At Mahoning Valley Saturday Racing was the “Sport of Queens”

Mike Annechino

A really cool story developed yesterday at Mahoning Valley during the undercard of the Best of Ohio Day that shows racing can be the Sport of “Queens” too!
New owner Ellen McKee won her first race as a thoroughbred race horse owner yesterday in the 5th race at Mahoning, the Starter Allowance for Ohio breds going 5 furlongs.
Sweetnessncharm (by Cowtown Cat) was purchased by Ellen at the recent OTBO Mixed Sale as Hip 58 for $10,000.  Two weeks later, her first horse ever owned wins its first start in her name in a thrilling finish by a neck.   Ellen is actually a close personal friend of Daryl and Sally Duncan – who chaired the OTBO Mixed Sale Committee – so she drove up for the race with Daryl and Sally and hung out with them all day.
She was so excited, Daryl had to essentially drag her to the winners circle, as she could barely walk.  The three of them got to the circle and then waited for trainer Mike Rone to get there.  Once he got there, they had to wait to take the winners’ circle photo with the horse, as she was so excited she hugged Mike for 30 seconds while the horse and jockey were just making circles waiting.  It was fun to watch.
She later talked to one of the OTBO board members, Tony Fischbach for about 20 minutes while they waited for the Endurance to be run.  She asked, “Was I OK…do you think it was OK that I was that excited when I won?” she asked.  “I think I probably made a fool of myself…I just hope that was OK.”  Tony laughed and told her emphatically that she just experienced what everyone goes through when they win and there is NOTHING that you can do to embarrass yourself when you win.  He said, “you can do a cartwheel into the winners circle if you want”, and she said, “well I probably would’ve done a cartwheel but I’m afraid I just wouldn’t have been able to get up!”
Yes folks, this is why we are all in racing. The agony of defeat is one thing but the thrill of victory can, if even for a few minutes, make the world right again! Congratulations to Ellen and here’s hoping racing can recruit many new owners like her who can experience the incomparable joy that winning a race brings.
We at the OTBO will be rolling out multiple new programs in 2021 designed to introduce new owners to the sport, increase awareness of the racing business and opportunities, and feature Ohio horses and horse people. Keep checking back on our web site for these new developments. Also, if you have any ideas you would like us to consider, please feel free to send them along as well.
Ellen McKee and friend…

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