from Hollywood Dayton Raceway
Dayton, OH — Pass The Vape, a 3-year-old gelded son of Dejarmbro, was the youngest horse in the Friday (Oct. 5) night $18,500 Open Handicap Trot at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. He was also the least experienced in the field making just his 20th lifetime start, and first in Open company. He was also the best on this night, pulling a mild upset in 1:54.1 — establishing a new track record for sophomore gelding trotters by more than a full second.
Driver-trainer Derek Watiker used the rail post position to full advantage, grabbing a snug two-hole behind Penn (Josh Sutton) through opening fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25 before sliding out from the pylons at the head of the stretch and winning an exciting duel to the wire.
Pine Dream (Chris Page) and Optimist Blue Chip (Jeremy Smith) also angled out as the field passed the three-quarter mark and made the outcome very interesting before settling for place and show laurels. Penn faded to fourth in the lane while favored Moonshiner Hanover (Aaron Merriman) also tired following a grueling first-over grind the entire final lap.
Pass The Vape has had an outstanding 2018 season after earning just $6,169 in four starts at age two. He won the inaugural trotting division of the James K. Hackett Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway in April and followed it up by winning the first leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes series in early May at that venue.
He has now won seven times and added six runner-up finishes in 16 seasonal starts, banking $218,510 for owner Lionel Watiker of Zanesville, Ohio. His most lucrative effort was a second place finish in the $275,000 OSS championship at Scioto Downs on Sept. 8. With his latest triumph, Pass The Vape has now finished either first or second in 10 consecutive trips to the post.
Racing resumes at Hollywood Dayton on Saturday night with a 6:15 p.m. post time.