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Indiana Grand, Hoosier Park Ranked as Indy-Area’s Most Popular Attractions

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, located minutes South and North of Indianapolis respectively, were ranked as the “Most Popular Indianapolis-Area Attractions” by the Indianapolis Business Journal in the publication’s annual ranking of the Top 25 in central Indiana.
 
Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park welcomed more than 6.5 million guests in 2013, placing the two properties in the first and second place rankings. The two racetrack casino properties ranked above the likes of the Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and both the Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Colts organizations. The Indianapolis Business Journal compiles the annual rankings based on each location’s attendance figures.
 
“Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park’s more than 2,000 team members are proud of this level of recognition which was achieved through their ongoing efforts to provide our guests a superior entertainment experience,” said Jim Brown, Centaur Gaming’s president, COO, and Indiana Grand general manager. “We attribute each property’s popularity to a focus on quality customer service and a dedication to entertain – be it in the casino, at the racetrack, in one of our many restaurants and lounges, or at concerts featuring national headline entertainment. We look forward to continuing to make our gaming and racing properties popular entertainment options locally as well as with guests from throughout the Midwest.”

Hoosier Park to Host Grey Ghost Halloween Pacing Derby

SILVER DOLLAR - THE GREY GHOST HALLOWEEN PACING DERBY 10-31It is nothing out of the ordinary to see a field of horses line-up behind the Hoosier Park starting gate but racing fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, October 30 will have the chance to see something they don’t often see. A field of all grey pacers will line up behind the starting gate to battle it out in two divisions of the $10,000 “Grey Ghost Halloween Pacing Derby” at Hoosier Park.

Hoosier Park’s Racing Secretary, Scott Peine assembled two fields of six “ghostly” pacers in honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday. According to the United States Trotting Association, less than five percent of all harness horses are grey in color. Slated as the fifth and seventh races on the 12-race card, the “Grey Ghost Halloween Pacing Derby” will feature two divisions and are aptly named “The Freddy Krueger” division and “The Jason Vorhees” division.

In the opening division, Trace Tetrick has been enlisted to drive the morning line favorite, Maddysonofagun, from post four for trainer Tom T. Tetrick. The four-year-old gelded son of Modern Art will look to score his second victory of the season for owners Mary Alice and Tom D. Tetrick.

In the second division, Casey’s Lil’ Harry will look to score his second win of the season as the 5-2 morning line choice for driver Don Harmon from post five. Trained by Krista Harmon, the grey gelding is sired by Hawaiian Cowboy and owned by John Moody.

Just one day later, Hoosier Park will offer arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live racing season on Friday, October 31 as Grand Circuit racing action returns to Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval. Hoosier Park will host a standout card that includes the $275,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts, the $230,000 Carl Erskine trot, and the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby.

In conjunction with the Halloween festivities, Hoosier Park will also host the 2014 Monster Bash on Friday, October 31 beginning at 9:00 p.m. in the Terrace level of the grandstand. The 2014 Monster Bash will offer live music, drink specials and a costume contest with a top prize of $1,000 in each of the contest categories.

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

Sophomores Shine in Hoosier Stakes Action

The three-year-old divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes action took center stage at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 11 as they played host to the fifth and final round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. The Hoosier state’s top sophomore competitors were out in full force and did not disappoint in each of the four divisions.  

The stakes action kicked off with the sophomore trotting fillies and it was Hall Pass Helen and driver Trace Tetrick who emerged victorious in the $75,000 final. Uninvolved in the early stages of the race, Hall Pass Helen was able to find late racing room deep in the stretch to score in a lifetime best effort of 1:55.3. It was the second consecutive Indiana Sires Stakes Final victory for the daughter of Justice Hall-Rompaway Olympia and fourth win of the season from 15 outings.

Trained by Kelly Goodwin, Hall Pass Helen sent her career bankroll over the $100,000 mark with the win for her connections of T. Halstead, K. Goodwin, T. Hathaway, and Chestnut Acres. Hall Pass Helen has now won four of 23 lifetime outings.

Tetrick found the winner’s circle once more in the very next division of

Color's A Virgin

Color’s A Virgin

the stakes action with Color’s A Virgin taking home top honors in the $75,000 three-year-old pacing filly final. The daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color capped off a near perfect stakes season as she scored in 1:52. After being out nearly every step of the mile, Color’s A Virgin used a :26.1 final panel to find the wire six lengths in front of her stablemate Candy’s A Virgin and Tyler Smith.

Trained by Brian Brown, Color’s A Virgin scored her third victory in Indiana Sires Stakes action this season and 15th lifetime victory from 23 outings. The 2014 Jugette winner has now amassed $284,372 in 2014 for her connections at Emerald Highlands Farm.

Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. kept their winning streak in-tact as they scored their fifth consecutive victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts. In near gate-to-wire fashion, Rose Run Parker stopped the timer in 1:54.1, just a fifth of a second off his lifetime best.

Trained by Ron Burke, Rose Run Parker notched his 11th victory of his sophomore campaign from 13 outings. The victory pushed his career earnings to $437,250 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and W. Haas Jr.

Bluehourpower

Bluehourpower

In the final division of the stakes action on the night, Bluehourpower was able to overcome a taxing trip to return to his winning ways and score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts. With driver Sam Widger at the lines, Bluehourpower held off a late charge from If I Lose and Trace Tetrick to stop the timer in 1:51.

Trained and owned by Wilbur Eash, Bluehourpower has now won seven of 15 seasonal outings while amassing $172,925 in 2014. The son of Sand Shooter-Blue Hour notched his 11th lifetime victory from 26 starts.

The 2014 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 18 at Hoosier Park. With purses leaning toward the $2 million mark, the 14-race card slated for October 18 will be one of the richest nights offered in the Indiana Sires Stakes program.

Hoosier Park Hosts Indiana Sires Stakes Finals

HoosierChampions-2013Indiana’s finest trotters and pacers will be on display Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for Hoosier Champions Night, the fifth and final round of the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals. Each night, the Hoosier state will showcase its best two and three-year-old competitors and after the dust settles, eight new Indiana Sires Stakes champions will be crowned. The first race will line up behind the starting gate at 5:15 p.m. both nights.

Revamped for the 2014 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 freshman finals and consolations will highlight the 14-race card on Friday, October 10 with the three-year-old divisions slated for Saturday, October 11.

The 2014 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 18 at Hoosier Park. With purses leaning toward the $2 million mark, the 14-race card slated for October 18 will be one of the richest nights offered in the Indiana Sires Stakes program.

“Our Hoosier Champions Night has become a much-anticipated event among horseman and racing fans alike,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “The 2014 season has already exceeded my expectations and I am excited to offer racing fans another stellar night of racing. To have horses of this quality racing at Hoosier Park speaks volumes to where our racing program has come and where it is going.”

In its’ 21st season of live harness racing, Hoosier Park is in the midst of one of its’ fastest season to date. Sweet Lou recently lowered the overall track record to 1:47.2 in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational on August 8. Of the eight respective Indiana Sires Stakes divisions, five of the eight divisions have produced track record breaking or equaling miles this season.

In conjunction with a rich Indiana Sires Stakes program, Hoosier Park will also offer Grand Circuit racing action two more times during the 2014 season. The $75,000 Circle City stakes and the $75,000 Madison County stakes will highlight the live racing card on October 24 and October 25. The $225,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby will feature some of the best older pacers in the country and headline the final Grand Circuit racing action at Hoosier Park on October 31.

Hoosier Park to Add Fall Overnight Series

As Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues their 21st season of live harness racing, horsemen should be advised that Hoosier Park will offer several new overnight series for the remainder of the racing calendar.

The 2014 live racing season, comprised of 160 days, offers an extended stakes schedule and will be conducted through November 15. In conjunction with the extended stakes schedule, Hoosier Park will offer the fall overnight series beginning in October and will continue through the end of the live racing calendar. 

“The Polar Vortex” pacing series is open to horses that have started for a base claiming price of $6,000 or less in one of their last 3 starts (up to and including 10/23/14), $6,000 claimers are also eligible. “The Polar Vortex” pacing series will also offer a division for fillies and mares.

“The City of Anderson” trotting series is open to horses that have started for a base claiming price of $7,500 in one of their last three starts (up to and including 10/22/14), $7,500 claimers are also eligible.

Each of these series is comprised of two preliminary legs and a final with the top ten money earners in each series making up the final. A consolation will also be offered for each. Horses that enter for a claiming tag in the claiming series will not be eligible to be claimed in the following starts in the series.
The “Polar Vortex” pacing series and the “The City of Anderson” trotting series will be open to any horse that fits the condition with a $25 entry for the legs of the series but will not have a nomination requirement.

Hoosier Park will also offer several overnight series for Indiana-sired horses. Each series will be comprised of one leg and a final. The series will be made available to any Indiana-sired horse that fits the condition and will also not have a nomination requirement.

The conditions for the Indiana-sired series, listed individually, are as follows: 1) Two-year-old colt and gelding trot, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 2) Two-year-old colt and gelding pace, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 3) Two-year-old filly trot, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 4) Two-year-old filly pace, winners over $40,000 lifetime are not eligible 5) Winners of one but not more than three pari-mutuel races or $15,000 life (up to and including 10/13/14) to be claimed for $10,000 trot 6) Winners of one but not more than three pari-mutuel races or $15,000 life (up to and including 10/13/14) to be claimed for $10,000 pace 7) Winners of one but not more than three pari-mutuel races or $15,000 life (up to and including 10/13/14) to be claimed for $10,000 (fillies and mares).

All of the fall overnight series will be on Hoosier Park’s condition sheets and can be found on Hoosier Park’s website as soon as they are made available. To see a full list of the fall overnight series, please click here.

 

Field of nine assembled for the 20th running of the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby

 20thDerbyLogo-GoldBlack

A field of nine will go postward for the 20th running of the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby Saturday, Oct. 4 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. In a surprising twist, undefeated Atreides has been selected as the early morning line favorite at odds of 6-5. Ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario, Atreides will start from post three, right beside the other powerhouse in the race, Vicar’s in Trouble, who starts from post four with rider Rosie Napravnik aboard.

Atreides will arrive via Fed Ex into Indianapolis International Airport Friday, Oct. 3 in preparation for the race. The trip will be his first race out of his home state of Florida for trainer Marty Wolfson. The Medaglia d’Oro colt broke both his maiden and his allowance in impressive fashion before stepping up to the $90,000 Monarchos Stake at Gulfstream Park in late August. Known for his early speed, Atreides rolled to victory by a whopping 17 ½ lengths for the victory to keep his racing slate undefeated in three outings. He is owned and bred by Stonestreet Stables, who also owned 2011 Indiana Derby winner Wilburn.

Vicar’s in Trouble is the only Graded Stakes winner in the field and has been selected as the second choice on the morning line. A winner of the Grade II Super Derby in his last start, he comes into the race as the only millionaire, only missing the board once in seven starts for 2014, three of which are wins. Owned by Sarah and Ken Ramsey, Vicar’s in Trouble was a starter in the Grade I Kentucky Derby this spring. Prior to that, the Into Mischief colt earned wins in the Grade II Louisiana Derby and the Grade III LeComte Stakes, both at Fair Grounds in Louisiana. Vicar’s in Trouble is trained by Mike Maker.

The start by Vicar’s in Trouble also marks only the second time a female jockey has ridden in the Indiana Derby. Napravnik will join Rosemary Homeister as the only other female rider in the history of the race. Homeister rode Fundy to a sixth place finish in the 2009 Indiana Derby. Napravnik, who has recorded two riding doubles in the past two weeks at Indiana Grand, is on track to set all records for female jockeys in the history of the sport.

The entire Indiana Derby field, in post position order with jockey and odds, includes:  Cryptopirate (Carlos Esquilin) 30-1; Saa Mi (Leandro Goncalves) 20-1; Atreides (Joel Rosario) 6-5; Vicar’s in Trouble (Rosie Napravnik) 2-1; East Hall (Luis Saez) 12-1; Quiet Ruler (Jeremy Rose) 15-1; CJ’s Awesome (Edgar Prado) 8-1; Just Call Kenny (Paco Lopez) 12-1; and I Got It All (Channing Hill) 10-1.

The Indiana Derby will be carded as the ninth race on the 11-race program. Estimated post time of the Derby is 9:30 p.m. It will be joined by eight other stakes races on the card, including the $200,000-added Indiana Oaks, which will be held as the eighth race with a post time of 8:40 p.m. Other stakes on the card include the $100,000-added Michael G. Schaefer Memorial, the $100,000-added Mari Hulman George Stakes, the $100,000-added Ta Wee Stakes, the $85,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes, the $85,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes Filly Division, the $85,000-added Gus Grissom Stakes, and the $85,000-added Richmond Stakes. First post is 5:05 p.m.

Indiana Derby Night will be complemented by several celebrity appearances. Coach Rick Pitino of University of Louisville and Coach Tom Crean of Indiana University will serve as co-chairs of the event. In addition, Bobby “Slick” Leonard will be honored in the winner’s circle fresh on the heels of

Miller Drives Away With Champion Driver Series

The second and final round of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2014 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race card on Saturday, September 27 and it was LeWayne Miller who stole the show.

After taking home top honors in the opening round of Hoosier Park’s inaugural Champion Driver Series earlier in the season, LeWayne Miller accumulated a total of 83 points in the final round to win the grand prize, a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.CHAMP RACE STARVEN DARVEN 9-27

In its’ inaugural edition, the 2014 Champion Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another, not once, but twice in a five-race challenge throughout the season. Miller, a 27-year-old Indiana native, accumulated a total of 47 points after the five races and was crowned the winner, walking away with the $5,000 prize of the first challenge.

With the points from round one carrying over to round two, Miller led the group of ten drivers into the final round  and earned one win, one second, one third, and two ninth place finishes in the five races of the challenge to take make a clean sweep of both rounds in the Champion Driver Series.

“I was nervous all day,” Miller, seemingly still in shock, noted in the winner’s circle. “I tried to forget about it and keep my nerves down. I felt good about my horses coming into tonight so I knew if I had a little luck I had a good shot but I tried not to think about it. I showed up tonight and just tried to do the best I could.”

After a ninth and a third place finish in the first two races of the challenge respectively, Miller found the winner’s circle in the third race of the challenge and scored 15 points with Starven Darven at 7-1. Using the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage, Miller found late racing room and Starven DLEWAYNE IN CAR 2arven used a :27.2 final quarter to coast home a winner in 1:52.4.

With a ninth place finish behind The Flight Rose in the fourth race of the challenge, Miller accumulated two more points but still held the lead by a narrow margin with 74 points heading into the final race. Ross Leonard was a close second with 67 points and Sam Widger just behind him in third with 62 points. Heading into the final race of the challenge, it appeared to be anyone’s game.

Miller secured the keys to the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with a second place finish in the final race, earning nine more points, behind VC Scooter for trainer Grant Wilfong. Dismissed at odds of 10-1, VC Scooter rallied late in the lane to get up for second place honors behind Rocknroll Special and Ricky Macomber Jr.

“That is definitely the happiest I’ve ever been to finish second,” Miller noted after the race. “After talking with the trainer before the race, I knew he (VC Scooter) would be good, I didn’t want to get buried or locked in so I made sure I had him out when we turned for home.”

After the dust settled, Miller led all drivers with 83 points, Leonard finished second with 73 while Sam Widger and Brad Hanners tied for third place with 65 points.

“This is a really big deal,” Miller continued. “A few years ago I was just a fan watching all these guys drive. To win this challenge against this group of drivers and here at Hoosier Park is a really big deal for me. This was my first driver’s challenge I’ve ever been in and to win a car like this, it’s a really big deal.”

As the youngest driver in the group of ten, Miller is now a proud new owner of a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. In just his second full season as a driver, Miller has recorded 335 career victories and is on track to record his best season to date in the bike in 2014.

 

Hoosier Park Drivers Looking to Score Ultimate Ride

Stylish Rocket

Stylish Rocket

Ten of the top drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take center stage on Saturday, September 27 as they compete in a five-race challenge for the ultimate prize, a one year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, in the inaugural 2014 Champion Driver Series. The first of its kind, the 2014 Champion Driver Series will pit the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge with the champion driver driving away in a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Eight of the ten coveted spots in the second round of the series were based upon points earned in the first round of the challenge that was held at Hoosier Park on Saturday, July 19. With a total of 47 points, LeWayne Miller was crowned the winner and walked away with his share of the $5,000 prize after the first round.

With their points from the first challenge round carrying over to the final challenge round, LeWayne Miller will lead the top eight finishers from round one into round two followed closely by Sam Widger and Andy Shetler. Peter Wrenn and Ricky Macomber Jr. will round out the final two positions as determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of the live racing card that was held on Saturday, September 20.
The drivers, listed by position in the standings of the challenge, are as follows: LeWayne Miller (47 points), Sam Widger (38), Andy Shetler (37.5), Brad Hanners (34), Ross Leonard (33), Trace Tetrick (26.5), Mike Peterson (25), Ed Hensley (24) Ricky Macomber Jr. (22) and Peter Wrenn (0).
As in round one, the drivers will be picking the horses they will drive via a draft system for all five of the races in the challenge at a community luncheon to be held at Hoosier Park on Thursday, September 25. In the first race of the challenge, the top rated driver based upon wins at Hoosier Park, Trace Tetrick, will get first pick of the horse he wants to drive. Next the No. 2 ranked driver, Peter Wrenn, will pick and then continue through all 10 drivers.
For the second race of the challenge, the selection order will be reversed and the No. 10 driver, Mike Peterson, will pick first. This alternating selection process will continue through all five races of the challenge. Points will be awarded in each of the five races ranging from 15 points for the winners down to 1 point for the 10th-place finisher.
The challenge races will be five consecutive races (races 6-10) and compliment the 14-race card slated for Saturday, September 27. After the dust settles and the points have been tallied from each of the five races, one driver will be driving away in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
As an added bonus, racing fans will also have an opportunity to win big as part of the 2014 Champion Driver Series with $10,000 up for grabs. Guests can enter at any rewards kiosk at Hoosier Park from 10 a.m. to 9:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 to enter the contest. At approximately 10:15 p.m., one winner will take home $5,000 cash and five lucky guests will win $1,000 each.

World Champion Sebastian K to Hoosier Park for Centaur Trotting Classic

Sebastian K, the world’s fastest trotter, will make his Hoosier Park Racing & Casino debut as he heads a powerful field of ten in the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic on Saturday, September 20. Offering arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live racing season to-date, Hoosier Park will play host to a stakes-filled card that boasts lofty purses as Grand Circuit racing action returns to the seventh-eighths mile oval. As Hoosier Park’s signature trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m.
The 8-year-old Swedish trotter, Sebastian K has taken the sport of harness racing by storm since arriving in North America earlier this year, setting records nearly everywhere he goes. Boasting a career bankroll of over $2.9 million, Sebastian K has won 34 of 72 races in his career and has only been defeated one time in eight starts since racing in North America.
Sebastian K’s stunning 1:49 victory on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the $100,000 Sun Invitational was the fastest clocking ever recorded by a trotter. In addition to trotting the fastest mile in history, he is also the first trotter to ever win four times in 1:50.3 or faster.
The No. 1-ranked harness racing horse in North America, last appeared on August 29 at Vernon Downs when he won the Crawford Farms Open Trot in 1:53. Sebastian K is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt. Svanstedt and Sebastian K will start from post six in the field of ten and have been enlisted as the 3-5 morning line favorite.
Joining the stellar cast of entrants in the Centaur Trotting Classic is Hambletonian winner, Market Share who will start from the coveted rail position with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. Market Share, who has won 24 of 51 races and $3.4 million in his career, was last season’s Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter and the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. The triple millionaire is trained by Linda Toscano and has been enlisted as the morning line second choice.

The Centaur Trotting Classic is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday at Hoosier Park, which also includes the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old trotting and pacing fillies, the $150,000 Elevation Pace for two-year-old pacing colts and the $50,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace for three-year-old pacing colts. HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will provide exclusive coverage for the 14-race card. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews on the HRTV programming from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park.

Following is the Centaur Trotting Classic field in post order with trainers: 1. Market Share, Linda Toscano; 2. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder; 3. Red Hot Herbie, Byron Hooley; 4. Creatine, Bob Stewart; 5. Master of Law, Jimmy Takter; 6.Sebastian K, Ake Svenstadt; 7. Uncle Peter, Jimmy Takter; 8. Fusion Man, Jeff Smith; 9. Arch Angel, Ron Burke; 10. Appomattox, Liisa Vatanen.

 

Sweet Lou Paces to Historic Mile at Hoosier Park

Sweet Lou breaking the track record, at the 2014 Dan Patch.

Sweet Lou breaking the track record, at the 2014 Dan Patch.

Sweet Lou, driven by Ron Pierce, paced the fastest mile in Hoosier Park history with a 1:47.2 score in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational on Friday, August 8 and extended his win streak to nine in the process. The previous track record, a mark that stood for four years, was established by Shark Gesture and George Brennan in the 2010 Dan Patch Invitational.

In a talented group of nine, Pierce sent Sweet Lou away from the gate firing but stablemate Bettor’s Edge and Ricky Macomber Jr. were quickest off the car and reached the opening panel in a speedy :25.2. Carol’s Comet and Aaron Merriman were well placed in the pocket second with the 1/5 favorite, Sweet Lou next in line in third. Pierce, sensing the outer flow starting to form, gave Sweet Lou the green light and he easily reached the front at the second station in a blazing :52.4.

Heston Blue Chip and Corey Callahan had the daunting task of beginning the first-over charge down the backside and had reached the leader’s wheel at the three-quarter mark in 1:20.1. With the torrid pace taking its toll, Bettor’s Edge and Sweet Lou settled into a match race and paced away from the rest of the field.

Using a :27.1 final panel, Sweet Lou was able to hold off his stablemate by a head to score his ninth win of the season and first Dan Patch Invitational win. Bettor’s Edge was a game second while Carol’s Comet finished third as the longest shot on the board at 53-1. Sweet Lou returned $2.40 to his backers at the window.

“I really didn’t think we were going that much,” Pierce noted in the winner’s circle. “I saw the splits and I was amazed. I have to say, that other horse (Bettor’s Edge) concerned me tonight, he just kept coming. This is a very long stretch but my horse raced great again.”

“He could’ve gone more but we’ve got to keep some in the tank for next week,” Pierce continued. “He raced great. We are going home with the trophy and the track record so that is a great night.”

Trained by Ron Burke, Sweet Lou won for the 31st time in 67 lifetime starts this year for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. The victory pushed his career earnings over $3 million to $3,033,961. The 5-year-old has now paced a record six consecutive winning miles under 1:48.

The victory was the first Dan Patch Invitational win for trainer Ron Burke and second Dan Patch Invitational win for driver Ron Pierce who also scored in 2005 behind Maltese Artist. The win capped off a sensational night for Pierce who tallied two wins to lead his team to victory in the $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge.

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