LEBANON, OH – Two exceptional fillies scored impressive victories in a pair of $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitationals for Ohio-sired three-year-olds at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (April 26). Queen Of The Pride copped the distaff pacing division in 1:51.2 to run her young career scorecard to 7-4-3 in 17 starts, with her earnings growing to $396,454 early in her sophomore season. Only Take Cash triumphed in the trotting split in 1:54.3, winning for the ninth time in just ten career starts with earnings of $297,140. Both fillies won their respective Ohio Sires Stakes championships as two-year-olds by capturing the $275,000 finals at Scioto Downs last September.
Tony Hall, who grew up just a few miles from Miami Valley and got his stellar career started at old Lebanon Raceway, was the sulky-sitter behind Queen Of The Pride. The daughter of McArdle pushed her main foe, Rylee Roo (Aaron Merriman) to a :26.3 opening panel before relenting for a pocket ride the next half mile. After tracking Rylee Roo, who had upset Queen Of The Pride in last week’s $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial final by benefitting from a two-hole trip, Hall flipped the script by angling to the outside as the three-quarter station was approached in 1:23.2 and coasted to victory through the stretch. Avaline Hanover (Chris Page) rallied late to close within a length of the winner at the finish, while Rylee Roo hung on for third.
Frank Chick of Harrington, Delaware, owns Queen Of The Pride and entrusts the training duties to Kevin Lare.
Only Take Cash (Merriman) was floated from the gate while a trio of challengers battled for early supremacy in the tandem $50,000 trot. As soon as those fillies sorted things out and lined up along the pylons at the :28.1 first quarter pole, Only Take Cash rushed to command and soon the outcome was in little doubt. The daughter of Cash Hall, trained by Bob McIntosh, coasted through middle fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.4 before tacking on a :28.4 final split to win by open lengths.
Bella’s Rose Power (Kayne Kauffman) who trailed in the nine-horse field coming out of the second turn, staged an impressive rally to nose out Well I’m Fancy (Page) for the place laurels.
McIntosh bred Only Take Cash and co-owns her with partners Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables of Ontario, Canada.
Both fillies and a host of others are expected back at Miami Valley next Friday night (May 3) when the 2019 Ohio Sires Stakes program kicks off with first leg action.

Up Front Flor Ida (Kauffman) pulled a mild upset in the $22,000 Mares Open Pace on the same program. The four-year-old Woodstock lass topped a distinguished field that included a former Breeders Crown winner (Blazin Britches) and a $1 million earner (Safe From Terror). Dispatched at 8-1 odds, Up Front Flor Ida paid $19.80 to win. Big Bad Jane (Dan Noble) cut all the fractions before faltering slightly in the final steps of the 1:51.1 mile. Safe From Terror (Merriman) grabbed the show dough with favored Rosemary Rose (Page) and Golden Paradise (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) earning the minor paychecks in the feature field.
Tim McKoy trains the winner for Kevin McKinney and Virginia McKoy.

The Saturday (April 27) card at Miami Valley will feature another pair of $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitationals for the best Buckeye-bred sophomore pacing and trotting colts. Total purses for the stellar 14-race program total $278,000. Post time is 6:05 p.m.

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