LEBANON, OH. – Trainer Ron Burke should feel extremely confident about his talented troupe of Ohio-sired sophomore pacers as the first leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes season is set to kickoff at Miami Valley Raceway next week. After sweeping the top three positions in the $50,000 James K. Hackett Memorial for fillies on Tuesday (April 26), the colts from the Burke Brigade matched the feat on Thursday (April 28) in their championship tilt. The Hackett has been recognized as a preview and springboard into Ohio Sires Stakes action for decades
Elimination winner Barry’s Berries (Tony Hall) was gunned out of the gate to secure the early lead in :27. He yielded to favored stablemate Seaside Way (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) before the :54.1 half. The pair remained that way through the 1:22.1 three quarters and into the stretch. At that point Barry’s Berries moved out to mount a successful challenge, collaring Seaside Way in the final strides. A third Burke pupil, Terminator (Chris Page) ralled to finish third and complete the trifecta sweep. The winner paid $5.60, the exacta was worth $12, and the correct 50-cent trifecta returned $9.
In addition to being trained by Burke, the trio of top colts are all sons of the dominant Ohio sire Downbytheseaside.
A pair of Open Paces were also contested on Thursday at Miami Valley. The $30,000 Open I was captured by He’zzz A Wise Sky (Dan Noble) in 1:51. As a lukewarm favorite, the 5-year-old son of Yankee Skyscraper used gate to wire tactics to top GD Western Joe (Page) and Gold Digger King (Tyler Smith). The Triple Zzz Stable owns the 29 time winner who is approaching $400,000 in earnings.
Noble also guided the Open II winner, YS Mathis to a frontstepping score in 1:49.4. Billy Badger N (Brett Miller) tried in vain to catch the odds-on favorite, but had to settle for second. Rock Steady Ron (Smith) secured the show finish from a second tier start.
This triumph was the 5-year-old winning son of Sportswriter’s second sub-1:50 victory over Miami Valley’s five-eighths mile oval this year. Christi Noble trains YS Mathis for owner Yves Sarrazin of Quebec, Canada.
Miami Valley will be dark until Sunday (May 1) when live cards will be presented seven straight days through May 7 to complete the 87-day 2022 meet.

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