LEBANON, OH. – The $100,000 “Pace Baby Pace” Invitational, honoring the memory of Pacey “The Wizard” Mindlin, is shaping up to be a race to remember, according to Miami Valley Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. “We’ve got a nice mix of Free For All pacers from the East Coast and the Midwest lined up to chase the most lucrative non-stakes race in the industry so far this season. There is no doubt this race will threaten our track record, given decent weather, and will be a fitting tribute to Pacey.”
The connections of nine prominent horses have accepted invitations and plan on competing. They are:
RUTHLESS HANOVER – The six-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere enters the race on a six race win streak dating back to September, 2022. Owned by John Cancelliere and trained by Tom Cancelliere, Ruthless Hanover has made two starts this year, winning both Harrah’s Philadelphia Opens in 1:48.3 and 1:49.2. George Napolitano Jr. is slated to drive.
LET IT RIDE N – The ten-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, bred in New Zealand, will be the local favorite. He had won five straight at the highest level at Miami Valley and earned $150,000 in 2023 before losing on an off track from the outermost post on Sunday. He is owned by William Hartt and the Enzed Racing Stable and is the current track record holder at Miami Valley by virtue of his 1:48.4 score on April 10. Trained by Mitch Hitchcock, he’ll be driven by Dan Noble.
LOU’S PEARLMAN – The 2021 Little Brown Jug champion has earned $927.307 for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Elizabeth Novak and Howard Taylor. The five-year-old son of Sweet Lou has made two 2023 starts, both in Open events at The Meadowlands, winning his most recent start last Saturday in 1:50. Trainer Ron Burke has tentatively listed either Chris Page or Ronnie Wrenn Jr. to drive.
LITTLE ROCKET MAN – A winner of four of his last five Opens at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, the seven-year-old son of Rockin Image has scored 42 lifetime victories, most in the field, for owners Russell and Jack Freeman. He has a record of 1:48.3 and has twice paced sub 1:50 miles in 2023. John DeLong is his regular reinsman and he is now trained by Ken Rucker.
THIS IS THE PLAN – The richest pacer in the field, with earnings of $3,013,197, the eight-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere won the penultimate leg of the recent Borgata FFA Series at Yonkers, then cut the mile in the $511,000 final only to finish fourth. Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi share ownership with J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Lawrence Karr. Page or Wrenn Jr. will likely be in the sulky.
HEMSWORTH N – Another winner of a leg of the Borgata, the six-year-old by Sweet Lou went off as the favorite and won the $100,000 Borgata consolation final in 1:51.1. A 17 time winner, Jared Bako trains for the 1362313 Ontario LTD Stable. Matt Kakaley, who has won with Hemsworth the last two times he sat behind him, is listed to drive.
IDEALSOMEMAGIC A – A nine-year-old by American Ideal, this horse was top point getter following the five preliminary legs of the Borgata, but spent much of the time parked out during the lucrative final, finishing sixth. Native Ohioan Cory Stratton conditions the winner of $147,875 already this season. He is owned by the VIP Internet Stable LLC and the Bukers Stable.
BERNIE – This seven-year-old by Big Jim has won over $500,000 with 39 victories. He sports seven straight first or second place finishes in the Opens at Northfield Park. He clocked a 1:49.3 triumph on March 26 over the half mile track. He is trained and co-owned by Jessica Millner in partnership with the Pod Stable LLC. Ryan Stahl is Bernie’s regular pilot
CHASE H. HANOVER – A winner of $726,937, this five-year-old son of Captaintreacherous has a record of 1:49.2. After three winning qualifiers he had his first seasonal start at Miami Valley last Sunday and finished just a neck behind the winner in 1:52 over a rain-soaked racing strip. Virgil Morgan Jr. trains for the Bottom Line Racing Stable and Carl Howard. Tony Hall is listed to drive.
The “Pace Baby Pace” Invitational will take place on Saturday (May 6), which is closing day of the 2023 meet at Miami Valley. In deference to the Kentucky Derby, post time will be noon.

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