Category: Sports

De La Cruz, Amoss, and Patrick Win Thoroughbred Titles

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2012 Thoroughbred meet came to a close on Saturday, October 27th awarding Fernando De La Cruz with his first leading rider title at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Peruvian jockey won 68 races to finish nine victories in front of Hoosier Park’s two-time defending leading jockey winner, Leandro Goncalves.

De La Cruz earned more than $1.3 million in purse earnings during the 64-day meet.

In the midst of his best season to date, De La Cruz has already posted over $3.1 million in purse earnings and ridden 155 winners in 2012. He has also posted four consecutive seasons with purse earnings toppling the $2 million mark. In 2011 alone, De La Cruz bankrolled over $3.5 million in purse earnings with 170 trips to the winner’s circle, many of which were accumulated between Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs.

De La Cruz has relocated to Churchill Downs before heading to Tampa Bay Downs for the winter. De La Cruz palns to return to the Indiana circuit in the spring when racing resumes.

“I’m very thankful to all the trainers that gave me the chance to ride some great horses,” De La Cruz noted. “Indiana has been very good to me and my family and I can’t wait to get back.”

In the trainer ranks, Tom Amoss won an allowance optional claiming event with Senor Rain on the closing day card to edge out three-time Hoosier Park leading trainer, Gary Patrick by one victory. With 25 trips to the winner’s circle, Amoss saddled the winners of over $506,000 in purse earnings throughout the meet to take home his second leading trainer title at Hoosier Park.

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Amoss has nine previous leading trainer titles to his credit with titles at Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs and the Fairgrounds.

Amoss, 50, has started more than 10,700 horses and has won over 2,400 of those starts. For 12 years in a row, he has won more than 100 races, and in 2011 Amoss sent out a career-best 163 winners, bankrolling over $4.3 million in purse earnings. The multiple Graded Stakes winning trainer has recently worked as a racing analyst for TVG and ESPN.

Amoss was followed in the standings by Gary Patrick with 24 wins and Walter Abner, who ended the season with 23 wins.

Gary Patrick didn’t go home empty-handed as he took home the leading owner trophy with 22 victories. A native of Ohio, the trophy notched Patrick’s third leading owner title in the 18-year history of Hoosier Park. Patrick also earned leading owner honors during the 1998, and 2011 seasons. Henry Mast’s Mast Thoroughbred, LLC finished second with 11 wins.

Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr. Captures Indiana Oaks and Derby Double

It was a good day in Indiana for jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. as the multiple Graded Stakes winning jockey captured the Grade II $200,000 added Indiana Oaks and the Grade II $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Oct. 6. It was the third consecutive year a jockey has won both of Hoosier Park’s signature Thoroughbred events.

Grace Hall under Brian Hernandez, Jr. dazzled fans with an impressive five and three-quarter length win in the 17th running of the Indiana Oaks. The duo covered the one and one-sixteenth mile race in 1:41.85 over a track that was upgraded to good after a muddy start for the day.

Grace Hall wasted little time getting control of the petite field of five, breaking alertly to secure a stalking position on the outside of early pace-setters, Eden’s Moon and Rafael Bejarano. Wine Princess and Shaun Bridgmohan stalked the pace from the inside in third as they hit the first quarter mark in :23.67. Eden’s Moon continued to call the shots down the backside as the tightly packed field reached the second station in :47.31. Grace Hall was given the green light by Hernandez around the final turn as she ranged up to take the lead. The three-year-old Empire Maker filly put her raw talent on display as she began to open up on the field in the stretch. Grace Hall continued on to the wire to finish five and three-quarter lengths in front of Wine Princess. Eden’s Moon held on for the third place finish. As the heavy betting favorite, Grace Hall returned $3.80 for the victory.

“I was just the passenger today,” Hernandez, Jr. noted after the race. “This was all her. When I called on her down the stretch she went on pretty easily. I’m very thankful to have picked up this mount, she is just a really great filly and I think she showed that here today.”

Trained by Tony Dutrow, Grace Hall notched the third win of her 2012 campaign as she sent her seasonal bankroll over $600,000. Owned by Michael Dubb, Stuart Grant, and Bethlehem Stables, LLC, Grace Hall has now won six of her ten lifetime outings while bankrolling over $1.2 million in purse earnings for her connections. The multiple graded stakes winning filly was rebounding off a fifth place finish in the Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 18.

Hernandez Jr. followed suit in the very next race as he got Neck’N Neck home a winner in the 18th running of the Grade II $500,000 Indiana Derby for trainer Ian Wilkes.  Far back early, the three-year-old colt unleashed a powerful move around the final turn and continued on to win by three-quarters of a length with a final time of 1:42.71.

Unhurried out of the gate, Neck’N Neck got away a worrisome tenth in the eleven horse field. The heavy betting favorite, Fed Biz and Rafael Bejarano broke alertly from post four to get the first call. Junebugred also broke alertly under Terry Thompson to duel for the early advantage along the inside through a first quarter in :23.60. Tritap and Shaun Bridgmohan stalked the pace from three wide as Second City and Marlon St. Julien also ranged up to press the pace down the backside. Fed Biz and Junebugred continued to exchange for the lead through the second quarter in :48.32. The pace began to quicken as the tightly knit field negotiated the final turn while Neck ‘N Neck began to make his move, rallying five wide on the outside. Fed Biz continued to led as the field turned for home in the one and one-sixteenth mile contest.

With the Fed Biz tiring on the front, Neck’ N Neck accelerated coming off the final turn and pressed on to the wire to finish in front of late charging Bourbon Courage. Fed Biz held on gamely for the third place finish. Neck ‘N Neck returned $11.20 to his backers.

“I talked to Ian before the race and he said he wanted to see him off the pace,” winning rider Hernandez, Jr. noted. “I was a little worried because we were hung kind of wide, but turning for home I was pretty confident in my horse. Every time I asked him for more he went on, once he got the lead he waited for them a little bit but he took back off and felt really good at the wire.”

The Flower Alley colt was looking to bounce back and did after a sixth-place finish in the GI Travers Stake at Saratoga on Aug.25. Owned and bred by A. Steven Miles, Jr., Neck ‘N Neck notched his third win of the season in nine starts as he pushed his seasonal bankroll over $387,000. The homebred colt has now four of 13 lifetime starts and over $420,000 in purse earnings.

Hoosier Park Team Members Make Their Picks

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino would like to welcome you to the 18th edition of the grade II $500,000 Indiana Derby. We hope you’ll enjoy convenient advanced wagering, a full simulcast race schedule, official Indiana Derby merchandise, 12 heart pounding races and various entertainment acts throughout the day.

In case our in-house handicappers haven’t provided you with enough information to pick your pony for the 18th installment of Hoosier Park’s signature Thoroughbred event, we have comprised a list of Indiana Derby picks throughout the various departments at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Good Luck!

Brian Elmore, Vice President and General Manager of Racing, #11 Neck ‘Neck—This horse has had six starts at this distance and won three of them impressively. Brian Hernandez, Jr. has ridden here before and is sitting in a great seat to pilot this Flower Alley colt to the winner’s circle.

Becky Young, Director of Marketing, #2 Morgan’s Guerrilla— I’m going to have to go with my favorite jockey on this one. Now, go baby go!

Cliff Fraser, Race Marketing Manager, #9 Stealcase— This horse is finally starting to come into his own and I think he is set up perfectly to get the win in this field.

Rachel McLaughlin, Race Commentator, #6 Tritap—This horse hasn’t raced in any stakes races, so he isn’t as experienced as some, but has never been worse than 2nd. He’s not the obvious pick but I’ve learned over the years that when it comes to the Indiana Derby- you never know what to expect!

Kristy Burk, Receiving Supervisor, #3 Junebugred—He has a great name!

Kim Stalhiem, Horse Identifier and Stall Superintendent, #10 Second City—I like this horse because of my special connections with his team!

Gavin Asbury, Marketing Coordinator, #8 Bourbon Courage—Both Fed Biz  and Bourbon Courage will be heavy favorites but I believe Bourbon Courage will take it. Bourbon Courage has more track time at 1 mile+ distances.  My prediction is that Fed Biz will lead into the final stretch where Bourbon Courage  will overtake in the last 1/16th. He is a late closer with unrivaled final quarter times.

Dustin Bland, Human Resources Coordinator, #11 Neck’N’Neck—I think that shortening back up will help this horse out quite a bit. Also, with the layoff, he should be ready to run a big race.

Jason Patton, Johnny Rockets Supervisor, #5 O’Prado Again—This is a strong Dale Romans horse. He sat for a while with an injury and has a strong background and potential to be a big winner. Dale Romans has produced many great horses and I think he should be included in any pick for our Derby.

Eric Isaacson, Hoosier Park Handicapper, #11 Neck ‘N Neck—He has good tactical speed that should allow him to sit just off the pace and I think he’ll enjoy the cutback to 8.5 furlongs where he shined at CD this spring.  If he can run back to either of those efforts he’ll be tough to beat.

Karol Ford, Big Deli Supervisor, #11 NECK ‘N NECK— I picked this horse because I have a really bad pain in my neck right now (not job related!).

Full Field of Twelve Marks Eighteenth Running of Indiana Derby

A full field of twelve is set to go to post in the 18th edition of Hoosier Park’s signature Thoroughbred event, the grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. In what may be one of the most competitive fields ever assembled, the Derby is slated as the 12th race on the program and has an approximate post time of 6:15 p.m.  Purses for the 12-race card top the $1.4 million mark, making it the richest day of Thoroughbred racing in the state of Indiana.

World renowned trainer, Bob Baffert is no stranger to the Indiana Derby winner’s circle as he boasts two wins in the history of the race and looks to take aim at his third victory with the Giant’s Causeway colt, Fed Biz. With two wins in two starts this season, Fed Biz returned to the races after an eight month layoff to win the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 31. Installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite, the three-year-old colt has won three of four lifetime starts and will begin from post four under jockey Rafael Bejarano.

Also headlining the list of three-year-old colts is the grade II $500,000 Louisiana Super Derby winner, Bourbon Courage. The Kellyn Gorder-trained colt has now won three of six starts in 2012 while bankrolling over $520,000 and is the morning line second choice at 7-2. Gorder has once again called on Hoosier Park’s leading jockey, Leandro Goncalves, to ride the son of Lion Heart from post eight.

The 2012 Indiana Derby field is as follows: horse/jockey/trainer/morning line odds

  1. Easter Gift (Kendrick Carmouche/Nicholas Zito) 8-1
  2. Morgan’s Guerrilla (Victor Lebron/Michael J. Maker) 20-1
  3. Junebugred (Terry Thompson/Steve Hobby) 30-1
  4. Fed Biz (Rafael Bejarano/Bob Baffert) 5-2
  5. O’Prado Again (Corey Lanerie/Dale L. Romans) 15-1
  6. Tritap (Shaun Bridgmohan/Steven M. Asmussen) 12-1
  7. Afford (Florent Geroux/Greg Geire) 30-1
  8. Bourbon Courage (Leandro Goncalves/Kellyn Gorder) 7-2
  9. Stealcase (Jermaine Bridgmohan/Mark E. Casse) 6-1
  10. Second City (Mario Gutierrez/ Ben D. A. Cecil) 20-1
  11. Neck ‘N Neck (Brain Joseph Hernandez, Jr./ Ian R. Wilkes) 9-2
  12. Adirondack King (Stewart Elliot/John C. Servis) 30-1.

The odds aren’t always with the favorites in the Indiana Derby. Out of 17 previous races, only three favorites have crossed the wire as winners. Those winners include Forty One Carats (1999), Zanjero (2007), and Lookin At Lucky (2010).

“Once again Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is welcoming some of the top trainers, jockeys and horses in the sport of Thoroughbred racing to Indiana,” said Brian Elmore, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing. “Each year the level of competition continues to grow providing fans a day full of fast paced, thrilling horse racing action.”

Several horses that have competed in the Indiana Derby have also competed and won legs of the Triple Crown series. Previous Indiana Derby competitors have also gone on to win Breeders’ Cup events. The race increased in national exposure in 2010 when Lookin At Lucky, that year’s Preakness winner, started and won the event.

In addition to the open events, several Indiana Stakes will compliment the stellar afternoon card beginning at 12:30 p.m. The $84,000 Hillsdale Stakes, the $84,000 added City of Anderson, the $84,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes, the $84,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes “Filly Division”, the $84,000 Gus Grissom Stakes and the $84,000 Richmond Stakes are all included on the day.

About Centaur Gaming and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Indianapolis-based, Centaur Gaming, owns and operates Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the second year in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal and holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live and simulcast Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing each year.  Simulcast wagering is also offered year-round at the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting properties located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Indiana.

Meet Racing Rachel

Racing RachelFrom color commentator to purist handicapper and everything in between, Racing Rachel McLaughlin is a shining star amongst a new generation of horse racing enthusiasts. Here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the standard. Rachel is no exception. Horsemanship is steeped in tradition and race presentations have remained relatively unchanged throughout history. While many facets of the sport are here to stay, Hoosier Park aims to facilitate a new generation of horsemen. The focal point of our efforts lies with Rachel McLaughlin and her trackside reporting. Rachel is no stranger to the horseman culture. As an avid rider and horse owner herself, she has been involved with horsemanship for many years. Rachel began western style riding at an early age with her spotted saddle horse named Adidas. With her love of riding and knowledge of all things equine, she soon found her way to Hoosier Park in 2010 as a racing intern. 

As an intern Rachel excelled under the pressure of live reporting and her comfortability on camera ultimately landed her the position of lead commentator. Since her debut here at Hoosier Park, she has left no stone unturned in her endeavor to learn the sports betting side of both Standardbred and Thoroughbred horseracing. There are very few tracks across the nation that host both Thoroughbred and Standardbred competition. Each sport has an entirely different set of guidelines and knowledge of one does not equate to success in the other. McLaughlin makes the annual transition from Standardbred to Thoroughbred without missing a beat. With each passing year she has been able to build upon her solid foundation of racing knowledge and continues to grow to this day. Her unique ability to effectively cycle between the two forms of racing and her unmistakable presence on camera has brought her national attention as well. At only twenty four years of age, Racing Rachel is off to a notable start with features on both ESPN and HRTV. With a background in Sports Marketing and her unforgettable style, it seems Racing Rachel has only just begun. 

Rachel is currently hosting her fifth meet at Hoosier Park and her experience is evident as she transitions into an even broader role. Racing Rachel has developed into an excellent handicapper. In her first handicapping season she has already begun making a name for herself as her picks continue to hit the board. Coming off a successful Standardbred season, she has transitioned back to her roots with Thoroughbred. Her growing knowledge of the sport has landed her multiple roles as a handicapper, analyst, and commentator. Rachel also assists with marketing efforts  and holds the title of Marketing Coordinator. When she is not in front of the camera she spends her time planning promotions and giveaways to make our events enjoyable for guests of all experience levels. If you have been to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino you have undoubtedly taken part in one of her many daily activities and most likely went home with something to show for it. Rachel’s presence on camera is second to none and has an uncanny ability to make even the most mundane of tasks exciting and fun. Rachel’s role at Hoosier Park has increased the family fun aspect as well with daily games and giveaways that cater to individuals of all age groups. Racing Rachel’s personality exemplifies our mission here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and we look forward to ushering in a new era of racing experience alongside her.

 If you are a fan of horseracing or would like to learn more about the woman behind the microphone, check out the Racing Rachel Facebook fan page or follow @HP_RacingRachel on Twitter. Also, be sure to stop in at 5:00 pm on weekdays to watch Rachel and Steve Cross kick off daily racing events with their live pre-race show in the Terrace.

Indianapolis Colts Fan Appreciation Days

On July 29th, our Indy Boys in Blue descended on Anderson University’s campus. Along with the one hundred man roster, coaches, staff and trainers took up temporary residency here in Anderson. With the many companies in the area showing their support, there was a sense of excitement in the air as you drove down Scatterfield to the playing field.  This is the third year Hoosier Park has participated in the camp festivities and were  even selected as an Official Super Celebration Site for last year’s Big Game in February. Hoosier Park’s support of Indianapolis football is now in full swing. For this year’s camp, Hoosier Park welcomed Big Blue fans with “Fan Appreciation Days.” During camp, guests of the park enjoyed special deals on food and beverages ranging from yard long beers to half-priced buffets as well as a koozie giveaway. The camp celebration culminated with a premium season ticket giveaway on Friday, August 17th. Charles Agnew of Anderson took home the coveted prize.  At Hoosier Park, we are proud supporters of our Boys in Blue and wish them “Luck” this season.

Indiana Derby Highlight 2012 Stakes Season at Hoosier Park

Once again, the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby will be the highlight of the 2012 Thoroughbred season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Now in its 18th running, the Indiana Derby has served as a stop for several of the top three-year-olds in the nation that are searching for a final prep en route to the Breeders’ Cup. Last year, Wilburn and jockey Julien Leparoux made a sweeping move in the final turn to win Hoosier Park’s featured event. The duo covered the one and one-sixteenth mile event in a time of 1:43.3 over the fast track that was upgraded from muddy earlier in the day.

The Indiana Derby is placed in its customary first Saturday in October slot, this year landing on October 6th. As in 2011, the race pushed purses for the entire day over $1 million mark, a bold statement for Indiana Thoroughbred racing. Joining the Indiana Derby will be the Grade II $200,000-added Indiana Oaks, the $100,000-added Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Mile and the $100,000-added Mari Hulman George Stakes. In addition to open events, several Indiana Stakes will be on the stellar afternoon racing card, including the $84,000 Hillsdale Stakes, the $84,000 The City of Anderson stakes, the $84,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes, the $84,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes Filly Division, the $84,000 Gus Grissom Stakes, and the $84,000 Richmond Stakes. Total purse money for the day will be in excess of $1 million.

The 2012 Thoroughbred stakes season gets underway Saturday, August 25th with the 16th running of the $84,000 Brickyard Stakes and the 18th running of the $84,000 Merrillville Stakes.

The Don K Memorial Starter Handicap Series is also slated for the 2011 season. Five legs of the series are scheduled with the distance increasing as the series progresses throughout the meet. The fifth leg will round out the series on Wednesday, October 24 running at a distance of one and one-eighth mile. The $200,000 Too Much Coffee Stakes and the $200,000 Frances Slocum Stakes will be contested on the final racing program of the season.

Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse Racing Returns to Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, IND. – July 30, 2012 – Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will kick off its 18th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing on Wednesday, Aug., 1. The 64-day meet runs through Saturday, Oct., 27, with racing held Tuesday through Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday beginning at 12:30 p.m. Building on the successful ‘Family-Friendly’ themed events and activities of the Standardbred meet, Hoosier Park will include additional promotions, dining specials, giveaways, and entertainment to run alongside live racing.

To open the second meet of the year, the first 2,000 racing fans to visit the Trackside Club Centaur Rewards center will receive up to $1,000 in free race wagering.  The nine race opener will also offer two times points to those guests using their Club Centaur Rewards cards while wagering on Hoosier Park live races and $1 draft beer and hot dog specials.

As an added bonus on Saturday Aug., 4, guests can meet the ESPY award-winning Julie Krone from 4 p.m. to
5 p.m. in the Yard. Krone, a female jockey, is known as the most successful in history and the first woman inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame. Additionally, the first 2,000 guests to visit the Terrace Club Centaur Rewards center beginning at noon will receive a free Hoosier Park Thoroughbred racing t-shirt.

Weekends during the meet will once again offer fans the enjoyment of both live racing and numerous entertainment opportunities throughout the venue. ‘Fan-tastic Fridays,’ offering $1 customer specials including beer, hot dogs, wagers, and racing programs and ‘Family Fun Saturdays,’ full of  live entertainment, kid-friendly outdoor games and activities, winner’s circle giveaways, and dining specials will round out each racing week. Friday’s ‘Beat the Big Guy’ handicapping competition will give guests an opportunity to out-handicap Centaur Gaming chairman and CEO, Rod Ratcliff, for a chance to win up to $750.

“We are looking toward our 18th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing with much anticipation and excitement,” Brian Elmore, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing noted. “We are going above and beyond expectations to provide everyone a better experience and I’m confident that the horsemen and patrons will appreciate Hoosier Park’s efforts and multiple facility enhancements.”

The racing competition is starting to take shape with word that, Leandro Goncalves, last year’s leading jockey will return to Indiana to defend his second consecutive leading jockey title at Hoosier Park.  Goncalves earned more than $2.1 million in purse earnings during the 2011 meet, which was just shy of his track record setting year in 2010 with a total of $2,405,286. Fernando De La Cruz finished second with a total of 81 wins while Hoosier Park’s all-time leading rider, Rodney Prescott, was third with 50 wins.

On the training side of things, Gary Patrick earned his third leading trainer title at Hoosier Park in 2011 with 36 wins. Patrick also topped the owner charts for the second straight year with his 2011 record. A native of Circleville, Ohio, Patrick won his first leading trainer title at Hoosier Park in 1998 and picked up his second title in 2002. He is currently ranked second on the list of all-time leading trainers at Hoosier Park behind Ralph Martinez. Patrick was followed in the standings by Barbara McBride and the 2010 leading trainer Tom Amoss, each ending the season with 19 wins.

Quarter Horse racing will experience another exciting day devoted to their breed. Now in its 16th year, an all Quarter Horse racing program is set for Saturday, Oct. 13. Tagged as the “Wild West Adventure”, the afternoon event will include trials for some of the biggest Quarter Horse events in the state. Patrons can enjoy Indiana’s best Quarter Horse racing along with Wild West-themed food and drink and lots of fun family entertainment.

Known in recent years for attracting some of the biggest names in horse racing, the 18th running of the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby will take place Saturday Oct. 6.  The fan-favorite event will highlight the stakes schedule of the Thoroughbred meet and promises to be an exciting day at the races. The $500,000-added Grade II Indiana Derby will be the featured event on the card along with the $200,000-added Grade II Indiana Oaks, the $100,000-added Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Mile, and the $100,000-added Mari Hulman George Stakes, filling completing Indiana’s richest day of racing.

About Centaur Gaming and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Indianapolis-based, Centaur Gaming, owns and operates Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the second year in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal and holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live and simulcast Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing each year.  Simulcast wagering is also offered year-round at the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting properties located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Indiana.


Our Lucky Chip Powerful in Fourth Round of ISS Action

A group of seven lined up behind the gate for the fourth and final leg of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and it was Our Lucky Chip who romped home a winner in 1:50.3. The three-year-old colt turned in an impressive performance to score his third Indiana Sire Stakes victory.

Sent postward as the heavy betting favorite, Our Lucky Chip was unhurried out of the gate by driver Trace Tetrick. With an electric opening quarter of :25.3, it was Andy Shetler and Sunday Poker, the Silver Sire Stakes invader, calling the shots with Rustle’s Chip and Don Eash following closely in second. The field remained in single file line through the half mile time of :55.2 before Tetrick gave Our Lucky Chip the green light. Fridaynightflight was well placed second over with Jammin Joshua right behind him third over. Reaching the leader’s wheel around the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.2, Our Lucky Chip sprinted clear and charged home to win convincingly by two lengths over Sunday Poker.  Jammin Joshua and Sam Widger staged a big rally late in the lane to get up for the third place finish. Our Lucky Chip returned $3.60 to his backers.

“He came back a little sharper this week,” Tetrick noted of the colt. “The three weeks off last week hurt him a little bit but he raced really tough tonight. He seemed really strong around the last turn and he dug in and got there tonight. He’s very competitive in this field of horses so I’m really looking forward to the final.”

Trained by Jason Miller, who also co-owns the colt with Bradley Roller, Our Lucky Chip has now increased his lifetime bankroll over $70,000. With the victory, Our Lucky Chip became the fastest son of Indiana’s leading three-year-old pacing sire, Art’s Chip. The brown colt has now won nine of 12 career outings and seven of nine seasonal starts.

Our Lucky Chip will advance to the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday, July 14. The race will be part of Hoosier Champions Night, featuring more than $1 million in purses for the Indiana Sire Stakes. Friday, July 13 will also be part of the national harness racing promotion, “Back to the Track” night. The Indiana Standardbred Association will offer several addition promotions and giveaways throughout the weekend to mark the final night of harness racing for 2012.

Two Year Old Trotters Debut Impressively at Hoosier Park

Dojea Nodoze and Ricky Macomber Jr. capture first round of George Sholty Series

The first two-year-old races were held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, June 26, as three $10,000 divisions of “The George Sholty” series were contested, a late closing event open to two-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

Among the list of impressive performers were Dojea Nodoze and Mr Jesse, a first start time starting duo sent postward from the Ron Burke stable. Dojeo Nodoze obeyed early orders from Ricky Macomber Jr. and eased into a spot along the rail in third. The duo was satisfied to follow along through the first quarter in :30.3 as Sizzling Hall and Dale Hiteman led the way down the backstretch. As the field of nine reached the half mile time in 1:02.3, Macomber Jr. gave the cue to Dojea Nodoze who was able to put a nose in front of the leader around the three-quarter mark in 1:31.4. As the field turned for home, Dojea Nodoze separated himself from the pack and powered home a winner in 2:01.2 by five and three quarter lengths. Mikey’s Trottintoy and Mark O’Mara were able to use their rail position to get up for the second place finish as Jailhouse Jive and Doug Rideout trotted evenly for third.

Sired by Cincinnati Kid, the two-year-old colt is owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Bred by Dojea Stables, Dojea Nodoze was a $20,000 yearling purchase from the Indiana Premier Yearling Sale last fall.

Mr Jesse followed up his stablemate’s performance with his own five and one quarter length romp in his division of the late closing action. Driven by Ricky Macomber Jr., Mr Jesse left alertly from post six to find the front through an opening panel in :30.3. The freshman remained uncontested through fractions of 1:02.1 and 1:32.3, before trotting home in :28.4 to win going away in 2:01.2. Doug Rideout guided Poppycock to a second place finish as Boy Meets Girl K closed well for third. Mr Jesse represents the first Indiana eligible crop from the stand out sire, Jailhouse Jesse. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Slaughter Racing Stable, Mr Jesse was a $20,000 yearling purchase from the Indiana Premier Yearling Sale last fall.

Go Gaspy Go and Rick Farrington closed out the late closing action for freshman trotters with a 2:02 victory by two and a half lengths over Paulie and Doug Rideout. Sired by Elegant Man, the two-year-old colt was able to make his way through traffic and track down Paulie down the stretch to trot home with a :28.3 closing kick. Buddy Garland and Walter Haynes Jr. rounded out the trifecta. Go Gaspy Go is trained, owned, and bred by Aaron Stutzman.

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