Category: Horse Racing
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2015 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race card on Saturday, July 25 and it was Trace Tetrick who took home top honors and won his share of the $5,000 Round 1 prize. In its’ second year, the 2015 Champion Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park against one another in a five-race challenge with the ten coveted spots being based upon wins during the 2015 season.
Tetrick, a 28-year-old, Illinois native earned one win, one second, one third and two off the board finishes during the five-race competition for a total of 39 points to secure the win. LeWayne Miller, last year’s Champion Driver Series winner, finished second with 38 points followed by Sam Widger finishing third with 36 points.
Tetrick kicked things off with a win in the first leg of the challenge behind Pipecreek Yankee for trainer Walter Haynes Jr., earning 15 points. He finished sixth in the next race but was able to guide Humble Hero to a second place finish to earn nine points in the third leg of the challenge.
After the fourth race of the series and just one race left to go, Tetrick was tied for first with LeWayne Miller at 31 points. Dillander moved into second place after a win with Endeavors Lady Luck while Ed Hensley had accumulated 29 points for third.
Tetrick was able to clinch the trophy and the lion’s share of the $5,000 prize in the final race by steering Jagger Blue Chip to a third place finish, earning eight points. LeWayne Miller secured second place after a fourth place finish with Steviescooter while Sam Widger moved into third place after a decisive win with Major Starlight.
“I was feeling pretty good about the horses I picked coming into tonight,” Tetrick noted after the win. “Luckily, the trips worked out and the horses showed up. A couple of my horses raced really well, a few of the others didn’t, but it all worked out.”
Tetrick currently leads all drivers for the 2015 season at Hoosier Park with 159 victories and over $1.5 million in purse earnings through the first 85 days of live racing. Tetrick recorded his first win at Hoosier Park in 2006 and has been a mainstay atop Hoosier Park’s leader board ever since. In 2008, Tetrick became the youngest driver or jockey to ever win a title at Hoosier Park after garnering 117 victories that season. Tetrick took home the leading driver title in 2014 and also earned a spot in Hoosier Park’s record books once again as he re-established the record for most wins in one season, a record that was previously held by Tony Morgan during the 1998 season with 262 victories.
“This was a lot of fun,” he continued. “We’re always a competitive group and we always have fun with each other but when you have a challenge like this, it really brings out the competitiveness in all of us. I know it’s something we’ve been looking forward to all week.”
Tetrick will look to defend his title in Round 2 of the Champion Driver Series slated for October 17 at Hoosier Park. While the second go-round will be conducted in the same manner as the first, the winner of the final challenge will be awarded a Hawaiian vacation for four, valued at $15,000.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, July 28 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continued Indiana Sires Stakes action on Friday, July 24 as they played host to two $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals on the 14-race card. It was a night ruled by favorites, as both divisions were won by the publics’ choice.
Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander set the tone for the evening as they delivered as they heavy favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies in 1:51. With the win, Nora Rockwell notched her fifth consecutive victory at Hoosier Park and established a new lifetime best in the process.
In a talented field of ten, Nora Rockwell left just enough to protect her rail position. Can’t Touch Her and Ross Leonard were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.3 but their lead would be short lived as Rock The Look and Trent Stohler were out and firing.
Just as Rock The Look took command, Dillander had Nora Rockwell aimed to the front and she dictated fractions of :55.2 and 1:22.4. Rockin Good and Jared Finn were the next to make a move to the front and were matching strides with the leader turning for home.
Nora Rockwell continued to fend off challenges from the field and used a :28.1 final quarter to find the wire a head in front of a hard charging Can’t Touch Her. Rock The Look rounded out the trifecta. As the bettors’ choice, Nora Rockwell returned $5.00 at the betting window.
“She is awesome,” trainer Marlin Fry said with a smile after the win. “She has been a lot of fun. I’ve always known she was a nice filly but this has absolutely been a surprise, much, much more than I ever expected. Jason has a done great job with her, too.”
Trained and owned by Marlin Fry, Nora Rockwell scored her 12th lifetime victory and now sports a career bankroll of $188,572. The daughter of Palone Ranger-Norma Rockwell recorded her eighth victory from 15 seasonal outings with the win.
In the two-year-old pacing filly ranks, Ginger Shark turned in her own impressive performance to score in 1:52.2 in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final with driver Trace Tetrick in the bike. The 1:52.2 clocking not only established a new lifetime best for the Brian Brown trainee but also equaled the track record at Hoosier Park for two-year-old pacing fillies. Ginger Shark remains undefeated in four starts in 2015.
Ginger Shark rattled off splits of :27.2, :55.4, and 1:24.3 before sprinting away from the rest of the field. Using a :27.3 final quarter, Ginger Shark paced on to the wire to finish three lengths in front of Shady Caroline and Ricky Macomber Jr. As the 1-5 favorite, Ginger Shark returned $2.40 at the betting windows.
Trained by Brian Brown, Ginger Shark has now earned $95,000 from four career outings. The daughter of Shadyshark Hanover-Miss AJ Ponda is owned by Emerald Highlands Farm.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues on Saturday, July 25 with a 14-race card featuring the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts. Hoosier Park will also play host to the opening round of the 2015 Champion Driver Series on Saturday. 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.
With an impressive showing by Indiana’s three-year-old trotting fillies last evening at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in stakes action, their male counterparts were not to be outdone in their turn of Indiana Sires Stakes on Thursday, July 23. A field of ten sophomore trotting colts lined up behind the gate in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final and once again, the race left no doubt as to who was the best on this night.
With a seven race win streak on the line, Homicide Hunter continued his divisional dominance to score impressively in 1:53.4. With regular driver John DeLong in the sulky, Homicide Hunter equaled the track record for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings with the win and remains undefeated in his sophomore campaign.
Starting from the trailing post position ten, Homicide Hunter was unhurried in the early stages of the race to settle along the rail in fifth. Shawnee Valley and Jason Dillander left the gate firing to rattle off splits of :27.1 and :56.4 while Hominy Hill and Trace Tetrick benefitted from a pocket trip.
As the field approached the final turn, DeLong gave Homicide Hunter the green light and he quickly engaged the leader at the three-quarter clocking in 1:26.2. Homicide Hunter reached the lead as the field turned for home and simply sprinted away from the field to cruise on to the wire under a hand drive, winning by five lengths. Bluebird Reverend and Rick Farrington rallied gamely in the stretch but had to settle for second place honors while Hominy Hill rounded out the trifecta. As the overwhelming favorite, Homicide Hunter returned $3.00 at the betting window.
With the victory, Homicide Hunter remains undefeated in Indiana Sires Stakes action in 2015. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham and trained by Curt Grummel, the homebred son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won 11 of 18 lifetime starts.
The stakes action opened up for the evening with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Downthehighwy and Jason Dillander used a well-timed rally to score their second consecutive victory, this time in 1:53.2. Downthehighwy was able to track down the pacesetting Granite and Peter Wrenn before holding off a late charge late in the lane from Matrix of Luck and Tyler Smith to get the win.
The victory was the second of the season from five tries for the son of Dontgetinmyway-Happy Tears and a lifetime best effort. Trained by Robert Taylor, Downthehighway has now earned $70,375 for his connections at Mack Racing Stables, LLC.
For the second consecutive week, the track record for three-year-old trotting fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was re-established as Churita lowered her own mark once again in Indiana Sires Stakes action on Wednesday, July 22. With a 1:53.4 final time, Churita and Trace Tetrick captured the co-featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies, in a lifetime best effort to remain undefeated in 2015.
Churita established her previous track record of 1:54 on July 15, breaking a 1:54.2 mark set by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder in 2013. Churita’s1:53.4 victory marks the third track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in 2015.
Leaving from post five in a field of nine, Churita was sent away from the gate firing to dictate first half fractions of :27.3 :56.1. Mark O’Mara and Diamond Dagger were unable to find a spot along the rail and pressed on to the lead approaching the half.
Diamond Dagger had reached the leader’s wheel at the three-quarter clocking in 1:25.1 but began to retreat as the taxing trip had taken its toll. Even after being pressed for much of the mile, Churita continued to call the shots and looked strong on the front as the field turned for home.
Using a :28.3 final clip, Churita dug in gamely to hold off a hard charging Hannelore Hanover and Ricky Macomber Jr. late in the lane. Golden Big Stick and Tyler Smith also rallied nicely in the homestretch but were forced to settle for third place honors. As the heaving betting favorite, Churita returned $2.10 to her backers.
Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won 15 of 17 lifetime starts and sports a career bankroll of $412,050. The daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare was crowned Indiana’s two-year-old trotting filly of the year and is owned by Jackie Porter.
In the two-year-old trotting colt ranks, Bridge to Jesse’s and Ed Hensley were victorious in the other $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final on the evening. Fresh off a win in the Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations last week, Bridge To Jesse’s surged late in the lane to trot home a winner in 1:58. Trained by Roger Welch, Bridge To Jesse’s has now won three of four lifetime outings while earning $61,600.
Indiana-sired freshman trotting fillies were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 21 as the evening’s 14-race card was highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final and $25,000 consolation for the two-year-old trotting fillies.
Miss Tootsie Hall and Trace Tetrick made a clean sweep of the second round of stakes action as they scored their second consecutive victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final. After scoring handily in her elimination last week, Miss Tootsie Hall rallied gamely late in the lane to score in a lifetime best of 1:58.1.
The heavily favored Naughty III and Peter Wrenn, also winners in elimination action last week, dictated first half fractions of :28 and :58.1while the rest of the field remained in single file order. Unable to wait any longer, Tetrick made his move down the backside and began the long first-over bid approaching the third station in 1:28.4.
As the field turned for home, Naughty III appeared to be up to the task as she matched strides with Miss Tootsie Hall who quickly joined her on the outside. Tetrick asked his mount for more and she responded gamely to overcome the leader in the final strides of the mile.
With the victory, the daughter of Mr Cantab-Malibu Hall has now won three of five lifetime outings. Trained by Robert Taylor, Miss Tootsie Hall has earned $60,000 for her connections at Hoosierland Farm.
In the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for two-year-old trotting fillies, Just Jess and Doug Rideout returned to their winning ways scoring in 1:59.4. Just Jess, who captured the first $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies earlier this month, rebounded to score her third win of the season after finishing third in her elimination.
Using her customary late charge, Just Jess was able to track down the pacesetter Lockwood Grace and Trace Tetrick late in the lane to win by three parts of a length. Trained by Doug Rideout, the daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Glide Sally Glide scored her third career victory and equaled her lifetime best in the process. Owned by Julie Rideout and Alan White, Just Jess has now bankrolled $54,900 for her connections.
Freaky Feet Pete turned in another dominating performance to find the winner’s circle at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 18 in his split of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, extending his win streak to three in the process. Driven by regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Freaky Feet Pete reached the wire eleven lengths in front of his closest competitor to stop the clock in 1:50.3 and notched his fourth win of the season.
Tetrick took no chances and sent the overwhelming favorite to the front from post seven in the field of nine. Freaky Feet Pete dictated fractions of :27, :54.4 and 1:22.3 while the rest of the field remained in single file order. Rockin Ron and Rick Plano benefitted from a pocket trip while Supreme Z Tam and Ross Leonard began the first over attack down the backside.
As the rest of the field struggled to stay within striking distance, Freaky Feet Pete began to put his talent on display with still no urging from Tetrick. With a six length lead turning for home, Freaky Feet Pete used a :28 final panel to coast on to the wire. Vague Traces and Sam Widger rallied late in the lane for second place honors while Rockin Ron held on for third. Freaky Feet Pete returned $2.10 to his backers at the window.
“That’s what he does,” Tetrick said after the win. “He’s a professional. He’s grown up this year and loves his job. Tonight, he did what he does every time he races, he raced giant again.”
Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored his thirteenth career victory from fifteen lifetime outings. The son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has now earned $349,600 for his owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer.
Skim The Top and Dale Hiteman took the next split of the stakes action scoring in 1:53 for trainer Krista Harmon. Staging a big rally late in the lane, Skim The Top dug in gamely to hold off Caviart Skyler and Tyler Smith. With the win, the son of Geartogear-Schmoley notched his third win of the season from nine outings. Skim The Top has now earned $73,913 for owner Gary Clark.
Royal Rex and John Delong pulled a slight upset to take the final division of the stakes action, scoring in a lifetime best of 1:51.4. Using the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage, Delong tipped Royal Rex late in the lane and he used a :27.1 to win by a head. Trained by Roger Cullipher, Royal Rex scored his second win of the season from 13 starts. The son of Sand Shooter-Go Ginny Go has now earned $40,919 for owner Nathan Sea.
All three of the evening’s elimination winners successfully earned a spot in the third $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts slated for Saturday, July 25 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 and be conducted through November 14.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.