Natural Herbie, with Verlin Yoder at the lines, shattered a nine-year-old track record for older trotting geldings when he powered home a winner in 1:52.4 in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Invitational trot, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 21. The previous record of 1:53 was established by Hesza Laser and David Miller in 2005 and equaled last week in the very same event by Penn and Brad Hanners.
The 1:52.4 score by Natural Herbie was just a fifth of a second off the overall trotting track record, a 1:52.3 mark that was established by Uncle Peter and David Miller in the $200,00 Centaur Trotting Classic last season. The time also marked the fifth track record that has been equaled or lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in 2014.
Leaving from post three, Natural Herbie was unhurried off the gate and settled along the rail in third. Summer Indian and Ricky Macomber Jr. fired from the gate and landed on top through an opening panel in a snappy :26.4. Somebody As and Ross Leonard benefitted from a pocket trip while Banker Volo followed intently in third. Summer Indian continued to call the shots at the second station in :56.3 but would quickly be joined by Natural Herbie on the outside.
Reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:25.1, Natural Herbie had already started his first-over attack and was able to wear down the tiring leader in the final turn. Penn was well placed second over but was no match for Natural Herbie who was strong on the front.
Turning for home, Yoder asked his mount for more and Natural Herbie found another gear. Using a :27.3 final panel, Natural Herbie put his talent on display and trotted away from the field, finishing four lengths in front of his competitors. Somebody As trotted evenly to finish second while Penn rounded out the trifecta. As the 3-1 choice, Natural Herbie returned $8.20 to his backers at the window.
An Indiana Sires Stakes Champion at both two and three, Natural Herbie is in the midst of another stellar campaign. The four-year-old gelding bested his lifetime mark by a full second with the 1:52.4 score. Sired by Here Comes Herbie, the black gelding has now won four of 11 seasonal starts while bankrolling over $45,960 for owner, trainer, driver Verlin Yoder in 2014. Sporting a career bankroll of $435,441, Natural Herbie has hit the board in 16 of 35 lifetime outings.
Ritascape and LeWayne Miller pulled off a stunning upset in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 13. As the longest shot on the board, Ritascape used a perfect pocket trip to score her sixth win of the season and established a new lifetime best of 1:51.3 in the process
Leaving from post two in the field of six, Ritascape was hustled away from the gate just enough to protect her inside position. American Girl and Tyler Smith fired from the gate and were the first to get a call at the first station in a :27.2. Ritascape followed intently in second while last week’s winner, Mach Me Not and Sam Widger, were next in line in third. Widger gave Mach Me Not the green light down the backside and American Girl yielded the lead through a second panel in :56.
No Respect and Trace Tetrick were the first to commit to the outer flow as the field approached the final turn and Igottafeelinfran and Brad Hanners quickly followed suit and joined the outer flow. Mach Me Not reached the three-quarter clocking in 1:24.2 and braced herself for the long Hoosier Park stretch.
American Girl tipped from the pocket and took aim at the leader while Ritascape found racing room up the rail. Using a :26.3 last quarter, Ritascape charged down the lane and was able to finish a length in front of Mach Me Not at the wire. Mach Me Not held on for second place honors while American Girl battled gamely to round out the trifecta. Dismissed at 14-1, Ritascape returned $30.80 to her backers at the window.
“It was a great trip for her tonight,” Miller noted after the win. “The last couple weeks the race just didn’t work out for us for one reason or another. Tonight, she was really sharp and the trip went our way. I knew coming around the last turn if I could get room down the lane she would be good.”
Trained by Homer Hochstetler, Ritascape has now won 12 of her 25 lifetime outings while amassing $159,004 for her connections. The daughter of Artiscape-Rita J is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler and South of The Tracks Rac Inc. and has won six of 12 outings in 2014.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, June 14 with a 14-race card highlighted by the $22,000 Invitational Trot and Pace. Live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 15.
Ricky Macomber Jr. made Hoosier Park history on Friday, May 30 as he became the all-time leading driver, by wins, with 1,240 career victories at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. It was a driving triple on the evening for the 43-year-old reinsman and a night to remember as he surpassed Don Irvine Jr. on Hoosier Park’s all-time leading driver list in their 21-year history of harness racing.
The victory with Hoosier Chinna in the evening’s sixth race, number 2,530 in Macomber’s career, tied him with Don Irvine Jr. for the top spot at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. After he guided A True Smerk to victory in Indiana Sires Stakes action just two races later, Macomber moved into the lead on the all-time leading driver standings with 1,239 trips to the Hoosier Park winner’s circle.
Macomber then went on to secure his position atop the list and won with Ahlbback Yankee in the very next race leaving him with 1,240 victories at Hoosier Park and counting.
All three of Macomber’s victories on the evening came from Hoosier Park’s leading conditioner, Ron Burke. Burke, who has won the leading trainer title at Hoosier Park for the past two seasons, currently leads all trainers with 27 wins while Macomber is fifth in the 2014 driver standings.
Raised in South Florida by a family rich in harness racing tradition, Macomber won his first race at Pompano Park in the spring of 1997 and never looked back. A few years later, he and his father, Dick, an accomplished horseman since the early 1970’s, ventured to Indiana with hopes of starting a new path to success. The Midwest move has paid off.
Macomber earned his first Hoosier Park driving title in 2007 and has finished among the top ten leading drivers nearly every year to date. He has multiple stakes wins to his credit including winning Hoosier Park’s signature race, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational, twice. He guided Royalflush Hanover to victory in the 2000 Dan Patch Invitational and returned to the winner’s circle in the 2002 Dan Patch Invitational behind E Dee’s Cam. Macomber finished second with Fred and Ginger in the 2013 installment of Hoosier Park’s most prestigious race.
Macomber is also part of the “Champions for Charity” promotion at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a group of drivers selected to help promote the sport of harness racing through their unique personalities, life stories and sportsmanship. At the start of the season, each driver personally selected a charitable organization to support with fundraising efforts throughout the year. Macomber raises funds through his charitable work for the Indiana School for the Deaf, giving back to a cause that holds a special meaning to him.
“On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, I’d like to congratulate Ricky on his accomplishment,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “And quite an accomplishment it is. Through his work with our Champions for Charity promotion, his professionalism, and attitude, Ricky is a great ambassador for our sport. We wish Ricky continued success for the remainder of this season and throughout his career. We look forward to watching him win many more races at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.”
The 2014 stakes season is set to get underway at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, May 28 as four divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes races showcase the top three-year-old trotting fillies in the state.
Revamped for the 2014 live racing season, Hoosier Park will debut a new and improved Indiana Sires Stakes format approved by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission last year. The 2014 Indiana Sires Stakes program will feature five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses will return to compete in a final and consolation. The stakes program will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 18 at Hoosier Park.
“The new Indiana Sires Stakes format is a very positive change for our program,” Hoosier Park’s Director of Racing and Racing Secretary, Scott Peine noted. “It provides flexibility in the scheduling and having multiple eliminations for the $75,000 finals will produce very competitive races.”
“The Indiana Sired program continues to get better each and every year,” he continued. “This new format will allow Hoosier Park to showcase the best of the best in the $200,000 Super Finals. I am very much looking forward to this season of stakes action.”
The three-year-old trotting fillies will kick off the Indiana Sires Stakes action on Wednesday, May 28 with the three-year-old trotting colts highlighting the 14-race card schedule for Thursday, May 29. The three-year-old pacing fillies will take to the track on Friday, May 30 and the three-year-old pacing colts will follow suit on Saturday, May 31.
The first of five $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes finals, tagged as Hoosier Champions Night, is scheduled for Saturday, June 7 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park will once again partner with HRTV, the Network for Horse Sports, to offer racing fans a great weekend of harness racing action through exclusive coverage of Hoosier Champions night at Hoosier Park.
Overcoming a tough, first-over trip, Fusion Man pulled the slight upset in the co-featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Invitational Trot, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 24. Guided by regular driver Tyler Smith, Fusion Man proved game in the stretch as he was able to get up in the final strides in 1:53.
Leaving from post four, Fusion Man left just enough to secure an early position along the rail in third while Martz Time and Trace Tetrick used their customary tactics and quickly grabbed the front. Somebody As and Brad Hanners were well placed in the pocket through the opening panel in :27. The heavily favored, Summer Indian and Ricky Macomber Jr. were uninvolved in the early stages of the race and were along the rail in sixth.
Martz Time continued to call the shots down the backside through the second split in :55.4 but were soon pressed by Fusion Man on the outside. LeWayne Miller had Banker Volo well placed second over while the field began to tighten approaching the final turn.
The stage was set for the stretch battle to the wire as Martz Time and Fusion Man were neck and neck at the third station in 1:24.2. As the field turned for home, Martz Time appeared to be up to the task but Fusion Man wasn’t finished.
Tyler Smith asked his mount for more and Fusion Man responded gamely with a :28.2 closing quarter to finish two lengths to the good. Summer Indian rallied late in the stretch for second place honors while Banker Volo also closed well to finish third. As the publics’ fourth choice, Fusion Man returned $10.00 at the window.
The 1:53 score was a seasonal best effort for the five year-old son of Valley Victor-Classical Girl and just two-fifths off the track record at Hoosier Park for older horses on the trot. Fusion Man has now won three of nine seasonal outings and 13 of 45 lifetime starts. Trained by Jeff Smith, Fusion Man has now earned $389,727 for his connections of Tdtrot, LLC.
Don’t Spank Me made her first appearance in the top class a winning one as she pulled the 18-1 upset in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 23. Guided by Andy Shetler, Don’t Spank Me came charging late in the lane to score in 1:51.4, establishing a new lifetime mark by nearly two seconds.
Uninvolved early from post four, Don’t Spank Me was eased off the gate while a host of others left alertly for position. American Girl and Peter Wrenn were the first to get a call as they grabbed the lead through the opening panel in a snappy :26.1. Their lead was short lived as LeWayne Miller had Ritascape out and firing around the first turn and took control at the half in :54.2. The hot pace continued down the backside while the field remained in single file order.
Tyler Smith gave Always About Katey the green light and committed to the outer flow but were able to pick-up cover from No Respect and Sam Widger. Ritascape continued to call the shots around the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.3 and braced herself for the long Hoosier Park stretch.
No Respect was able to wear down the tiring leader and Always About Katey was in hot pursuit on the far outside. While the damage was being done on the front end, Don’t Spank Me was desperate for racing room.
In a thrilling stretch battle, Don’t Spank Me found the room she needed and used a :27.0 final panel to best her rivals by one length. Always About Katey settled for the second place finish while No Respect held on gamely for third. Dismissed at 18-1, No Spank Me returned $39.00 to her backers at the window.
Trained, owned and bred by Wayne Carter, Don’t Spank Me notched her first win of the season from three starts. The four-year-old daughter of Capital Request-Catalog has now won 10 of 25 lifetime outings while amassing $95,537.
Good Sound Advice and driver Peter Wrenn used a perfect, pocket trip to capture the co-featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Invitational trot, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 17. Slightly dismissed at the windows, Good Sound Advice was able to surge late in the lane to score in 1:53.4, a lifetime best performance.
Leaving from post six, Wrenn sent Good Sound Advice away from the gate alertly but last week’s winner Martz Time, driven by Trace Tetrick, left the quickest. Martz Time secured the lead around the first quarter mark in :27.3 while the rest of the field sorted out the early positions. Good Sound Advice was well placed in second while the heavily favored, Summer Indian was next in line in third.
Martz Time continued to dictate fractions of :57 and 1:25.3 while the field remained in single file order approaching the final turn. Hugh Beatty was the first to commit to the outer flow and had Southwind Pepino aimed at the leader around the final turn with Go Tapaigh and Ray Paver in tow.
Martz Time was able to hold off Southwind Pepino late in the lane, but Good Sound Advice loomed large in the pocket. Wrenn found late racing room in the stretch and when he asked Good Sound Advice for more, the five-year-old responded gamely with a :27.4 final panel to win by a head. Martz Time held on for the second place finish while Southwind Pepino rounded out the trifecta. Good Sound Advice returned $9.60 for the victory.
“The race worked out perfect for us tonight,” Wrenn noted after the victory. “This horse is much better when he gets a trip and I was able to leave just enough to get a good spot. He has been racing well but he was really on his game tonight.”
Trained by Melanie Wrenn, Good Sound Advice scored his fourth win from ten seasonal outings. The gelded son of Kadabra-Good As Your Word has now won ten of 66 lifetime outings while bankrolling $312,067 lifetime for his connections of Wrenn Racing, LLC and Oldford Farms.
The victory was one of three wins on the evening for driver Peter Wrenn as he also scored in the opener with Joe Cirasuola’s Big Bay Point and later with Malosi N for trainer Ed Hensley.
On the pacing side of things, Our Lucky Chip and Trace Tetrick delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the $22,000 Invitational Pace with a final time in 1:50.2. Using his same off-the-pace tactics, Our Lucky Chip was able to wear down Jammin Joshua late in the lane to score his second consecutive win at Hoosier Park.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will play host to a special matinee card of live harness racing on Friday, May 16 with an adjusted post time of 1 p.m. A total of 14 races will compliment the afternoon festivities showcasing exciting horse racing action, fan-friendly activities, and giveaways. The matinee card of live harness racing will be the prelude to a night full of entertainment as country music legend Clint Black will take Hoosier Park’s Terrace Showroom stage at 8 p.m.
In conjunction with the earlier post time, Fridays at Hoosier Park, dubbed ‘Fan-tastic Fridays’, feature $1 beers, $1 hot dogs and $1 live racing programs and will also start at 1 p.m. Also on Fridays, racing fans will be welcomed to enter the ‘Beat the Big Guy’ promotion for a chance to win up to $250 in race wagering. To enter, guests must submit their designated win selections for races 3 through 8. The participant who earns the most in winnings and beats Rod ‘The Big Guy’ Ratcliff, Centaur’s chairman and chief executive officer, will win $250 in race wagering. All participants earning more winnings than ‘The Big Guy’ will have a chance at another $500 in a next day drawing.
The 14-race card will be highlighted by two divisions of the “Go On BB” late closing series, an event open to fillies and mares that are non-winners of 2 pari-mutuel starts or $15,000 lifetime. At the conclusion of the live racing card, Hoosier Park will prepare for Clint Black to take the stage at 8 p.m. with gates opening at 7:15 p.m.
“We strive to bring our fans the very best in racing and the very best in entertainment here at Hoosier Park,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “With the earlier post time, it will allow us to showcase everything Hoosier Park has to offer to our customers and we hope they are as excited about the entire day as we are.”
With more than 30 singles on the US Billboard country charts, 22 of which have reached number one, Clint Black will make a stop at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as part of the 2014 concert line-up in the brand-new Terrace Showroom. The 1,200-seat, state-of-the-art indoor facility features custom built and cushioned theater-style seating and an arena quality light and sound system. Additionally, 14 luxurious private suites complete with personal thirty-two inch HDTVs, modern lounge furniture, and a premium-dining menu will be available.
Clint Black concert tickets, starting at $30, are still on sale and can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com. Concertgoers may also purchase directly from the box offices located in Shelby’s Gifts at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino or the Logo Shop located at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Club Centaur and Grand Rewards members will receive a 20 percent discount on tickets purchased at their respective box offices.
In a talented field of eight, Our Lucky Chip turned in an impressive performance to produce the fastest mile of the 2014 live harness racing season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, just 30 days into the season, in the $22,000 Invitational pace on Saturday, May 10. Guided by regular driver Trace Tetrick, Our Lucky Chip’s 1:49.4 performance marks the fastest mile of the season for the veteran pacer and just one second off his lifetime best.
Leaving from post six, Our Lucky Chip was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in seventh. Brad Hanners sent Rustle’s Chip firing from the gate and were the first to get a call through an opening panel in a snappy :25.4. Time To Roll and LeWayne Miller benefitted from a pocket trip while Tyber Tyke and Tyler Smith followed intently in third.
As the field rolled down the backside, Rustle’s Chip continued to call the shots through the second panel in :55.3 before ever being contested. Itrustyou and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to take aim at the leader and were able to secure the top spot around the three-quarter mark in 1:24.
Tetrick gave Our Lucky Chip the green light and they began their quest for the front as the field approached the final turn. Sam Widger and Jammin Joshua quickly grabbed the cover and were well placed in the outer flow turning for home.
Saving his best for last, Our Lucky Chip used a :25.4 final panel to pace on to the wire to win by four lengths. Jammin Joshua rallied gamely for the second place finish while Itrustyou rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Our Lucky Chip returned $6.20 to his backers.
Trained by Jason Miller, who also co-owns the horse with Bradley Roller, Our Lucky Chip has now increased his lifetime bankroll to $524,092. With the victory, the five-year-old son of Art’s Chip-Lady Moira scored his 25th win from 46 lifetime outings.
The victory was one of three wins on the evening for driver Trace Tetrick has he also scored with Martz Time in the $22,000 Invitational trot for trainer Walter Haynes Jr. in 1:54. Tetrick continued his winning ways later in the evening as he scored with Astreo’s Love for trainer Don Eash in the 4-year-old open.
Ritascape and LeWayne Miller pulled off a stunning upset in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 9. Dismissed at 24-1, Ritascape used a perfect pocket trip to score her fourth win of the season and second consecutive at Hoosier Park in 1:52. establishing a new lifetime best.
Leaving from post two in the field of nine, Ritascape was hustled away from the gate just enough to protect her inside position. American Girl and Peter Wrenn fired from the gate and were the first to get a call at the first station in a snappy :26.3. Ritascape followed intently in third while Gran Gabriel and Mike Peterson were next in third. American Girl was able to slow the tempo just a touch as the field gapped out a bit down the backside through a second panel in :56.
Up Front Kellie Jo and Trace Tetrick were the first to commit to the outer flow as the field approached the final turn and No Respect and Sam Widger quickly followed suit as the bettors’ choice. American Girl reached the three-quarter clocking in 1:24 and braced herself for the cavalry charge that was about to ensue.
While the top pair battled gamely on front, Ritascape loomed large in the pocket. Using a :27.4 final panel, Ritascape tipped from the pocket to put a nose in front of American Girl at the wire. Igottafeelinfran and Brad Hanners staged a big rally late in the lane but had too much ground to make up on the end of mile and finished third.
Tabbed as the publics’ seventh choice in the field of nine, Ritascape returned $51.60 to her backers at the window. The victory was the first of two wins on the evening for driver LeWayne Miller as he also scored with Don’t Tell Russ in the very next race for trainer Missy Essig.
Trained by Homer Hochstetler, Ritascape has now won 10 of her 21 lifetime outings while amassing $140,304 for her connections. The daughter of Artiscape-Rita J is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler and South of The Tracks Rac Inc. and has won four of her eight outings in 2014.