Velocity Stifler is Miami Valley "King of the Hill"
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Velocity Stifler is the 2018 Sole Survivor of the Elite Survivor Series for $10,000 male claiming pacers at Miami Valley. Although the 5-year-old son of Arts Chip failed to win a heat in either of the two preliminary legs, he did manage close-up fourth and third place finishes to advance to the lucrative $25,000 championship. Trainer-driver Dan Noble, who snatched Velocity Stifler via the claim box for owner Dennis Owen in the initial preliminary round, left the gate alertly from the two-hole while allowing two fellow ‘leavers’ to settle on the front before rushing back to the top just past the :27.2 opening panel. Following a :29 second quarter breather, Noble sealed the deal by pacing subsequent :28 and :27.3 quarters to stop the teletimer in 1:52 with a comfortable win margin.
Creighton Hanover (Trace Tetrick) closed well to garner runnerup laurels as Star Guitar (Aaron Merriman) put in a game effort to get the show dough. Velocity Stifler paid $6.60 to his backers while earning his largest ever payday. He now has 15 career wins from 55 starts and his earnings grew to $114,135. The championship race exacta kicked back $49.00 and the 50-cent trifecta was worth $63.45.
Rockin Racer (Jared Finn) earned her first local feature win capturing the co-featured $20,000 Mares Open Pace in 1:52.4. The lukewarm favorite ($5.80 to win) topped Dustlanemissmolly (Dan Noble) and Colorful Sky (Aaron Merriman) in the compact field of five. Finn co-owns the winner with Hinshaw Homestead Farms of Iowa and entrusts the training to Heather Stell. It was just the tenth lifetime triumph for Rockin Racer, but she is now three-for-five in 2018 including Open class wins at both Hawthorne Racecourse and Miami Valley.
Racing resumes Saturday night (Feb. 24) with a 6:05 p.m. post time. A $22,000 Open Pace with seven talented combatants will highlight the program, featuring a dozen races competing for $173,500 in purses.