Snow was flying at Northfield Park Saturday, Jan. 21 and so were the pacers. Arroya’s Dance and Billy Davis Jr. flew through the flurries to score the win in the evening’s opener.
Starting from post one, Arroya’s Dance had an easy spot to gain good early advantages in the race, securing the two hole behind early leader Seafood Sweetheart and Luke Hanners. Fractions of :28.3 and :58.3 were placed on the board and no one really had any desire to move out into the passing lane to challenge. Heading to the three-quarters in 1:27.2, Arroya’s Dance had her nose over Hanners’ helmet and decided it was time to move to the outside heading into the final turn. The Indiana mare moved up on the outside and the two horses pulled away from the field as they worked side by side in the early stages of the stretch.
Arroya’s Dance finally waltzed away from Seafood Sweetheart to score the win in the $4,400 conditioned pace in 1:57.4. Seafood Sweetheart finished one and one-half lengths back in second followed by Come on Over and Keith Kash Jr., who finished another five lengths back in third.
Arroya’s Dance paid $10.00 for the win. The seven-year-old daughter of Riggins is owned by Jim Otto and trained by Calvin Hollar. Jonas Graber bred the mare, who earned her first win of 2024 in her third outing. Overall she has 16 wins and is closing in on $100,000 on her card. Her career best time of 1:53.2 was taken as a three-year-old at Harrah’s Hoosier Park where she began her career under Shane Bowermaster. She was unraced at two and has been with Otto and Hollar since the end of her three-year-old season.
Jim Otto and his son, Ron, spent many years stabled at Harrah’s Hoosier Park during the first decade of pari-mutuel racing. They kept a string of horses in Indiana each summer and would return to Northfield Park for the winter racing months. The Ottos had a few Indiana champions along the way, including Atza Nice Guy, Elegant Ellie, and Incredible Sharon, just to name a few standouts. The Otto Stable also competed at Colonial Downs between seasons in Indiana and Ohio.