By Mike Paradise
Friday night’s $13,500 Open Trot brings out a solid half-dozen field of horses with one common denominator: They all have made at least one recent trip to the winner’s circle.
The second race posts were drawn by groups with Banker Volo assigned the outside six-slot and deservedly, so. The trotter has chalked up 18 victories over the past two seasons and has been particularly effective at Running Acres in Minnesota.
Earlier in the summer Banker Volo rattled off four straight wins at the Minnesota track, all in Opens. He then extended his winning streak to five with an easy front-end victory in Hawthorne’s July 30 Open Trot.
All together this season Banker Volo was 8-for-12 at Running Acres. In 2015 the trotter had a five race winning streak there. Banker Volo tried the top trotters at Hoosier Park a week ago and saw his streak come to an abrupt end with a last place finish in their $21,000 Invite.
The talented trotter shot out from the five slot and tried to sting the prohibitive 1 to 9 favorite in that race who had the seven-post and in doing so he also trotted a bruising 26.4 first quarter. Despite a two-hole trip, the winner I Know My Chip went on to an easy 1:53.4 victory while Banker Volo threw in the towel.
Banker Volo will open as the 2-1 first flash favorite tonight for trainer Angie Coleman and will likely seek and probably get command of this field.
The winner of 28 lifetime races could be pushed in the early going by Held In Balance (pp1, Tim Curtin), a 1:57 flat winner in late July; Bo I See Time (pp2, Chad Yoder) with back-to-back triumphs racing up-close; Pridecrest (pp3, John D Finn) who has left in his most recent starts and was second best to Banker Volo when they met; Big Expense (pp4, Kyle Husted), a 1:57.3 Open III victor two weeks ago, and All About Cowboys (pp 5,Brian Carpenter), a front-end winner two starts back.
Obviously not all six horses will be gunned out at the start but it’s a safe bet that Banker Volo will probably have to work hard to clear to the top where he’s been very successful.
Grinnell, Iowa owner Dan Roland acquired Banker Volo in early November of 2015. Banker Volo, now six, raced out of the Erv Miller stable as a 2, 3 and 4-year-old and made almost $118,000 in his freshman campaign. The trotter was bought for $85,000 as a yearling.
No Problem: Being assigned the 10-slot in last night’s 8-horse Open Pace field wasn’t much of a deterrent to Let’s Drink On It (Travis Seekman). The Joe Seekman trained pacer overpowered his foes again for his third consecutive Hawthorne victory.
Let’s Drink On It came from out of it a second straight time to draw off by four and one-half lengths over A Bettors Wish (Kyle Wilfong) in a 1:50.4 mile. The pace-setting Trashytonguetalker (Mike Oosting) was third in the $13,500 Friday night feature race.
A Bullseye: The single “Mike’s Price Shot” on last night’s card popped at $14.80 when Greg Farina’s All In No Out won Hawthorne’s eighth race.