Southwind Pepino, a four-year-old son of Chocolatier, demolished his rivals in winning the $12,000 open trot at Scioto Downs on Friday in an impressive 1:55.2. He scored by four lengths for trainer-driver Sandy Beatty, who co-owns the horse with Robert Sharrits.
Not To Be Denied and driver J.D. Wengerd grabbed the early lead from post one and showed the way past the quarter in :28.1. Thatís when Beatty moved Southwind Pepino to the outside and into contention as Not To Be Denied held his edge at the half-mile marker in :57.3.
In the third quarter, Southwind Pepino turned on the afterburners and took control of the race, then gradually increased his lead. He was an easy winner while Lima Legend edged Brother Gus for second place. Not To Be Denied faded to finish fourth.
In the co-featured $12,000 open pace for females, Idol came from well off-the-pace for driver Kyle Ater to score in 1:53.2. The winner is trained by Jim Pollock for owner Stephan Richard of Massachusetts.
Tu Sei Bella set the early fractions, but was overtaken by Ocean Pearl with a quarter-mile remaining. Ater had Idol hot on her heels, though, and the six-year-old mare was in high gear as she rolled past Ocean Pearl in the stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Kenna Lynn was third.
Idol was the betting favourite but still paid $9.20 to win.
NOTE: Telephones in the Scioto Downs racing office, which were down for the week, are now back in service.