Ohio Thoroughbred racing's leading lady, Leona's Reward, simply galloped to an easy seven length victory in the $75,000 Bobbie Bricker Memorial Handicap on a rainy Saturday afternoon, Dec. 1 at Mahoning Valley Race Course.
The third time was certainly a charm for the popular 5-year-old daughter of Parents' Reward as she captured the Bricker Memorial for the third consecutive season. Last year she won this same event by 14 lengths and also captured the 2016 edition of the stake named in honor of Barbara “Bobbie” Bricker, who served in a variety of capacities at the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association (HBPA) during the 1980s.
The striking chestnut mare, who is conditioned by Tim Hamm for Blazing Meadows Farm and Michael Friedman covered the one and one-sixteenth miles for accredited fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, in 1:47.59 over a muddy track.
Leona's Reward, the 1-9 overwhelming favorite, sat behind the pace-setting 70-1 longshot Linda N Michelle (Eddie Dominguez) until the top of the lane, before easily passing her rivals to prevail for the 14th time in her career for rider Luis Colon.
Grizabella (20-1) finished a well-earned second, while Linda N Michelle held on for third with 45-1 Hope's Frog Song (Megan Fadlovich) a distant fourth and 90-1 longshot Gift From Mom further back and last with Sonny Leon in the irons.
This latest triumph upped Leona's Reward's career bankroll to $677,106.
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