MOUNT VERNON — For many harness riders at the Knox County Fairgrounds, Saturday was a long, hot evening at the track. For Ryan Holton, however, the fairgrounds was his third track of the day.
“I was at Scioto Downs and Washington Courthouse before I came here,” said Holton.
Holton, who arrived late, managed to place and show aboard a pair of locally trained mounts before finishing up the day with a winner in the eighth race.
“I drink a lot of water,” said Holton, who comes from Millersport, but enjoys racing at the fairgrounds, even when the temps soar into the 90s. “Adrenaline keeps you going. There’s not much we can do for the horses, except to keep them cool with a wet sponge between races. They get looser, quicker and easier, so it doesn’t take as long to warm up.”
In the fifth, aboard Expensive Western, Holton finished behind the winner, Bigaffairintown. Expensive Western is area-trained by Raymond Kenny.
In the sixth race, the Henry Curtis Memorial, it looked like Holton would place again but he was edged in a close battle for second. Holton was aboard Ci’s Buckeye, trained by Stephen Arter. He was third behind another area-trained horse, One Cool Count, who is handled by Richard Kershner.
“Every time I got behind that horse, he’d slow down,” said Holton. My horse raced good, though.
In the eighth, Holton finished up the day on a winner aboard DJ John Boy, who was trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. DJ John Boy, a 3-to-5 shot, was the favorite.
“Jim Arledge Jr. is one of the top trainers in the country, so I was expecting a lot from (DJ John Boy,)” said Holton. “He ran really well. I was expecting a lot, but you never know.”