By John Bombatch
XENIA — Tears streamed down Meredith Noble’s face when she was asked to describe the significance of winning Wednesday night’s Ohio Ladies Pace event on the Greene County Fairgrounds track, which is named after her late father, legendary harness racer Samuel “Chip” Noble III.
“It means so much. ….. so much,” she said, smiling but still fighting back the tears. “I just went out there and a did what I felt was right, during the race.”
Noble, who wore her father’s racing helmet for Wednesday’s race, earned her first win of her career last week in Eaton on a horse named Moneybags Bluegrass. She’d finished second on Reckoning Day, the horse she drove to win Wednesday’s first-ever Greene County Fair Ladies Pace event, in her first-ever race last month in Wilmington. Reckoning Day is owned by Christi Pokornowski, of Xenia.
“But this here means so much more, because it’s home and it’s where I learned horse racing with dad and my brother (Dan) and it’s where I grew up. … This race, and that win in Eaton will always mean so much to me. So very much to me.”
Rebecca Chambers drove Dalcroft Big Guy to a second-place finish in the Ladies event, Cedarville’s Gail Impson was third.
Veteran harness racer Jason Brewer, of Xenia, won the second annual Chip Noble Memorial race for first-division horses with a solid drive from Rock N Roll Rosie. Heart of a Native, driven by Jeff Nisonger, placed second with Youlookhot, driven by Joseph Essig, to show.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to win this race. I’d known Chip for a long time. He was a great horseman and a real good guy. That was nice to be a part of it, sure,” Brewer said.
Jack Dailey, of Mechanicsburg, was entered to drive in 12 of Wednesday’s 14 races. If track officials would’ve let him wear a wig, he would’ve probably raced in the Ladies Open, too. With five races yet to go, Dailey had won three times and placed one other time.
But his win in the Second-Division Chip Noble Memorial, on Bunny Direct M, was his biggest of the night.
“I really wanted to get that one,” he said while walking through the stable to board Rocket Chip for the 10th race. “Chip treated me like a son. It made me feel good winning it.”
In other races, Jason Beattie piloted Sporty Dude to a win in the day’s first race, with Desired Entry and Whale Of A Tale rounding out the top three.
The aptly named Can’t Lose, driven by Charles Schoonover, won the Ray Henley Memorial first division race, with Spring Goal placing and Hooray For Willie to show. Can’t Lose’s winning time of 2:00 1/5 finished 1/5 of a second off the 2006 Trotting record set in 2006 by a horse named DeNiro G.
None of the pacers came close to the 2001 Greene County Fairground record of 1:55.4 set by Dr. Elbon on a horse driven by Dan Noble.
Jeff Nisonger drove St’s Josie to a convincing win in the fourth race of the evening, just ahead of Match Point and Dailey’s Smarty Trot.
Canadia’s Bakin, with Ryan Holton on the reins, rallied from next-to-last down the final backstretch to win the fifth race with Brando placing and Paydaze a Rockin to show.
Race six saw Dailey pilot Roundtown Rocker to the win with Moose Madness second and Shano finishing third. Dailey also won the eighth race, this time on Wegotthechips. On Her Terms finished second and Heather’s Pride was third.
Races 10-14 were not completed as of presstime. Results will be published as soon as they’re made available in a future edition of the newspaper.
There’s another 14-race card of racing set for today. The first race is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. on the Chip Noble Memorial Track.