to next Friday night’s $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational for sophomore fillies. Runner-up Kay Again and show finisher Big Bad Goldie (Mike Wilder) also earned automatic bids to the next big dance.
Zoe Ellasen, who competed in last September’s Jugette at the Delaware (Ohio) county fairgrounds where her trainer Ron Potter is stabled, won her first open class race in 1:52, a personal best. Although Zoe Ellasen has 14 career victories and $268,605 in earnings, it came largely in juvenile stakes competition. The 4-year-old daughter of Santanna Blue Chip has consistently been in-the-money since joining the older open ranks, but had not won until now.
Smith, realizing that front-end speed was holding up well on this evening, put Zoe Ellasen on the point from the get-go and showed her heels to the field at every pole, reaching them in :27, :54.2 and 1:22.3 before reaching the wire in 1:52.
Clyde Perfect owns the winner, who bested longshot Cas Art Apparel (Josh Sutton) and Juslikeaqueen (Jeremy Smith). Zoe Ellasen paid $8.00 to win. (Miami Valley)