ANDERSON, Ind.—July 9, 2013— Thunder Rises, with Dan Shetler at the lines, shattered a 16-year-old record for the seventh-eighths mile dash on the pace when he powered home a winner in 1:39.2 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 9. As part of a four horse blanket finish, Thunder Rises got up in the final strides to notch his fourth win of the season for trainer, Andy Shetler. The previous record of 1:41.3 was established by Ima Noble Son and driver D.R. Ackerman for trainer Homer Hochstetler on July 23, 1997. The 1:39.2 victory marked the fifth track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in 2013.
Leaving from post seven in the ten horse field, Thunder Rises was away a worrisome ninth while the rest of the field battled for early position. Fox Valley Griffin and Trace Tetrick defended their rail position and were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.2. Captain Mark and Brad Hanners benefitted from a pocket trip while the publics’ choice, JJ’s Gazette, was hard pressed to find a spot along the rail and was parked to the outside in third. Fox Valley Griffin continued to call the shots down the backside and reached the half mile mark in :55.0. JJ’s Gazette was the first to reach the leader’s wheel through a three-quarter clocking in 1:23.4 with King Me and Trent Stohler in tow. As Fox Valley Griffin tired on the front, the rest of the field closed in. After sitting eighth through much of the mile, Thunder Rises found another gear in the stretch to reel in the leaders and reach the wire first. Captain Mark found late racing room to get up for the second place finish while JJ’s Gazette held on gamely to finish third. Dismissed at 24-1, Thunder Rises returned $49.80 to his backers. The trifecta including Thunder Rises, Captain Mark, and JJ’s Gazette paid $795.25.
Sired by His Mattjesty, Thunder Rises sent his seasonal bankroll over $15,000 for his connections of Ervin Wickey and Dixie Shetler. The six-year-old gelding has now won 19 of 105 lifetime outings while bankrolling over $85,000 in purse earnings.
Tyler Smith enjoyed a noteworthy evening as he piloted five winners on the 13-race card. Smith scored wins in the early double with Desperado Alibi for trainer, Melissa Essig and then with Curmudgeon for trainer Steve Boroff. Smith followed suit in the third race with Dale Peterson’s Round About Fame and was home a winner again with Fox Valley Swift for trainer Nick Giberson in the seventh race. He ended the night with a win in the ninth race for trainer, Melissa Essig once again, only this time with her three-year-old pacing gelding, Ralph.
Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 10 with two divisions of $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. Live racing will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m.
Photo: Thunder Rises and Dan Shetler. Photo Courtesy of Linscott Photography.