DAYTON, OH. – Harness racing driverscored a driving triple to reach the coveted 3,000 career triumphs plateau on a rainy Friday night (November 27) at .
The 32-year-old Mt. Vernon, Ohio native had an interest in horses from a young age, largely due to an uncle's pleasure horse hobby.
Page's interest deepened when he met racehorse veterinarian Dr. Crum, which eventually lead to a part-time apprenticeship at his practice.
Next up was Chris's first lessons in harness racing through trainers he met at the Mt. Vernon fairgrounds.
It would have been hard to predict the success the blue-and-white clad driver was about to experience after his first season of racing at Ohio fairs in 2000. The then 17-year-old went 0 for 9 and earned $489 for the year. Determined to make the grade, Page persevered for five more years at the Ohio fairs, winning four or five heats each summer.
Then in 2006, at age 22, Chris made it known he was ready for the pari-mutuel wars and burst upon the scene with 85 wins, including some at Lebanon Raceway and Scioto Downs.
His career has skyrocketed ever since and seems destined to spiral upwards for the foreseeable future.
Page has won dash titles at both Scioto Downs and Colonial Downs in his relatively young career. He won three $200,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship races in 2014 and a pair of $225,000 finals this year. He also has a victory in a $300,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final on his resume. "I finished sixth, beat a dozen lengths, in my favorite race though," Page chuckles. "Like every Ohio-born boy I dreamed from the beginning of being in the Little Brown Jug," he explains, "and trainer Ben Davis gave me that opportunity with Rediscovery in 2014. We drew the 8-hole and didn't make the final, but it was definitely my biggest thrill. I sure hope I get another try someday."
Page's 3000th victory came behind Swan's Grace, a three-year-old trotting filly, who beat a field of older and more experienced conditioned horses in 1:56.4. The Jim Arledge Jr. trainee downed Chips (Tyler Smith) and Free Rollin (Ross Leonard) for her sixth lifetime win, upping her earnings to almost $100,000. She was a recent purchase by the Green Acquisition Corp.
A pair of Steve Carter-trained pacers gave Page his first two trips to the winner's circle on Friday. Wanna Win copped a $6500 distaff claimer in 1:55.3 over the sloppy track, turning back St Lads Maggie Mae (Randy Tharps) and Carmen O (Ross Leonard). Allthatjazz De Vie beat a good field of top condition-claimers in 1:55.4 with Ponda's Image (Dan Noble) and Burn Time Hanover (Randy Tharps) next to cross the finish line.
An $11,500 Fillies and Mares Open pace was the feature event on the program with American Girl (Tyler Smith) copping her second straight win in the top class at Dayton. Buckeye Thea (Josh Sutton) was a fast-closing second with Artistic Fusion (Kayne Kauffman) garnering the show dough. Darla Gaskin and Stanly Rosenblatt own the six-year-old daughter of Art's Chip who now has been the focal point of 28 win pictures and earned close to $600,000.