XENIA — Drafting is more commonly heard of in auto racing.
But that same strategy helped Gavin Bixler win during harness racing at the Greene County Fair Aug. 2. He was third after the first half-mile. But he snuck his 3-year-old horse, Bang, behind Cinder Norma on the backstretch, and then moved out front and trotted to a win in 2:02.3.
“They call it cover, getting cover,” Bixler said. “I knew (Cinder Norma) was the one to follow. I just drafted off her back. Once I hit the top of the straightaway, I was pretty confident. (Bang) likes to race. She likes to chase them down.”
It was the second win in three races and the third top three in the last four races for the duo, which had one top three finish in the four races before that stretch.
Bixler isn’t surprised at Bang’s sudden surge.
“She likes the fair tracks,” he said. “The pari-mutuel tracks, she doesn’t have the speed.”
But once Bang hits the fair tracks — which she has done recently — it’s a different story.
“She’s one mean son of a gun,” Bixler said.
Dan Noble also like the fair tracks. At least the one in Greene County.
He won four times and had a second and two third-place finishes through the first eight races. That includes three in a row starting with the sixth race and it culminated with a win in the Chip Noble Memorial, named after his father.
He set a pacing track record for the second year in a row, leading Rock On Line to the win in 1:5.4.
“It’s very special,” Noble said of setting the record and winning the race that has his family name. “It’s really nice. It reminds us of where we came from.”
Noble also had good results during the first night of racing, but he wasn’t necessarily expecting that to carry over.
“Every night’s different,” he said. “We have our good and our bad.”
Scott Cisco and Merciless won the first race in 1:58, while Mark Evers and Badlilvelocity took the second race in 1:59.4. Noble won the third race with Fleet Cessna in 2:02 and Cameron McCown and Cass Delight Rock won the fifth race in 1:57.2.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.