Angel Band and driver Ed Hensley planned a well timed rally to sweep by the heavy betting favorite, Sweetasmusic, late in the lane to capture the fourth leg of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday (July 5). The win notched the first Gold sire stakes victory for Angel Band and the second win of her sophomore season.
Pete Wrenn and Blueridge Abigail were the first to get a call as they led the field of nine through the opening split of :27.1 with She’s Country and Charlie Conrad at their back in second. Sweetasmusic found herself sixth along the rail after starting from the trailing post ten. Angel Band and Hensley remained off the pace for the first half fractions which saw much movement. Sweetasmusic was sent to the front down the backside by driver Walter Haynes Jr. and struck command before the three-quarter time in 1:28. Ricky Macomber Jr. and Honeyinthepine were left in outer flow first up heading into the final turn when Sweetasmusic began to show her speed. Angel Band and Hensley were well placed second over.
Sweetasmusic sprinted away to a three-length lead early in the stretch before being tracked down in the shadow of the wire by a fast closing Angel Band. Stopping the clock in 1:57.1, it was a new lifetime mark for Angel Band. JS Foxy Lady also rallied late in the race to round out the well paying trifecta. The 18-1 upset paid $39.40.
“This is a nice filly,” Hensley noted of his mount. “She raced well last week and is just now coming into herself. The race ended up working out well for us, she dug in at the wire and raced really tough tonight.”
Trained by Ron Otto, Angel Band notched her third career victory and pushed her lifetime earnings over the $30,000 mark with the win. Owned by Martin Schmucker, Angel Band is from the first crop of Gregory Pecs and is out of the Corleone mare, Anightwithnorma.
Angel Band will advance to the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday, July 14. The race will be part of Hoosier Champions Night, featuring more than $1 million in purses for the Indiana Sire Stakes. Friday, July 13 will also be part of the national harness racing promotion, “Back to the Track” night. The Indiana Standardbred Association will offer several addition promotions and giveaways throughout the weekend to mark the final night of harness racing for 2012.