LEBANON, OH. – Buckeye Thea, one of the most consistently outstanding pacing mares in the state of Ohio during the past two harness racing seasons, was triumphant again Friday night (January 22) in the $20,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at.
It was the six-year-oldmare's first 2016 victory, but her 11th in the last twelve months and 23rd in a career comprised of 102 starts.
Owned throughout her life by owner-breeder Rich Paltani, she is trained byand was driven by to the 1:53.3 score.
Getting away fourth from the trailing post position in the full field of ten, Buckeye Thea took up second-over position just before the half before swinging three wide midway around the final bend and pulling away in the final strides. Art I Sweet (Ken Holliday), fresh off a victory in a $20,000 late-closing claiming event, stepped up to test the best distaffers in southwest Ohio and rallied well for a second place finish. Addys Way (Dan Noble) used the advantageous rail post draw to garner the show dough in the feature race.
Second round Claim To Fame Series action was also contested in five divisions by $8000 claiming male pacers; while a pair of $20,000 claiming mares divisions also went postward. Winners in the $8000 series were Art's Delight (Josh Sutton, 1:53.1), Allstar Seelster (Dan Noble, 1:53.4), Concert Ticket (John De Long, 1:54), Csardas (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.2) and Fox Valley Mahalo (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54.4). The nine top money earners in the two preliminary legs will chase a $23,000 purse in the championship leg next Friday (January 29).
Seascape Hanover (Josh Sutton, 1:55.2) and My Hare Lady (Jason Brewer, 1:54.4) copped the $20,000 distaff splits. When their $26,500 final goes the same night they will be joined by Art I Sweet, Gran Gabriel, Pipecreek Star, A Little Starstruck, Dream Ball, Medoland Lindeylou and either Somenicebeach or Top Brand, who will draw randomly for the final spot in the nine-horse field.