Category: Horse Racing

Montenegro, Allie Labrook Capture Hoosier Park Features

Montenegro takes the Fillies and Mares Feature at Hoosier Park

Montenegro takes the Fillies and Mares Feature at Hoosier Park

Montenegro and Jason Dillander turned in a dominant performance to capture the co-featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 10. Using a sharp, gate to wire effort, Montenegro was able to hold off the rest of the field late in the lane to score in 1:51.4.

Leaving from post five, Dillander sent Montenegro away from the gate firing and she reached the front through the opening panel in :27.2. Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler also left aggressively to grab a pocket seat with Native Dream and Peter Wrenn next in line, third.

Montenegro rattled off middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:25 before feeling a threat from Wild Wanda who tipped from the pocket approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Tyler Smith had the heavy betting favorite, Color’s A Virgin, three-wide but she would have her work cut out for her as Montenegro looked game on the front.

Using a :26.4 final quarter, Montenegro dug in gamely to hold off Wild Wanda and Color’s A Virgin who finished second and third, respectively. As the bettors’ second choice, Montenegro returned $4.80 at the windows.

Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old mare scored her fifth victory of the season and has now won 32 of 149 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $87,135 this season.

On the trotting side of things, Allie Labrook returned to her home state and turned in an impressive performance to score in 1:52.4 in the featured trot, a $21,000 Invitational Trot. After racing at Mohawk Racetrack for three starts, Allie Labrook returned to Hoosier Park to score her third win of the season. The 1:52.4 victory was just a few ticks off the overall trotting track record at Hoosier Park, a 1:52 mark she established earlier in the season.

Using her customary late-surging tactics, Allie Labrook was rated off the pace through fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.1 before beginning her attack in the final turn. As the field turned for home, Allie Labrook was poised to strike. Shetler asked his mount for more and Allie Labrook found another gear to win under wraps by three lengths. Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder staged a big rally late in the lane but had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and had to settle for second place honors. Lady Blitz and James Yoder rounded out the trifecta.

The five-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Allie Jane is trained by Dan Shetler and has now won three of eight seasonal outings. Owned by Sawgrass Farms, Allie Labrook has amassed $185,932 lifetime.

Favorites Dominate on Hoosier Champions Night; Tetrick Wins Four

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, July 3, and the night was ruled by favorites along with Hoosier Park’s leading driver, Trace Tetrick who had four winners on the card. The 14-race card featured the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the two and three-year-old divisions. Eight Indiana Sires Stakes champions were crowned and just as Tetrick drove four of the eight winners, favorites prevailed in all but one division.

Ginger Shark captures the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies.

Ginger Shark captures the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies.

Tetrick scored his first victory of the night in the opening round of the stakes action with Ginger Shark in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies. Scoring her second consecutive victory from two lifetime starts, Ginger Shark made her winning move down the backside and was never contested to score in a lifetime best of 1:53.

“That was a good experience for her last week,” Tetrick said. “I wasn’t sure how she would be on the front tonight but Brian (Brown) was really high on the filly and she’s been really great so far.”

“She’s had great manners and she’s got a great way of going,” he continued. “She’s very versatile and just an all-around nice filly.”

Trained by Brian Brown, Ginger Shark has now earned $47,500 from two career outings. The daughter of Shadyshark Hanover-Miss AJ Ponda is owned by Emerald Highlands Farm.

Just two races later, Tetrick found the winner’s circle once more this time with Justice As in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Justice As was unhurried in the early stages of the race but found late racing room in the stretch to score in 1:57.3, a new lifetime best.

“He did everything right training down,” Trainer Anette Lorentzon noted after the race. “He didn’t really show me that he was something special but he did everything right.”

“It’s early,” she continued. “Trace does such a great job with my horses, I just told him (Trace) to teach him how to race and we’ll go from there.”

The gelded son of Justice Hall-Pandora remains undefeated in two lifetime starts. Owned by Acl Stuteri, Justice As has now bankrolled $47,500 for his connections.

Fresh of a decisive win in the Indiana Sires Stakes elimination last week by six and a half lengths, Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander turned in another dominant performance to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies.  Scoring in a lifetime best of 1:51.1, Nora Rockwell outlasted all challenges from the rest of the field to score her sixth victory of the season as the heavy betting favorite.

“She’s such a game filly,” Dillander said after the win. “She does get a little aggressive behind the gate but aside from that, she’s very handy. She wants to win and that’s her best quality.”

“I knew I wanted to get a good position leaving but I was just hoping I wouldn’t have to use her too hard to do so,” he continued. “She really can race anyway and she’s a great filly to drive.”

Trained and owned by Marlin Fry, Nora Rockwell scored her 10th lifetime victory and now sports a lifetime bankroll of $141,072. The daughter of Palone Ranger-Norma Rockwell notched her third consecutive victory at Hoosier Park with the win.

Tetrick would get back to the winner’s circle, this time for the third time, after Churita used a gate to wire effort to score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:55.2. Tetrick placed the overwhelming favorite on the front and she was able to hold off a late charge from Hannelore Hanover and Ricky Macomber Jr. to score her fifth consecutive victory.

Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won 13 of 15 lifetime outings and remains undefeated in 2015. Owned by Jackie Porter, Churita has amassed $364,550 lifetime.

Just Jess and Doug Rideout were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies.

Just Jess and Doug Rideout were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies.

The lone upset of the evening came in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies as Doug Rideout and Just Jess scored at odds of 25-1. Using the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage, Rideout found late racing room and Just Jess surged late to score in 1:59.4.

“She’s always done everything right, everything we asked,” Rideout noted after the race. “She qualified well but then had some issues. We’ve been working hard on her and tonight she put it all together.”

“I was trying to be cautious with her tonight,” he continued. “She’s always had speed and I just wanted her to stay at it. She’s going to turn into a really nice filly when she puts it all together.”

Trained by Doug Rideout, the homebred daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Glide Sally Glide scored her second lifetime victory from three starts. Owned by Julie Rideout and Alan White, Just Jess has now earned $40,000 lifetime.

In the very next division of the stakes action, Mystical Rock and LeWayne Miller delivered as the 6-5 favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Benefitting from a pocket trip, Mystical Rock used a :28 final panel to best his rivals in 1:54.1 and establish a new lifetime mark in the process.

“He’s a little bit lazy,” Miller noted in the winner’s circle. “He has always been a very nice colt and I’ve always liked him but he will only do what you ask him.”

“The trip worked out well for us,” Miller continued. “I knew we would have to leave a little bit to hold our position but we got a little breather down the backside. He raced really good tonight.”

As the stakes action switched gears, Homicide Hunter and John Delong kept the favorite trend alive for the evening as they prevailed in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Overcoming a tough, first-over trip, Homicide Hunter reached the lead around the final turn and held off all charges to win by two lengths in 1:55.3.

“I just didn’t want to get him started up early,” Delong said in the winner’s circle after the victory. “I wanted to get a seat and it didn’t work out exactly like I thought but he did what he had to do, he’s awesome.”

“He’ll do anything you ask him,” Delong continued. “He’s a true professional.”

With the victory, Homicide Hunter remains undefeated in 2015 from six seasonal outings. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham and trained by Curt Grummel, the son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won nine of 16 lifetime starts.

Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake Final for three-year-old pacing colts.

Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake Final for three-year-old pacing colts.

Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick rounded out the stakes action in a big way as they were able to overcome traffic issues to score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:49.2. Away a worrisome fourth, Tetrick was able to find late racing room around the final turn and Freaky Feet Pete did the rest.

Using a :25.3 final quarter, Freaky Feet Pete was shown daylight and exploded past his rivals late in the lane to win by five lengths, under wraps. It was a lifetime best mark for Freaky Feet Pete and his third win of the season.

Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored his twelfth career victory from fourteen lifetime outings. The son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has now earned $339,600 for his owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer.

The 2015 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 10 at Hoosier Park. With purses leaning toward the $2 million mark, the 14-race card slated for October 10 will be one of the richest nights offered in the Indiana Sires Stakes program.

Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 4 with a 14-race card. With an adjusted live racing post time of 4:00 p.m. for Saturday’s card, Hoosier Park will also offer racing fans an Independence Day celebration that will include a carnival, a professionally produced fireworks shows, a beer garden and live entertainment.

Natural Herbie Returns to the Winner’s Circle in Hoosier Park Feature

Natural Herbie scores his second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park in the Featured Trot.

Natural Herbie scores his second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park in the Featured Trot.

Natural Herbie extended his win streak to two at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as he captured the featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Trot, on Friday, June 26. Natural Herbie responded to a bump in class to score in 1:55.1 over a sloppy rated track after scoring last week in a condition trot.

Opting for a trip off the pace, Natural Herbie was eased off the gate from post six while Penn, driven by Darrell Wright, used his gate speed to grab the early lead. Penn dictated first half fractions of :27.3 and :58.3 before being joined on the outside by Lady Blitz and James Yoder.

While the top pair were matching strides approaching the final turn, Trace Tetrick had Martz Time well placed second over with Natural Herbie in tow. Penn continued to call the shots through the third station in 1:27.2 but Lady Blitz was not going away.

Lady Blitz was able to wear down the tiring leader to secure the lead turning for home as the rest of the field was closing in. Yoder tipped Natural Herbie around tiring cover and the five-year-old gelding found another gear.

Using a :26.4 final quarter, Natural Herbie bested his stablemate by a neck to get the win. Lady Blitz was a game second while Penn held on for third place honors. Sent off as the bettors’ choice, Natural Herbie returned $4.80 to the window.

With the win, Natural Herbie notched his second victory from eight seasonal starts while bankrolling $31,650 in 2015 for owner, trainer, driver Verlin Yoder. Sporting a career bankroll of $781,491, Natural Herbie has hit the board in 41 of 53 lifetime outings.

Saturday’s 14-race card also hosted six eliminations of the Indiana Sires Stakes for the Hoosier state’s three-year-old pacers. With three divisions of three-year-old pacing colts, Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick delivered the fastest elimination of the evening with a 1:50.2 romp. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored the second victory of his sophomore campaign and established a new lifetime best in the process.

Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander were the fastest through three divisions in the three-year-old filly ranks as they scored a near gate to wire victory in 1:52. It was the second consecutive win for the Marlin Fry trainee and fifth seasonal victory from 12 starts.

Each of the winners from the six Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations tonight earned a spot in the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals slated for Friday, July 3 at Hoosier Park.

Live racing returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 27 with a 14-race card. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m.

Hoosier Champions Night Highlights Holiday Weekend at Hoosier Park

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, in its 22nd season of harness racing, will kick start the Independence Day weekend with a mix of ‘family fun’ promotions, free fireworks presentations, entertainment, and live harness racing on Friday, July 3. The 2015 racing season will be highlighted on Friday as Indiana’s finest trotters and pacers convene on Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval for Hoosier Champions Night, a round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals.

A total of 14 races have been carded and the evening will feature eight $75,000 finals for the two and three-year-old competitors. Friday’s 14-race card is set to get underway at 5:15 p.m.

Revamped last season, the Indiana Sires Stakes program features five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses return to compete in a final and consolation.  The 2015 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 10 at Hoosier Park.

Freaky Feet Pete headlines Indiana Sires Stakes action at Hoosier Park on Friday, July 3.

Freaky Feet Pete headlines Indiana Sires Stakes action at Hoosier Park on Friday, July 3.

The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old competitors will be headlined by Indiana Sires Stakes champions Freaky Feet Pete and Churita. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete has been enlisted as the 1-5 morning line choice and will look to score his third win of the season from the rail in race 13.

Churita will look to keep her four-race win streak in-tact and remain undefeated this season from post nine in race 9. Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, the daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare has been installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite with driver Trace Tetrick.

In addition to the racing program that boasts lofty purses for the Indiana stakes program, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer racing fans a four-day celebration starting Thursday  that will include a carnival, nightly fireworks shows, a beer garden and live entertainment as part of the Hoosierfest Carnival.

“We always talk about Hoosier Park Racing & Casino being the place to be for racing, gaming, dining and entertainment.  That statement will never hold truer than this coming weekend,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “Hoosier Park will indeed be the place to be as we get ready to celebrate the 4th of July Weekend in grandiose fashion with outstanding racing, the best in fireworks display, and a carnival for the entire family to enjoy.”

The carnival features main-attraction midway rides, fair food, a $5,000 Cash Cakewalk and fireworks every night, all outdoors at Hoosier Park. The carnival hours will be 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the carnival is free and unlimited ride tickets start at $25.

For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Fifth Annual ‘Guns & Hoses’ Event Entertains and Raises Money for Good Cause

ANDERSON, IND. – June 19, 2015 – Madison County police officers and fire fighters will compete in a series of challenges in the fifth annual Guns & Hoses charity event at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 20 starting at 5 p.m. The event will take place in-between live racing and is open to all ages.

The series of challenges will begin after race two and range from a foot race carrying Hoosier Park drivers and a jelly donut speed eating contest to a dunk tank and the crowd favorite tug of war competition. Hoosier Park will also offer various children’s activities along with a classic police car and fire truck on display. The family friendly event will feature live Standardbred racing and a community fair, complete with carnival foods and family-fun games.

At the culmination of race nine, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing, Rick Moore, will present representatives from the Fire Rescue House of Madison County with a special $5,000 donation towards their charitable works. As a token of Hoosier Park’s appreciation for their continued work to help local families in need, Hoosier Park will make the donation to help further their goals and maintain their high level of community service.

As a special thank you to local heroes, all first-responders, such as police officers and firefighters, with valid credentials will receive $10 in casino cash available at Club Centaur. Additionally, each guest who would like to donate $10 to the Madison County Fire Rescue House will receive $10 in casino cash.

The mission of the Madison County Firefighters Foundation, Inc (Fire Rescue House of Madison County) and its volunteers is to provide the victims of domestic house fires, natural disaster, or other personal difficulties, including but not limited to, victims of domestic house fire or natural disaster with temporary housing, assistance, and inspiration in a safe and supportive environment as they begin to rebuild their lives. As part of the community, the Fire Rescue House attempts to fill the gaps in a manner that leaves no one or no family without a place to call home in their time of need. For more information, please visit www.FireRescueHouse.org .

In conjunction with the Guns & Hoses activities, Hoosier Park will host a 14-race card that is set to begin at its’ regularly scheduled post time of 5:15 p.m. Saturday’s card will be highlighted by the $21,000 Invitational Pace, slated as race 12 on the program.

Repeat Winners in Hoosier Park Featured Events

Penn captures Invitational Trot at Hoosier Park.

Penn captures Invitational Trot at Hoosier Park.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino hosted a 14-race card on Friday, June 12 that was highlighted by the $21,000 Invitational Trot and $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares. Both of the featured events saw familiar faces in the winner’s circle as Penn and Montenegro scored decisively in their respective divisions.

Penn, with Darrell Wright in the bike, rebounded from a second place finish in his last outing at Hoosier Park to score his fourth win of the season in the top trot with a final time of 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Penn used his quick gate speed to fire from the wings from post eight. The Bobby Brower trainee dictated fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field.

Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. made a strong bid at the leader late in the lane but Penn was too strong on the front. Using a :28.3 final quarter, Penn held off a late charge by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder to win by a length. Rose Run Parker rounded out the trifecta. Penn returned $4.20 to his backers at the window.

With the victory, Penn scored his fourth seasonal victory from seven starts. The five-year-old gelded son of Master Glide-Photo Queen scored his 23rd career victory and has now earned $165,934 for owner, Barkley Counts.

Montenegro captures Invitational Pace for Fillies and Mares.

Montenegro captures Invitational Pace for Fillies and Mares.

In the featured pace for fillies and mares, it was Montenegro and Jason Dillander who came out on top scoring their fourth victory of the season at Hoosier Park, this time in 1:53.2. Montenegro, who also finished second in her last outing at Hoosier Park, rallied late in the lane to get up in the final strides of the mile.

Lease Ness Monster and Peter Wrenn fired away from the gate through the opening quarter in :27.1 but their lead was short lived as Just A Bee and Mike Micallef were on a mission to the front.

Just A Bee continued to call the shots through splits of :55.4 and 1:24.1 before Tyler Smith and Miss Kilo would apply pressure first-over. As the field turned for home the race appeared to be wide open with horses fanning out across the track. Dillander tipped Montenegro off tiring cover and she responded with a :28.2 final quarter to get the win over Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler. Miss Kilo finished third. As the bettors’ choice, Montenegro returned $5.60 at the betting windows.

Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $71,385 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $566,914.

American Pharoah’s Triple Crown Victory Produces Two Mega-Bet Winners at Hoosier Park

History was made as American Pharoah crossed the finish line in the 147th running of The Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years on Saturday, June 6. Thousands walked in to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino to watch and wager on the 2015 edition of the Belmont Stakes, but it was Bill Ditto and Phil Coburn that walked out with the thousands, $1,750 to be exact.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino provided three invited guests an opportunity to place a $1,000 Belmont Stakes win bet on the horse of their choice in this year’s edition of the Belmont Stakes and two winning bets were made.

Hoosier Park drew three names from several hundred entries prior to the running of the race. The winners had to wager the entire $1,000 sum on the horse they believed would win first place honors. The names drawn were Phil Coburn, Ricky Harlow, and Bill Ditto. All three were instructed to choose a horse for their win wager and two got behind the heavily favored, American Pharoah, while Ricky Harlow was upset minded and chose Frosted.

“I knew American Pharoah was my horse,” Bill Ditto noted. “There wasn’t a doubt in my mind he was the best horse in the race and of course, I really wanted to see another Triple Crown winner.”

American Pharoah broke from post five in the gate, went right to the lead and led the entire race, pulling away in the stretch for the victory. He finished the mile and a half in 2:26.65. Frosted was second, five and a half lengths back, and Keen Ice rounded out the trifecta. The three-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile paid $3.50, $2.80 and $2.50 across the board as the favorite in the race. American Pharoah is now six for seven lifetime with earnings in excess of $3.7 million as he becomes only the 12th horse to achieve the prestigious Triple Crown feat.

“That was really something to see,” Ditto continued. “It was a great day for the sport of horse racing and I think everyone had a lot of fun cheering this horse to the wire, I know I did.”

Belmont weekend at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino included property-wide dining specials, expanded beverage options, and official Belmont merchandise sales. The first 1,000 racing fans also had the opportunity to receive a free $2 commemorative win bet on American Pharoah.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, June 9 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.

Wiggle It Jiggleit Takes Center Stage on Indiana Sires Stakes Finals Night

On a night where Indiana’s brightest harness racing stars came out, Wiggle It Jiggleit was the brightest of them all as he paced to a 1:49.3 victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, May 23 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino over a sloppy rated track. Mother Nature was uncooperative as Hoosier Park played host to the first round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old competitors on Saturday’s 14-race card.

The rain didn’t seem to inconvenience Wiggle It Jiggleit as he posted his tenth consecutive win and second consecutive Hoosier Park victory to remain undefeated in ten career starts.

Wiggle It Jiggleit was a 1:49.3 winner in Indiana Sires Stakes action.

Wiggle It Jiggleit was a 1:49.3 winner in Indiana Sires Stakes action.

Leaving from post seven in a talented group of ten, Wiggle It Jiggleit was sent away from the gate firing by driver Montrell Teague to grab the lead through the opening panel in :26. As heavy rain continued to fall, the rest of the field sorted out early position with Rockin Ron and Rick Plano grabbing a pocket seat behind the overwhelming favorite.

Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to dictate fractions of :54.2 and 1:21.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were the first to pose a threat as they were unable to find a spot along the rail and pressed on to the front after being parked for the much of the mile.

Freaky Feet Pete would finally find the rail as he was able to tuck in behind the leader rounding the final turn but would have his work cut out for him with Wiggle It Jiggleit inching away with every stride. With Freaky Feet Pete now on his back, Teague asked Wiggle It Jiggleit for more and the colt responded with a :28 final quarter to coast home a winner by a length. Freaky Feet Pete turned in his own impressive performance to grind out a second place finish after a very taxing mile. Harfo Hanover and Tony Hall rounded out the trifecta.

“The weather didn’t bother me; you’ve got to race in all kinds of weather,” owner George Teague Jr. noted in the winner’s circle. “Good horses you don’t have to make excuses for and we didn’t have to for him tonight, he was able to overcome it.”

“He’s had two great races now and did everything we wanted him to,” he continued. “Now, he can go on to those other races and hopefully earn some respect against the other horses. He seems to travel well and be easy on himself so we’ll head to the North America Cup and see how it goes up there.”

Trained by Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $142, 242 with the victory. Wiggle It Jiggleit is a gelded son of Mr. Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover.

The action-paced night opened with the first $75,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies and Churita looked every bit the part of a 1-2 favorite as she overcame the outside post nine to score in 1:55. Driven by regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Churita dictated fractions of :28.1, :57.3, and 1:26 before cruising to a five length victory. The 1:55 victory was a new lifetime mark for the daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare and her second consecutive victory in 2015.

Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won 10 of 12 lifetime outings. Owned by Jackie Porter, Churita has amassed $310,725 lifetime.

Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Fresh of a decisive win in the Indiana Sires Stakes elimination last week, Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander turned in a gate-to-wire performance to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies.  Scoring in a lifetime best of 1:52.2, Nora Rockwell outlasted all challenges from the rest of the field to score her third victory of the season.

“She has matured quite a bit from last year and tonight she was all business,” owner, trainer Marlin Fry noted after the win. “She is doing now what I thought she might always be capable of. Jason (Dillander) has done a great job with her.”

Nora Rockwell is a homebred daughter of Palone Ranger-Norma Rockwell. She has now won seven of 22 lifetime outings while earning $81,072.

While the stakes action switched gears, the weather did not. Rain continued to fall on the Hoosier Park surface but Homicide Hunter and John Delong seemed unbothered as they scored a decisive victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts. The 1:55.1 was a lifetime best performance and the second consecutive win from two seasonal outings for the Curt Grummel trainee.

Uninvolved in the early stages of the race, Homicide Hunter was able to avoid traffic trouble and early breakers to put away all challengers in the final eighth of the mile. Using a :27 final quarter, Homicide Hunter held off the heavily favored, Bluebird Reverend and Rick Farrington, late in the lane to win by four lengths.

“It wasn’t exactly how I thought the race would play out but the trip worked out for us,” Delong noted after the race. “We made a couple of adjustments after last week and tonight he was awesome. He’s a perfect gentleman to drive and he does everything you ask of him. He really raced great tonight.”

Homicide Hunter sent his career earnings over the $100,000 mark with the victory. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, the son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won five of 12 lifetime starts.

Each of the four stakes winners from tonight’s program have now earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals. The 2015 Indiana Sires Stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 10 at Hoosier Park. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, June 2 with a 14-race card.

Hoosier Park Spotlight on Hoosier Champions Night

HoosierChampions-2013Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will highlight the early stages of the 2015 harness racing season on Saturday, May 30 with Indiana’s finest trotters and pacers convening on Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval for Hoosier Champions Night, the first of five rounds of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. A total of 14 races have been carded and will feature four $75,000 finals for the three-year-old competitors.

Revamped last season, the Indiana Sires Stakes program features five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses return to compete in a final and consolation.  The 2015 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 10 at Hoosier Park.

“Our Hoosier Champions Night has become a much-anticipated event among horsemen and racing fans alike,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “While all four $75,000 races are loaded with top-notch contenders, the three-year-old colt and gelding pace has the harness world buzzing as ultra-talented sophomores Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete prepare to go head to head for the first time.”

The three-year-old filly trotters will kick-off the stakes action for the evening and have been slated as the 9th race on the 14-race program. Indiana’s reigning two-year-old trotting filly of the year, Churita, will start from post nine with driver Trace Tetrick in the sulky. The Matt Rheinheimer trainee will be looking to score her second consecutive victory of the season and has been entrusted as the even money favorite.

A field of ten will be sent post-ward in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Rockin Good, Indiana’s two-year-old pacing filly of the year, will start from post three for driver, trainer Jared Finn. Last week’s elimination round winners, Nora Rockwell, Feetonthedashboard, and Sandysgoldenhour, will start from posts 6, 7, and 9, respectively.

In the three-year-old trotting colt ranks, Bluebird Reverend will look to remain undefeated in 2015 starting from post 5 with pilot Rick Farrington. Trained by Robert Reeser, the son of Swan For All scored his fourth consecutive victory at Hoosier Park in the elimination round of the stakes action last week.

The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for three-year-old pacing colts is the twelfth race on the program and will feature perhaps one of the most anticipated matchups in all of harness as superstar Wiggle It Jiggleit will square off against Indiana Sires Stakes Champion Freaky Feet Pete.

Wiggle It Jiggleit has been tabbed as the 3/5 morning line choice and will put his nine race win streak on the line from post seven with Montrell Teague in the sulky. Wiggle It Jiggleit remained undefeated with a win in his elimination of the Indiana Sire Stakes last Saturday and with that, moved to No. 1 in this week’s Hambletonian Society poll of top ranked harness horses. The World Champion is perfect in eight starts this season and 9-for-9 lifetime.

Freaky Feet Pete has been installed as the 8/5 second choice and will start from post nine for trainer Larry Rheinheimer. Voted Indiana’s two-year-old pacing colt of the year, Freaky Feet Pete has now won 10 of 11 career starts and earned $271,950 for owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer.

Saturday’s 14-race card is set to get underway at 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park’s ‘Family Fun Days’ return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the harness racing season. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, live entertainment, games and winner’s circle giveaways.

Sophomore Pacing Colts Debut Impressively in Indiana Sires Stakes

Indiana’s three-year-old pacing colts were in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 23 to square off in the opening round of Indiana Sires Stakes action and as predicted, the sophomore colts opened their series in impressive fashion. Freaky Feet Pete and Wiggle It Jiggleit, considered as two of the top pacing colts for 2015, both delivered in their respective divisions.

Making his 2015 return to the races, Freaky Feet Pete picked up right where he left off as he found the winner’s circle in his sophomore debut, winning in 1:50.3. Driven by Trace Tetrick, Freaky Feet Pete used a :27.2 final panel to coast home a winner by two lengths.

Freaky Feet Pete was a decisive winner in his elimination of the Indiana Sires Stakes.

Freaky Feet Pete was a decisive winner in his elimination of the Indiana Sires Stakes.

Freaky Feet Pete settled well off the early pace, retreating to fifth while the rest of the field battled for early position through first half fractions of :27.1 and :55.4. Freaky Feet Pete began his quest to the front just past the half and reached the leader’s wheel approaching the final turn.

After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.1, Freaky Feet Pete found his best strides late in the lane and cruised home to notch his first victory of the season. The 1:50.3 final time equals his career best.

“I think his best attribute is that he’s very versatile, on the front, off the pace, it doesn’t really bother him,” driver Trace Tetrick noted after the race. “Great horses do great things and that’s what he is. He’s come back great, he’s fresh, he’s ready to race, and he loves his job.”

Voted Indiana’s two-year-old pacing colt of the year, Freaky Feet Pete has now won 10 of 11 career starts and earned $271,950 for owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer. The son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori is trained by Larry Rheinheimer,

In the very next division, Wiggle It Jiggleit, fresh off his world record setting performance, made his Hoosier Park debut a winning one to remain undefeated in nine starts. With regular pilot Montrell Teague in the sulky, Wiggle It Jiggleit made a powerful move down the backside and cruised to the wire seven lengths in front of his competition in 1:50.3.

Wiggle It Jiggleit scored his first Hoosier Park victory in his elimination for the Indiana Sires Stakes.

Wiggle It Jiggleit scored his first Hoosier Park victory in his elimination for the Indiana Sires Stakes.

The world champion took off the speed early in the mile, but made a controlled move to the lead and cleared just before the half-mile mark through fractions of :27.1 and :55.3. Wiggle It Jiggleit led the field through the three-quarter split in 1:23.3 before beginning to put his talent on display.

As the rest of the field struggled to stay within striking distance, Wiggle It Jiggleit was racing the clock. Finishing well within himself at the wire, the son of Mr. Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover coasted to the wire with his earplugs still in-tact.

“I don’t want to put him on the front every time, he’s versatile and I think he can go any way,” driver Montrell Teague noted in the winner’s circle. “I could have taken him back to last and he probably would have done the same thing. Racing him off pace just teaches him that he has to calm down a little bit, and now, hopefully, we’ll be ready for next week.”

“He’s awesome, his attitude, his intelligence, he just does everything right,” Teague continued.  “It’s a pleasure to be around a horse like him and to go those kind of miles every week. I didn’t even pop the earplugs tonight.”

Wiggle It Jiggleit became the fastest-3-year-old pacing colt on a half mile track in history when he romped to a 1:49 victory at Harrington Raceway on May 11. He is conditioned by Clyde Francis and owned by George Teague Jr. With the victory, Wiggle It Jiggleit’s career earnings surpassed the $100,000 mark.

Trainer Jon Anderson teamed up with driver Rick Plano to double up in the other two divisions of the stakes action. The Anderson-Plano scored first with My Buddy Ninkster in the opening split and followed up with Rockin Ron scoring in the final division.

After finishing second in his last two outings, My Buddy Ninkster rebounded to find the winner’s circle when it counted in 1:51.1. Benefitting from a pocket trip, My Buddy Ninkster was able to overcome the tempo-setting Harfo Hanover and Tony Hall late in the lane.

Sired by Dali, My Buddy Ninkster recorded the fourth victory of his sophomore campaign while establishing a new lifetime mark in the process. Owned by John and Mary Krasnican, the son of Dali-Sporty Ellie has now earned $46,553 lifetime.

In the final division of the stakes action, Rockin Ron kept his winning streak alive as he recorded his 5th consecutive victory at Hoosier Park in 1:51.2. The Jon Anderson trainee dictated fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.2 before powering home a winner.

The son of Real Desire-Im All A Roan is now 5 for 5 this season and six for 15 in his career. Owned by Ronald Phillips, Louis Leinberger and Jesse Ferge, Rockin Ron has earned $58,300 lifetime.

All four of the evening’s elimination winners successfully earned a spot in the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final slated for May 30 at Hoosier Park. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.

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