Nine of the finest Ohio-sired three-year-old colts and geldings earned starting spots in the $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship next week by finishing top three in one of a trio of very quick $12,500 elimination heats tonight at Miami Valley Raceway.
The Hackett Series, now in its 46th year, serves annually as the kickoff event to open the Buckeye state’s stakes season for sophomore pacers.
Major Nemesis (Tony Hall) sped to a 1:51.2 track record performance in the final elimination, besting fellow finalists Barley Up (Peter Wrenn) and McRaven (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.). It was the first start of the year for the winning son of Big Bad John, who had won twice in his freshman campaign earning $17,135.
Mike Medors trains Major Nemesis for Drs. Robert and Randall Hutchison.
Heracer (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), a son of Art Official, triumphed in 1:52.4 over White Jet (Chris Page) and Up On The Outside (Brady Galliers) in the second split.
Trainer Chris Beaver shares ownership of Heracer with partners Synerco Vent Inc., Jim Burnett and Tim Homan. He now sports three wins and just over $20,000 in earnings in his brief career.
Drunk On Your Love (Dan Noble) captured the first split, narrowly defeating Camwood (Peter Wrenn) and Indigo Art (Tony Hall) in 1:53.2. Owner Mark Ford of New York has entrusted the Foreclosure N gelding to trainer Jim Pollock Jr.’s care for the Ohio stakes season.
On the merits of three wins and $70,000 in 2016 earnings, Drunk On Your Love went postward as the even-money favorite despite just a pair of 2017 qualifiers prior to the Hackett.
A $22,000 Open Handicap Pace was also contested with Kiss Of Terror (Kyle Ater) producing a major upset in 1:50, a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old altered son of Western Terror. Owners Kirk Nichols and Seth Downing claimed Kiss Of Terror for $30,000 just over a month ago and have now won two open events in five starts.
It was the bay gelding’s 20th lifetime win, eighth this year, and increased his seasonal bounty to a whopping $81,925, all at Miami Valley.
Miami Valley will be racing on Easter Sunday with the 14 race matinee beginning at 2:05 p.m.