There was a short delay in the start of the races for the 128th Annual Madison County Fair at London on Saturday, July 8 but the trackmen and starter Mike Woebkenberg worked diligently to repair damage caused by one of Mother Nature’s outbursts. Due to heavy spurts of rain the day before the first turn needed to be raked and harrowed back to a safe racing surface and within an hour the crew had completed their task.
The result was an impressive mile in the very first race of 1:59.4h for L&L Devisser LLC and Tina Seekman’s Won For Gigi taking the $4,927 first division of the Ohio Fair Racing Conference stake for three-year-old pacing fillies.
The Joe Seekman-trained daughter of Santana Blue Chip was driven by Pierce Henry.
The fifth race second division was an equally-impressive mile when the Hugh Beatty-driven, Ron Steck-trained Hula Shuffle (also by Santana Blue Chip) toured the oval in 1:59.3h for her owners Bill Walters, Joe McLead and Ron Steck.
The 10-race card for two and three-year-old filly pacers and trotters produced an enjoyable day of racing and the feature event of the afternoon was The Ohio Ladies Pace Series. Sponsored by The Madison County Horsemen’s Association it was a “take no prisoners” effort in the race. After the dust had settled it was Thatillbsweet and Ulrika Fox. Sitting patiently in the pocket, Fox brought the 12-year-old mare to the finish line in 2:01.1h as the old gal won for only the second time in 18 attempts this season but it was the 55th win in 316 lifetime starts for the $190,000 plus winning daughter of Sweet Dragon. She is owned by Jennifer Main of South Lyon, Michigan.
On Sunday, July 9 it was the colts’ day to shine and the weather cooperated with a picture-perfect afternoon.
The $4,987 OFRC first race went in 2:10h to owner/trainer Mike High’s two-year-old trotting colt PM DIESEL RYTHM (My MVP) with Beau Brown eeendasulkee.
With a purse of $5,077 up for grabs in the second race, the two-year-old pacing colt I’m George Special with Jack Dailey up, took his third straight as he cut a new lifetime mark in 2:00.3h. The Joe Paver trained and Warren/Pavers’ owned gelded son of I’m Gorgeous came his last quarter in :29.1 and looked purty good doing it.
In the sixth race second division it was another Joe Paver trained/owned Carmensdsleyapple with Pierce Henry in the bike getting the call in 1:58.4h by 10.
The $4,829 seventh race, and the blanket winner for the fastest time for the three-year-old pacing colts, went to Winchester Bay Acres’ Big Bad John gelding Rockin Roger as the teletime whirled and chirped in 1:58.2h with Hunter Myers aboard the Mike Conklin trainee.
But the biggest mile was in the card’s finale in the William “Doc” McMillen Memorial for Ohio sired and owned older pacers. The race is held annually in honor of Harness Hall-of-Famer “Doc” McMillen (1890-1985) a fondly-remembered trainer/driver who developed numerous Champions including the first mare to better 2:05 on a half-miler, Worthy Song. He was a mentor to many local horsemen in his day.
And it was the Jim Dailey-conditioned Chance I Might who stepped up to the occasion. Tyler Smith steered the six-year-old son of Stand Forever-Nature’s Course to a track record-equaling time of 1:57.1h for owner Rebecca Dwyer of Jamestown to win by three in front of an appreciative crowd.
A hats-off salute to the Madison County Fair and the OFRC for a job well done.