Hoosier Park Outrider to the Rescue
Much like a top baseball relief pitcher, outrider Neal Stalhiem stepped in to get the save on a night where things could have taken a turn for the worse. Due to the swift and precise response of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s outrider, Neal Stalhiem, injuries were avoided when catastrophe struck in the 12th race on the 14-race card at Hoosier Park on Friday, July 19. Stalhiem’s expertise was on full display as he carefully guided Park Lane Deputy and driver Trace Tetrick to safety after an equipment malfunction around the first turn.
Leaving from post two, Park Lane Deputy and Trace Tetrick got away sixth along the rail as I Found My Beach and Tyler Smith led the field through the opening panel in :26. As the field approached the half mile time in :55, things began to go awry. Tetrick’s left line broke making for a perilous situation. Tetrick began alerting the rest of the drivers in the field as Stalhiem got in position to make his move. As the field approached the final turn, Tetrick was a merely a passenger as Park Lane Deputy continued at full speed for the finish line. Stalhiem quickly maneuvered his horse alongside Park Lane Deputy and just as the field neared the finish line, he was able to make the grab. With Park Lane Deputy in tow, Stalhiem was able to guide Tetrick to safety while the rest of the field completed the race. I Found My Beach and Tyler Smith were able to avoid trouble and find the wire first in 1:52.1. Both Park Lane Deputy and Trace Tetrick returned to the barn unharmed.
“Protocols and safety measures are always in place and we hope we never have to use them,” Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing, Rick Moore noted. “However, tonight was one of those nights that proved the protocols pay off. Our equine and human athletes’ safety is first and foremost to everything we do here, and we want to thank and congratulate outrider Neal Stalhiem on a job well done here tonight!”
While Stalhiem’s efforts were nothing less than outstanding, credit should also be extended to his horse, a retired Standardbred named Meatball. Stalhiem and Meatball have been a team for over three years. Hoosier Park will be sending Meatball a fresh bag of carrots for his heroism!
In another oddity to an already odd race, the show prices for the first three finishers were well in excess of the win and place prices due to a large amount wagered in the show pool on the odds-on favorite, Time To Roll, who finished out of the money.
Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 20 with the annual Hoosier Champions Night. With purses surpassing the $1.1 million mark, the 14-race card is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and will be conducted through November 9.