Third Round of Indiana Sire Stakes Action Produces Upsets
Sweet Justice, with Trace Tetrick at the lines, stormed home a winner to pull off the upset in the co-featured event of the evening, the third round of Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, June 27. Sweet Justice was able to take advantage of a miscue by the heavy betting favorite, Red Hot Herbie, to score in a lifetime best effort of 1:56.3.
Leaving from post four, Sweet Justice was unhurried out of the gate and landed fourth along the rail. Red Hot Herbie, piloted by Sam Widger, used his quick speed to burst off the gate and find the front through an opening panel in :26.4. Fearless Man and driver Dave Magee benefitted from a pocket trip while Russell Mania and Ed Hensley were next along the rail in third. Red Hot Herbie continued to call the shots through the half mile time in :57.1 before making a costly break and eliminating his chances for a second consecutive win. Fearless Man inherited the front as the field reached the three-quarter mark in 1:27.1. Tetrick gave Sweet Justice the green light and was the first to take aim at the leader around the final turn. As the field closed in on the leader, Tetrick asked Sweet Justice for more and the three-year-old gelding responded with a :29.2 final quarter to reach the wire a length in front of his closest competitor. Russell Mania trotted evenly to finish a closing second while Fearless Man held on gamely to round out the trifecta. Dismissed at 7-1, Sweet Justice returned $17.80 for the victory.
After a sensational two-year-old campaign, Sweet Justice notched the second victory of his sophomore season from seven outings. Trained by Steve Carter, the three-year-old gelded son of Justice Hall has earned over $140,000 for his connections of Our Little Stable, S. Carter, and R. Mondillo. Sweet Justice bested his career mark set in 2012 by nearly three seconds with the score.
Natural Herbie followed suit and made his presence felt in the late stages of the second division of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts as he rallied sharply to score the upset for trainer, driver, owner Verlin Yoder. With a final time of 1:55.3, the Indiana Sire Stakes champion equaled his lifetime best mark to score the third win of his sophomore season.
Starting from post one, Natural Herbie took advantage of a pocket trip behind the publics’ choice, Super Rock and Charlie Conrad, who carved out fractions of :28.2, :58.1., and 1:27.0. Just as the race appeared to be over, Natural Herbie found another gear and was able to overcome Super Rock in the final strides of the mile. Super Rock finished a game second while Just A Steady Hall got up for the third place finish. Natural Herbie returned $8.80 for the victory.
Sired By Here Comes Herbie, Natural Herbie pushed his lifetime bankroll over $160,000 while notching his seventh victory from 16 career outings. Natural Herbie has now won two consecutive sire stakes at outings at Hoosier Park.
The Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 28 as two divisions of three-year-old pacing fillies will go postward for $30,000. The three-year-old pacing colts will follow suit and highlight Hoosier Park’s card on Saturday, June 29.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9.