07/24/2011 7:53PM

Horsemen's Park: Schramsberg holds off Tenth Power by head in Omaha


OMAHA, Neb. - Schramsberg needed his best to hold off defending champion Tenth Power but was up to the challenge in the $51,500 Omaha Stakes as the Horsemen's Park four-day festival of racing closed out with a thriller on Sunday afternoon.

As expected, an early pace duel developed as Humble Smarty and locally based Sweet Tigger hooked up through the opening half-mile as Schramsberg and rider Ken Tohill kept the leaders in their sights. Tohill sent Schrambsberg up to challenge going to the third and final turn of the one-mile race over the five-furlong oval here.

Schramsberg dueled outside Humble Smarty through the final turn, and  then held a closing Tenth Power safe by a head on the wire. Humble Smarty faded slightly late to finish fourth as early trailer Sacred Ground rallied down the center of the track to gain third by a nose. Dark Ruler, the 2-1 favorite of the large crowd ontrack, failed to mount a rally and finished fifth.

Schramsberg, trained by Chris Hartman, covered the mile in 1:39.20 over a fast track and returned $7.40 as the 5-2 second choice in the field of eight. A regally bred 5-year-old son of Storm Cat out of the champion mare Serena's Song, Schramsberg boosted his career mark to 6-3-2 from 22 starts and earnings of $383,626.

In the co-feature on the five-race program, Buddy George rallied by the field through the closing furlong to post a 3 ½-length win in the $29,200 Skunktail Stakes for 3-year-old Nebraska-breds. With Ashley Dill aboard, Buddy George gained his second stakes win of the year for owner Tondi Reinhart and trainer Steve Hall. They covered a mile in 1:42.60 and returned $8.80 as the 3-1 second choice in the field of eight.