LEBANON, OH – When favorites won the first four races on Miami Valley’s Saturday (March 23) program in 1:51.2 or faster, it became apparent that a “big mile” was possible when the featured $22,500 Open I pacers went postward in the eighth. A packed grandstand of harness devotees was not disappointed as My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) sped to a 1:49.4 triumph, the quickest mile of the 10-week old 2019 season. Smith fired My Hero Ron from behind the gate, reluctant to allow Mykindachip (Dan Noble) to set the tempo. It took a :25.4 opening panel—fastest of the year—to seat Mykindachip, but proved worth the effort as My Hero Ron tripped all the remaining timing beams in :54.1, 1:21.3 and 1:49.4. GD Western Joe (Chris Page) closed from last in the early going to a fast-closing second in the end, followed by Granite (Brett Miller) in third.
Brian Witt owns My Hero Ron who now owns 28 victories from 132 starts. The 7-year-old Well Said gelding has now earned $892,218 in his career.
Two divisions of the first leg of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series late closer, for non-winners of six races or $60,000 lifetime, also were contested. The quickest division looked like a replay of the final of the George Williams Memorial, for non-winners of four races or $40,000, a week earlier. Gerardo (Kayne Kauffman) used the same front-end tactic to best Reagan’s Avenger (Chris Page) and Velocity Smoke (Dan Noble) in 1:51, two-fifths of a second faster than seven days earlier when the top three order of finish was exactly the same. Kauffman also trains the winner, a 4-year-old Rockin Image gelding owned by Mark Bogen.
Rockin Speed (Travis Seekman) captured the other Tharps division by beating Bluebird Recon (Trace Tetrick) and Somebeachsomeday (Trevor Smith) in 1:52.1. L & L Devisser LLC owns Rockin Speed, who is also a 4-year-old Rockin Image gelding.
A total of eight races were clocked in 1:51.2 or faster in the first 11 races. In addition to those mentioned above, others were Franzo (Brett Miller, 1:50.3), Class Six (Chris Page, 1:51.1), Harambe Deo (Dan Noble, 1:51.2), Cyclone Kiwi N (Sam Widger, 1:51.2), My Buddy Ninkster (Tyler Smith, 1:50.4) and Armabluechipboy N (Dan Noble, 1:51.1).
Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. matinee at Miami Valley will feature a $25,000 Open Handicap Trot as well as two $12,000 divisions of second round action in the George ‘Red’ Ownes Memorial Series for green pacing mares.

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