A pair of the meet’s top trotters matched strides down the Miami Valley Raceway stretch again Sunday afternoon (April 3) with Il Mago (Trace Tetrick) turning the tables on Martz Time (John DeLong) in the $20,000 Open Handicap Trot.
These two seven-year-olds, along with Penn — who was absent this week — have dominated the Open trotting ranks for three months while producing some very entertaining finishing duels. In fact, horses have been lapped on each other at the wire in each of the last six weekly trot features.
In the latest clash, Martz Time was assigned the outside post position off two straight triumphs and was forced to work very hard to attain the lead just past the :27.1 first quarter. At that point, Il Mago turned him loose in order to secure the pocket ride through middle fractions of :56.4 and 1:24.4. With Revenue Agent (Josh Sutton), who finished third, lurking within striking distance, Il Mago angled out from the pocket with a little more than a sixteenth of a mile to go and eventually wore down Martz Time in the 1:54 mile.
The win was the fourth of the year for Il Mago, who was purchased at the January Meadowlands Select Sale by CC Racing LLC, and pushed his seasonal bounty to $43,636 — well above his purchase price less than three months ago. Tyler George has been training the son of Kadabra since his emergence on the Midwest trotting scene.
Business has been brisk at Miami Valley in its third season. Average nightly mutuel handle is up 34 percent over 2015 figures and 73 percent higher than the inaugural 2014 season. Purse payments have also soared with winnings to horse owners approximately $5 million in 2014, over $8 million in 2015, and expected to exceed $12 million when the 2016 meet ends on May 8.
(Miami Valley Raceway)