Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gene Riegle Memorial Pace and the Arnie Almahurst Trot: Tomorrow at the Fairgrounds

Greenville, OH --- The 2017 Darke County Fair is once again set to host the Gene Riegle Memorial Pace as well as the Arnie Almahurst Trot on Friday (Aug. 25).

The fair, conveniently located in Greenville, Ohio, has held the Riegle Pace for five years now. The pace track record was lowered to 1:52 in 2016 by Atta Boy Dan in the Gene Riegle Pace. Allgrooveallthetime stamped his mark last year at the fair by trotting in 1:55.2, establishing a new track record. Race manager Tim Harless has once again assembled top notch fields, in hopes of establishing new trotting and pacing standards.

The sixth annual Gene Riegle Memorial Pace will see eight pacers head to the gate for a purse of $42,000. The likely post time favorite will be Dancin Yankee, with Ryan Stahl programmed to drive. According to trainer Josh Green “He seems to be good right now, and handles a half really well.”
Dancin Yankee is coming off a 1:50.3 win at the Northfield Park half-mile oval. Dancin Yankee also sports the fastest lifetime mark of the group with a 1:47.2 time set at Pocono, as well as earning more than $1.6 million in his career.

The Riegle Pace is going to be a special one for trainer Josh Green because both his father and grandfather worked for the late Gene Riegle at one time. Green has high hopes for his pupil stating “It would be really special to win a race like this. My dad and I picked this horse out as a yearling and have a lot of great memories racing at the Greenville Fair.”

Not to be overshadowed by the likely favorite, there are seven other pacers ready to battle it out. Leaving from the rail will be a battle tested Sports Sinner, who hails from the powerful Dan Noble stable and has banked more than $50,000 this year.

Whataboy and My Hero Ron will both be starting from the second tier. Trainer Brian Brown is sending Whataboy to the Darke County Fair off a win against the Open pacers at Scioto Downs. Whataboy also is no stranger to a half-mile track, having won the Ohio Sire Stakes championship last year as a 3-year-old at Northfield Park.

My Hero Ron finished third in both an elimination and the final of the 2015 Little Brown Jug. My Hero Ron paced faster than 1:50 in each heat of the Jug, and figures to be a major player.

Lucky Lime, the inaugural winner of the Gene Riegle Pace, is trying to become the only repeat winner of the race.

The undercard will include the Arnie Almahurst Trot, which carries a purse of $22,000. Allgrooveallthetime drew the coveted rail position in hopes of winning the race for a second year in a row.

The field will also consist of open trotters Lets Go Bucks and I Know My Chip. Kestrel and Churita are the only mares in the field, but that shouldn’t stop them from holding their own. Both mares have competed in open events this year and have taken marks faster than 1:54 this year.

With a first race post time of 5:30 p.m., Friday night at the Great Darke County Fair figures to be an exciting one. There are 12 races on the card including multiple divisions of the Parshall Futurity and the always popular Annie Oakley Shootout. Local favorite Mandy Jones holds the points lead in the Ohio Ladies Pace, and looks to win at her hometown fair with Rock Me Please.

Be sure to get to the fair early as 1,000 commemorative Gene Riegle Memorial Pace glasses will be given away. The glasses will be given away to the first 1,000 people who buy a program.

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