The top two and three-year-old trotters and pacers in the sport of harness racing descended upon Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, October 31 to battle it out in search of the lucrative purses offered on the 14-race card as Grand Circuit racing action made its fourth and final stop at Hoosier Park this season. With purses topping the $1.2 million mark, the stakes filled card delivered some outstanding harness racing battles despite unfavorable weather conditions in the central Indiana region.
The $193,000 Moni Maker
Shake It Cerry
The three-year-old trotting fillies kicked off the stakes action in the $193,000 Moni Maker Stakes and it was Shake It Cerry who continued her winning ways to find the winner’s circle in 1:57 over a track rated good. With regular driver Ron Pierce in the sulky, Shake It Cerry switched up her tactics and came from off the pace to win by a length and a half.
Leaving from post six in the talented field of nine, Shake It Cerry eased off the gate and settled along the rail in fifth. Paul Macdonell sent Riveting Rosie away from the gate firing and the duo set first half fractions of :27.2 and :59 while the rest of the field sorted out positions. Pierce had Shake It Cerry perfectly placed second over as the field reached the three-quarter clocking in 1:29.4.
Using a :26.2 final quarter, Shake It Cerry saved her best for last and was able to track down her stablemate Lifetime Pursuit and Yannick Gingras late in the lane. Cee Bee Yes and Scott Zeron also staged a big rally late in the mile to round out the trifecta.
“I’ve been racing her on the front for most of her starts this year but I did race her off the pace last year some,” Pierce noted after the victory. “Obviously with the factors tonight, I didn’t want to be on the front so I knew if I just floated her out of there and put her somewhere close she would do the rest. Tonight, that was like a training mile for her, she was that good tonight.”
Shake It Cerry has now won 13 of 15 races this season while amassing $899,936 in earnings for her connections, Solveig’s Racing Partners. Jimmy Takter trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig.
The $176,500 Nadia Lobell
Color’s A Virgin proved her dominance once again in the three-year-old pacing filly ranks as she overcame the outside post eight and an unfavorable first-over trip to find the winner’s circle in the $176,500 Nadia Lobell. Stopping the timer in 1:55, Color’s A Virgin has yet to be defeated in four outings since taking home top honors in the 2014 edition of the Jugette earlier this season.
Color’s A Virgin
With regular driver Trace Tetrick at the lines, Color’s A Virgin left just enough to grab a spot along the rail in third while Katie Said and Marcus Miller dictated first half fractions of :26.2 and :58.3. Color’s A Virgin began her quest to the front down the backside and reached the leader’s wheel at the third station in 1:28.2. As the field turned for home, Tetrick asked his mount for more and she dug in gamely to pace on to the wire finishing two lengths in front of Gallie Bythe Beach and Tim Tetrick.
Trained by Brian Brown, Color’s A Virgin has now won 16 of 25 lifetime victories. The daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color has amassed $472,622 in her sophomore season for her owners Emerald Highland Farms.
The $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot
E L Titan and Ron Pierce pulled one of the biggest upsets of the evening in the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot as the duo was able to hold off the heavily favored Father Patrick late in the lane to score in 1:57.2. At the wire, the margin of victory was a half-length and E L Titan was able to survive a judge’s inquiry to score his third of the season.
Odds On Amethyst and Jimmy Takter were the first to get a call as they set the opening fractions of :27.1 and :59.2 before ever feeling a threat. Pierce made his winning move down the backside as he gave E L Titan the green light and reached the front at the three-quarter clocking in a leisurely 1:30. E L Titan appeared strong on the front but was quickly joined on the outside by Father Patrick and Yannick Gingras. Father Patrick appeared to be up to the task but E L Titan wasn’t finished. Using a :27.2 final quarter, E L Titan found another gear to hold off all charges.
“It was a spontaneous decision coming out of the first turn to move to the front,” Pierce said after the victory. “With the slow quarter I had to move to stay out of trouble so once I did I just sent him to the front. I had to use him pretty hard to get there but he was strong tonight.”
“I raced him (E L Titan) in Chicago a few weeks ago and he was loaded,” Pierce continued. “I felt then if I would have been closer to Father Patrick I could have beat him that night. Tonight, coming around the last turn he still felt good and I knew we had enough to hold him (Father Patrick) off even having to use him so hard early in the race.”
For E L Titan, it was his sixth lifetime victory from 12 career outings. The son of Muscle Hill-Courtney Hall increased his seasonal earnings to $363,212 for trainer Riina Rekila and owner Erkki Laakkonen.
The $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby
Bettor’s Edge and Matt Kakaley found the Hoosier Park winner’s circle for the second consecutive week after winning the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby in 1:53. Bettor’s Edge was able to stage a big rally in the late stages of the race to best his stablemate Sweet Lou and Ron Pierce at the wire.
Leaving from post four in the talented group of ten, Bettor’s Edge was uninvolved in the early stages of the race while the field battled for early position. Thinking Out Loud and John Campbell fired off the gate to reach the first quarter in :26.3 but yielded the lead to Sweet Lou just before the half in :58.
Sweet Lou called the shots to the third station in 1:26.1 but was quickly joined on the outside by Clear Vision and Tim Tetrick. Sweet Lou was able to hold off Clear Vision but Bettor’s Edge loomed large in the background. Kakaley found late racing room and Bettor’s Edge exploded to the wire to finish a neck in front. With Clear Vision holding on for third and Foiled Again taking fourth place honors, the Burke stablemates completed the superfecta.
“I have been leaving quite a bit with him lately and tonight I wanted to change it up a bit,” Kakaley noted after the victory. “With the weather too, the front end was not the place to be. It ended up working out really well for us but I was a little worried around the last turn because they kind of got away from us. I was able to move him out to the center of the track and he was strong all the way to the wire. He was really game tonight.”
The five-year-old gelded son of Bettor’s Delight-Spring Wind scored his eighth of the season and gave driver Matt Kakaley his third win of the night. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and M1 Stable, Bettor’s Edge pushed his seasonal bankroll to $673.784.
The $275,000 Monument Circle
Always B Miki continued his winning ways at Hoosier Park as he used a near gate-to-wire effort to win the $275,000 Monument Circle pace for three-year-old colts and geldings in 1:52. With driver David Miller back in the sulky, Always B Miki scored his fourth consecutive win and second consecutive Hoosier Park victory.
Sent off as the 3-2 second choice, Always B Miki settled for a spot along the rail while Big Boy Dreams and Tim Tetrick left aggressively for the front from post nine through an opening quarter in 26. Limelight Beach and Yannick Gingras benefitted from a pocket seat while the heavily favored JK Endofanera and Ron Pierce were next in line in third.
Unable to wait, David Miller sent Always B Miki to the front down the backside and the duo reached the top spot at the half in :56.2. Somewhere In L A and Brett Miller began the first-over attack with Let’s Drink On It and Tyler Smith in tow. While the rest of the field closed in, Always B Miki paced away. Finishing two lengths in front of a hard charging Limelight Beach, Always B Miki used a :26.1 final quarter to hold off all charges.
“The trip didn’t work out exactly like I thought it would,” Miller noted in the winner’s circle. “I was hoping to get some cover but I knew I had to move down the backside or I was going to get locked in. I was worried with the wind and things that he might not be able to hold them off but he raced huge. When I asked him to go around the last turn he felt strong. He was able to hold his speed and he dug in all the way to the wire, that mile really impressed me tonight.”
Trained by Joe Holloway, Always B Miki notched the 11th victory from 18 seasonal outings. The son of Always A Virgn-Artstopper has now earned $914,366 lifetime for his connections of Bluewood Stable, Val D’Or Farms and Roll The Dice Stable.
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, located minutes South and North of Indianapolis respectively, were ranked as the “Most Popular Indianapolis-Area Attractions” by the Indianapolis Business Journal in the publication’s annual ranking of the Top 25 in central Indiana.
Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park welcomed more than 6.5 million guests in 2013, placing the two properties in the first and second place rankings. The two racetrack casino properties ranked above the likes of the Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and both the Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Colts organizations. The Indianapolis Business Journal compiles the annual rankings based on each location’s attendance figures.
“Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park’s more than 2,000 team members are proud of this level of recognition which was achieved through their ongoing efforts to provide our guests a superior entertainment experience,” said Jim Brown, Centaur Gaming’s president, COO, and Indiana Grand general manager. “We attribute each property’s popularity to a focus on quality customer service and a dedication to entertain – be it in the casino, at the racetrack, in one of our many restaurants and lounges, or at concerts featuring national headline entertainment. We look forward to continuing to make our gaming and racing properties popular entertainment options locally as well as with guests from throughout the Midwest.”
It is nothing out of the ordinary to see a field of horses line-up behind the Hoosier Park starting gate but racing fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, October 30 will have the chance to see something they don’t often see. A field of all grey pacers will line up behind the starting gate to battle it out in two divisions of the $10,000 “Grey Ghost Halloween Pacing Derby” at Hoosier Park.
Hoosier Park’s Racing Secretary, Scott Peine assembled two fields of six “ghostly” pacers in honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday. According to the United States Trotting Association, less than five percent of all harness horses are grey in color. Slated as the fifth and seventh races on the 12-race card, the “Grey Ghost Halloween Pacing Derby” will feature two divisions and are aptly named “The Freddy Krueger” division and “The Jason Vorhees” division.
In the opening division, Trace Tetrick has been enlisted to drive the morning line favorite, Maddysonofagun, from post four for trainer Tom T. Tetrick. The four-year-old gelded son of Modern Art will look to score his second victory of the season for owners Mary Alice and Tom D. Tetrick.
In the second division, Casey’s Lil’ Harry will look to score his second win of the season as the 5-2 morning line choice for driver Don Harmon from post five. Trained by Krista Harmon, the grey gelding is sired by Hawaiian Cowboy and owned by John Moody.
Just one day later, Hoosier Park will offer arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live racing season on Friday, October 31 as Grand Circuit racing action returns to Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval. Hoosier Park will host a standout card that includes the $275,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts, the $230,000 Carl Erskine trot, and the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby.
In conjunction with the Halloween festivities, Hoosier Park will also host the 2014 Monster Bash on Friday, October 31 beginning at 9:00 p.m. in the Terrace level of the grandstand. The 2014 Monster Bash will offer live music, drink specials and a costume contest with a top prize of $1,000 in each of the contest categories.
For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Harness racing’s richest horse this year, Father Patrick, will look to add to his bankroll when he visits Indiana’s Hoosier Park for Friday’s $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-olds.
Father Patrick, who on Tuesday ascended to the No. 1 spot in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, knocking Sebastian K from the position he held each of the previous 23 weeks of the rankings, drew post one for the Erskine with regular driver Yannick Gingras. Father Patrick has earned $1.38 million this year.
The Erskine is part of a stakes-filled card at Hoosier, along with the $275,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, $193,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old female trotters, and $176,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old female pacers.
Father Patrick hails from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, who conditions the five richest trotters in North America this season: 3-year-old colts Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton, followed by 3-year-old fillies Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit. Nuncio, who last weekend won the Yonkers Trot, has earned $1.29 million. It marks the first time in harness racing history that one trainer has produced two million-dollar trotters in the same division.
Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit will square off in the Moni Maker Stakes.
Father Patrick is coming off a three-length victory in the American-National Stakes at Chicago’s Balmoral Park on Oct. 11. He has won 11 of 14 starts this year, including the Canadian Trotting Classic, Beal Memorial, Zweig Memorial, and Stanley Dancer Memorial.
He has five wins in his most recent six races, with his only setback being a second-place finish to Nuncio in the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 5.
“He got a nice little break after the American-National,” Takter said. “He had a little foot issue (in the Futurity). He wasn’t happy about that. In his start in Chicago, I saw right away he was on the right foot there.
“It’s got to be perfect for these horses, that’s the way it is.”
Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream owned by the Christina Takter-led Father Patrick Stable ownership group, has won 21 of 25 career races and $2.12 million. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter.
Takter also sends Odds On Amethyst to the Erskine. Odds On Amethyst has won three of 10 races this season, but gone off stride in five losses.
“He’s fast enough, but whether he’s going to manner himself, that’s another thing,” Takter said.
The race also includes home-track star Rose Run Parker, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. Rose Run Parker, who has never raced anywhere but Hoosier Park, has won 13 of 15 races this year and $324,700. He will start from post three with regular driver Ricky Macomber Jr.
Shake It Cerry has won 12 of 14 races this year and $803,436 while Lifetime Pursuit has won eight of 15 starts and $706,729. Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, leaves from post six with driver Ron Pierce while Lifetime Pursuit has post two with Gingras.
Last time out, Shake It Cerry beat Lifetime Pursuit by three-quarters of a length in the American-National for 3-year-old female trotters.
“Both of them raced very good in Chicago,” Takter said. “They’re going to meet again in Indiana. They’re both very, very nice fillies. They’ve been able to stay sound.”
Takter’s Somewhere In L A, who bumped the starting gate and suffered a nosebleed in the American-National for 3-year-old male pacers and struggled to a seventh-place finish, takes on the Burke Stable’s JK Endofanera, Limelight Beach, Big Boy Dreams, At Press Time, and Forty Five Red in the Monument Circle.
“He’s such a good horse,” Takter said about Somewhere In L A. “I love that horse. He’s as good as any 3-year-old pacing colt out there. He’s very, very tough. I trained him back twice now, and no bleeding. I talked to (Dr.) Patty Hogan and she thought he’s going to be fine.”
The Monument Circle also includes Joe Holloway’s Always B Miki, Joe Seekman’s Let’s Drink On It, and Erv Miller’s Jet Airway.
Takter’s Uffizi Hanover is among the nine 3-year-old filly pacers in the Nadia Lobell, which also includes Jugette winner Color’s A Virgin from the stable of Brian Brown.
“Uffizi trained so good,” Takter said. “She’s been having so much problems in the turns, but she was fantastic today. Uffizi, when she has the right day, she’s good.”
The Burke Stable is also well represented in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, sending out Sweet Lou, Foiled Again, Bettor’s Edge, Clear Vision, and Easy Again.
Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 16 races and $958,558 this year, will try to snap a three-race losing streak. Foiled Again has won six of 23 starts and $701,643 this season, pushing his North American record for career purses to $6.73 million.
The three-year-old divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes action took center stage at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 11 as they played host to the fifth and final round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. The Hoosier state’s top sophomore competitors were out in full force and did not disappoint in each of the four divisions.
The stakes action kicked off with the sophomore trotting fillies and it was Hall Pass Helen and driver Trace Tetrick who emerged victorious in the $75,000 final. Uninvolved in the early stages of the race, Hall Pass Helen was able to find late racing room deep in the stretch to score in a lifetime best effort of 1:55.3. It was the second consecutive Indiana Sires Stakes Final victory for the daughter of Justice Hall-Rompaway Olympia and fourth win of the season from 15 outings.
Trained by Kelly Goodwin, Hall Pass Helen sent her career bankroll over the $100,000 mark with the win for her connections of T. Halstead, K. Goodwin, T. Hathaway, and Chestnut Acres. Hall Pass Helen has now won four of 23 lifetime outings.
Tetrick found the winner’s circle once more in the very next division of
Color’s A Virgin
the stakes action with Color’s A Virgin taking home top honors in the $75,000 three-year-old pacing filly final. The daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color capped off a near perfect stakes season as she scored in 1:52. After being out nearly every step of the mile, Color’s A Virgin used a :26.1 final panel to find the wire six lengths in front of her stablemate Candy’s A Virgin and Tyler Smith.
Trained by Brian Brown, Color’s A Virgin scored her third victory in Indiana Sires Stakes action this season and 15th lifetime victory from 23 outings. The 2014 Jugette winner has now amassed $284,372 in 2014 for her connections at Emerald Highlands Farm.
Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. kept their winning streak in-tact as they scored their fifth consecutive victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts. In near gate-to-wire fashion, Rose Run Parker stopped the timer in 1:54.1, just a fifth of a second off his lifetime best.
Trained by Ron Burke, Rose Run Parker notched his 11th victory of his sophomore campaign from 13 outings. The victory pushed his career earnings to $437,250 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and W. Haas Jr.
In the final division of the stakes action on the night, Bluehourpower was able to overcome a taxing trip to return to his winning ways and score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts. With driver Sam Widger at the lines, Bluehourpower held off a late charge from If I Lose and Trace Tetrick to stop the timer in 1:51.
Trained and owned by Wilbur Eash, Bluehourpower has now won seven of 15 seasonal outings while amassing $172,925 in 2014. The son of Sand Shooter-Blue Hour notched his 11th lifetime victory from 26 starts.
The 2014 Indiana Sires Stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 18 at Hoosier Park. With purses leaning toward the $2 million mark, the 14-race card slated for October 18 will be one of the richest nights offered in the Indiana Sires Stakes program.
It was a night ruled by favorites as Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a 14-race card on Friday, October 11 featuring the fifth and final round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the two-year-old divisions. Four Indiana Sires Stakes champions were crowned as the publics’ choice delivered in each of the four divisions.
The action-packed night opened with the first $75,000 final for two-year-old trotting colts and Airman Batten looked every bit the part of a 1-5 favorite as he overcame a tough, first-over bid to score in 1:57.1. Driven by regular pilot LeWayne Miller, Airman Batten was uninvolved in the early stages of the race but quickly made up for lost time just past the half. As the field turned for home, Airman Batten began to put his talent on display and trotted on to the wire to win by three-lengths. The victory was the tenth win of the season and fourth Indiana Sires Stakes final win for the son of Swan For All-Ladylike Volo.
“I was happy with the trip,” Miller noted after the win. “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t get away too far back because I knew he would do his part. When we turned for home I was pretty comfortable because I could tell he still had plenty left. He’s just a professional in everything he does.”
Trained by Erv Miller, Airman Batten has now won ten of 12 lifetime starts and sports a career bankroll of $217,900. Owned by Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman, and Greg Gillis, Airman Batten will now be pointed toward the $200,000 Indiana Super Final slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park.
Fresh off a decisive win in the Indiana Sires Stakes elimination last week, Churita and Trace Tetrick turned in another dominant performance to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Scoring in a lifetime best of 1:56.4, Churita took the lead just past the half and remained uncontested before trotting home to a five length victory.
“She was really sharp tonight,” Tetrick noted. “She has matured quite a bit from the beginning of the year and tonight she was all business. The trip worked out for us and she showed a lot of class tonight.”
Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita kept her seven race win streak in-tact as she scored her third Indiana Sires Stakes final win and seventh career victory from nine lifetime outings. From the first crop of Airzoom Lindy, the freshman filly has now amassed $163,225 for her owner Jackie Porter.
As the stakes action switched gears, Rockin Good and Jared Finn kept the favorite trend alive for the night as they prevailed in a tight photo for win in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies. Using a sharp, front running effort, Rockin Good held off a late charge from Feetonthedashboard and Dale Hiteman to score in a lifetime best effort of 1:53.2.
Trained by Jared Finn, who also co-owns the filly with Mark Finn, Rockin Good scored the biggest win of her freshman career from ten seasonal starts. From the first crop of Rockin Image, Rockin Good has now earned $81,250 for her connections.
Freaky Feet Pete
The two-year-old pacing colts completed the stakes action on the evening’s card and it was Freaky Feet Pete who continued his winning ways to score his fifth consecutive win in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final. Out nearly every step of the mile, Freaky Feet Pete put away all challengers in the final eighth of the mile to score in 1:52.1. The victory was also the third win of the night for Hoosier Park’s leading driver, Trace Tetrick.
“When I looked at the sheet I thought there was going to be a lot of early speed in the race,” Tetrick noted after the win. “I wanted to come from off the pace and it ended up working out because we got cover.”
“Tonight was the first time he’s had to come from off a helmet and he did everything I asked,” Tetrick continued. “He is just a great colt that loves his job. The Rheinheimers have done a great job with both of their two-year-olds this year they have been a lot of fun to drive.”
Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored his third Indiana Sires Stakes final win and eighth career victory from nine lifetime outings. The son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has now earned $161,950 for his owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer. Freaky Feet Pete currently holds Hoosier Park’s track record for two-year-old pacing colts with his 1:50.3 time in stakes action earlier in the season.
The 2014 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 18 at Hoosier Park. With purses leaning toward the $2 million mark, the 14-race card slated for October 18 will be one of the richest nights offered in the Indiana Sires Stakes program.
Indiana’s finest trotters and pacers will be on display Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for Hoosier Champions Night, the fifth and final round of the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals. Each night, the Hoosier state will showcase its best two and three-year-old competitors and after the dust settles, eight new Indiana Sires Stakes champions will be crowned. The first race will line up behind the starting gate at 5:15 p.m. both nights.
Revamped for the 2014 season, the Indiana Sires Stakes program features five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses return to compete in a final and consolation. The freshman finals and consolations will highlight the 14-race card on Friday, October 10 with the three-year-old divisions slated for Saturday, October 11.
The 2014 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 18 at Hoosier Park. With purses leaning toward the $2 million mark, the 14-race card slated for October 18 will be one of the richest nights offered in the Indiana Sires Stakes program.
“Our Hoosier Champions Night has become a much-anticipated event among horseman and racing fans alike,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “The 2014 season has already exceeded my expectations and I am excited to offer racing fans another stellar night of racing. To have horses of this quality racing at Hoosier Park speaks volumes to where our racing program has come and where it is going.”
In its’ 21st season of live harness racing, Hoosier Park is in the midst of one of its’ fastest season to date. Sweet Lou recently lowered the overall track record to 1:47.2 in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational on August 8. Of the eight respective Indiana Sires Stakes divisions, five of the eight divisions have produced track record breaking or equaling miles this season.
In conjunction with a rich Indiana Sires Stakes program, Hoosier Park will also offer Grand Circuit racing action two more times during the 2014 season. The $75,000 Circle City stakes and the $75,000 Madison County stakes will highlight the live racing card on October 24 and October 25. The $225,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby will feature some of the best older pacers in the country and headline the final Grand Circuit racing action at Hoosier Park on October 31.
As Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues their 21st season of live harness racing, horsemen should be advised that Hoosier Park will offer several new overnight series for the remainder of the racing calendar.
The 2014 live racing season, comprised of 160 days, offers an extended stakes schedule and will be conducted through November 15. In conjunction with the extended stakes schedule, Hoosier Park will offer the fall overnight series beginning in October and will continue through the end of the live racing calendar.
“The Polar Vortex” pacing series is open to horses that have started for a base claiming price of $6,000 or less in one of their last 3 starts (up to and including 10/23/14), $6,000 claimers are also eligible. “The Polar Vortex” pacing series will also offer a division for fillies and mares.
“The City of Anderson” trotting series is open to horses that have started for a base claiming price of $7,500 in one of their last three starts (up to and including 10/22/14), $7,500 claimers are also eligible.
Each of these series is comprised of two preliminary legs and a final with the top ten money earners in each series making up the final. A consolation will also be offered for each. Horses that enter for a claiming tag in the claiming series will not be eligible to be claimed in the following starts in the series.
The “Polar Vortex” pacing series and the “The City of Anderson” trotting series will be open to any horse that fits the condition with a $25 entry for the legs of the series but will not have a nomination requirement.
Hoosier Park will also offer several overnight series for Indiana-sired horses. Each series will be comprised of one leg and a final. The series will be made available to any Indiana-sired horse that fits the condition and will also not have a nomination requirement.
The conditions for the Indiana-sired series, listed individually, are as follows: 1) Two-year-old colt and gelding trot, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 2) Two-year-old colt and gelding pace, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 3) Two-year-old filly trot, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 4) Two-year-old filly pace, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 5) Winners of one but not more than three pari-mutuel races or $15,000 life (up to and including 10/13/14) to be claimed for $10,000 trot 6) Winners of one but not more than three pari-mutuel races or $15,000 life (up to and including 10/13/14) to be claimed for $10,000 pace 7) Winners of one but not more than three pari-mutuel races or $15,000 life (up to and including 10/13/14) to be claimed for $10,000 (fillies and mares).
All of the fall overnight series will be on Hoosier Park’s condition sheets and can be found on Hoosier Park’s website as soon as they are made available. To see a full list of the fall overnight series, please click here.
A field of nine will go postward for the 20th running of the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby Saturday, Oct. 4 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. In a surprising twist, undefeated Atreides has been selected as the early morning line favorite at odds of 6-5. Ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario, Atreides will start from post three, right beside the other powerhouse in the race, Vicar’s in Trouble, who starts from post four with rider Rosie Napravnik aboard.
Atreides will arrive via Fed Ex into Indianapolis International Airport Friday, Oct. 3 in preparation for the race. The trip will be his first race out of his home state of Florida for trainer Marty Wolfson. The Medaglia d’Oro colt broke both his maiden and his allowance in impressive fashion before stepping up to the $90,000 Monarchos Stake at Gulfstream Park in late August. Known for his early speed, Atreides rolled to victory by a whopping 17 ½ lengths for the victory to keep his racing slate undefeated in three outings. He is owned and bred by Stonestreet Stables, who also owned 2011 Indiana Derby winner Wilburn.
Vicar’s in Trouble is the only Graded Stakes winner in the field and has been selected as the second choice on the morning line. A winner of the Grade II Super Derby in his last start, he comes into the race as the only millionaire, only missing the board once in seven starts for 2014, three of which are wins. Owned by Sarah and Ken Ramsey, Vicar’s in Trouble was a starter in the Grade I Kentucky Derby this spring. Prior to that, the Into Mischief colt earned wins in the Grade II Louisiana Derby and the Grade III LeComte Stakes, both at Fair Grounds in Louisiana. Vicar’s in Trouble is trained by Mike Maker.
The start by Vicar’s in Trouble also marks only the second time a female jockey has ridden in the Indiana Derby. Napravnik will join Rosemary Homeister as the only other female rider in the history of the race. Homeister rode Fundy to a sixth place finish in the 2009 Indiana Derby. Napravnik, who has recorded two riding doubles in the past two weeks at Indiana Grand, is on track to set all records for female jockeys in the history of the sport.
The entire Indiana Derby field, in post position order with jockey and odds, includes: Cryptopirate (Carlos Esquilin) 30-1; Saa Mi (Leandro Goncalves) 20-1; Atreides (Joel Rosario) 6-5; Vicar’s in Trouble (Rosie Napravnik) 2-1; East Hall (Luis Saez) 12-1; Quiet Ruler (Jeremy Rose) 15-1; CJ’s Awesome (Edgar Prado) 8-1; Just Call Kenny (Paco Lopez) 12-1; and I Got It All (Channing Hill) 10-1.
The Indiana Derby will be carded as the ninth race on the 11-race program. Estimated post time of the Derby is 9:30 p.m. It will be joined by eight other stakes races on the card, including the $200,000-added Indiana Oaks, which will be held as the eighth race with a post time of 8:40 p.m. Other stakes on the card include the $100,000-added Michael G. Schaefer Memorial, the $100,000-added Mari Hulman George Stakes, the $100,000-added Ta Wee Stakes, the $85,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes, the $85,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes Filly Division, the $85,000-added Gus Grissom Stakes, and the $85,000-added Richmond Stakes. First post is 5:05 p.m.
Indiana Derby Night will be complemented by several celebrity appearances. Coach Rick Pitino of University of Louisville and Coach Tom Crean of Indiana University will serve as co-chairs of the event. In addition, Bobby “Slick” Leonard will be honored in the winner’s circle fresh on the heels of
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The second and final round of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2014 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race card on Saturday, September 27 and it was LeWayne Miller who stole the show.
After taking home top honors in the opening round of Hoosier Park’s inaugural Champion Driver Series earlier in the season, LeWayne Miller accumulated a total of 83 points in the final round to win the grand prize, a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
In its’ inaugural edition, the 2014 Champion Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another, not once, but twice in a five-race challenge throughout the season. Miller, a 27-year-old Indiana native, accumulated a total of 47 points after the five races and was crowned the winner, walking away with the $5,000 prize of the first challenge.
With the points from round one carrying over to round two, Miller led the group of ten drivers into the final round and earned one win, one second, one third, and two ninth place finishes in the five races of the challenge to take make a clean sweep of both rounds in the Champion Driver Series.
“I was nervous all day,” Miller, seemingly still in shock, noted in the winner’s circle. “I tried to forget about it and keep my nerves down. I felt good about my horses coming into tonight so I knew if I had a little luck I had a good shot but I tried not to think about it. I showed up tonight and just tried to do the best I could.”
After a ninth and a third place finish in the first two races of the challenge respectively, Miller found the winner’s circle in the third race of the challenge and scored 15 points with Starven Darven at 7-1. Using the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage, Miller found late racing room and Starven Darven used a :27.2 final quarter to coast home a winner in 1:52.4.
With a ninth place finish behind The Flight Rose in the fourth race of the challenge, Miller accumulated two more points but still held the lead by a narrow margin with 74 points heading into the final race. Ross Leonard was a close second with 67 points and Sam Widger just behind him in third with 62 points. Heading into the final race of the challenge, it appeared to be anyone’s game.
Miller secured the keys to the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with a second place finish in the final race, earning nine more points, behind VC Scooter for trainer Grant Wilfong. Dismissed at odds of 10-1, VC Scooter rallied late in the lane to get up for second place honors behind Rocknroll Special and Ricky Macomber Jr.
“That is definitely the happiest I’ve ever been to finish second,” Miller noted after the race. “After talking with the trainer before the race, I knew he (VC Scooter) would be good, I didn’t want to get buried or locked in so I made sure I had him out when we turned for home.”
After the dust settled, Miller led all drivers with 83 points, Leonard finished second with 73 while Sam Widger and Brad Hanners tied for third place with 65 points.
“This is a really big deal,” Miller continued. “A few years ago I was just a fan watching all these guys drive. To win this challenge against this group of drivers and here at Hoosier Park is a really big deal for me. This was my first driver’s challenge I’ve ever been in and to win a car like this, it’s a really big deal.”
As the youngest driver in the group of ten, Miller is now a proud new owner of a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. In just his second full season as a driver, Miller has recorded 335 career victories and is on track to record his best season to date in the bike in 2014.