Dontfusswithruss picked up right where he left off last year as he returned to victory in the first round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday (May 15). The 2011 Indiana Sire Stakes Champion covered the one-mile event in gate-to-wire fashion, stopping the clock in 1:57.1.
Driven by Joe Essig Jr., the son of Elegant Man took control of the lead with ease from post seven as they reached the first quarter mile marker in :28. Allstate Norm and driver Sam Widger found a seat along the rail in second as Velten San Siro followed closely in third. The slightly favored, three horse entry trained by Lester Raber that included DC-Chug-a-lug, Martz Time, and Jolenes Pinehonker sat mid pack through the opening splits. Dontfusswithruss continued to dictate the fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.3 before ever being contested.
Reaching the final turn, the field began to tighten as Ed Hensley sent Jolenes Pinehonker first-over with stablemate, Martz Time, in tow and were only four lengths off the tempo-setter reaching the three-quarter mark. As the field turned for home, DC Chug-a-lug and driver Mark O’Mara charged hard from the back of the pack but to no avail as Dontfusswithruss dug in gamely to win the lion’s share of the purse and hold off the post time favorite. Dc-chug-a-lug finished second as Jolenes Pinehonker got up for the third place finish. Dontfusswithruss paid $1.20 to win as the public’s second choice.
After a sensational two-year-old campaign, the Melissa Essig trained gelding celebrated his first seasonal victory in his sophomore debut. Owned and bred by Jacalyn Beeman, Dontfusswithruss now sports a bankroll in excess of $230,000 as he won six of thirteen starts last year.
Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, May 16 with two $30,000 divisions for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.