LEBANON, OH. – Despite spending the last month in quarantine, due to an equine herpes episode involving a different horse at his training center, Pick Me Upper returned to the track on Wednesday (Jan. 4) at Miami Valley and promptly upset a full field of some of the finest trotters in the Midwest. Driver Sam Widger popped the pocket at the head of the lane and wore down pacesetting Angel Nation (Tony Hall), the eventual runnerup, to grab the lion’s share of the $30,000 purse in the Open Trot. Tough Muscle (Chris Page) finished third in the talented field that had amassed $3.8 million in career earnings.
Widger left the gate with alacrity and fell into the pocket behind Angel Nation during the :28 opening quarter. The 6-year-old son of Trixton was content to continue the pocket ride through middle fractions of :57.1 and 1:25.4. Pick Me Upper’s own :28 final panel was just enough to collar Angel Nation in the final strides, stopping the clock in 1:54.
The winning 17-1 shot returned $37.80 to win, the $2 exacta returned $147, the 50-cent trifecta paid $126.80 and a good 10-cent superfecta was worth $657.24.
Walter Haynes Jr. conditions Pick Me Upper for owner Brian Carsey. He now sports 20 lifetime wins and his earnings have eclipsed the $250,000 plateau.
Racing resumes Thursday (Jan. 5) at 4 p.m. at Miami Valley Raceway. The track’s regular schedule calls for live cards on Sunday through Thursday.

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