One of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take place on Friday, August 8 as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval for the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, ten of the top rated pacers in North America will take center stage as they go to post seeking glory in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event.
Hoosier Park’s most prestigious pacing race has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch, an invitational race, not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil.
Hoosier Park’s event is named after the early 1900s racehorse phenomenon, Dan Patch. Originally from Oxford, Ind., Dan Patch raced the clock rather than his inferior competitors. Drawing crowds of over 90,000 people at a single race, the free-legged equine hero was the unparalleled sports icon of his time.
The Dan Patch race was established at Hoosier Park in 1994 with Ready To Rumble and driver Trevor Ritchie winning the inaugural edition 20 years ago. The list of all-star horses that have made their way to Hoosier Park over the years includes Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist and former seven-eighths mile world record holder, the late Pacific Fella.
Scott Peine, Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, inherits the responsibility of recruiting the best horses to compete in the event every year. Peine begins making his list of potential contenders for one of the ten coveted invitations to the Dan Patch many weeks in advance.
“We are looking at what may be the most competitive field to date in the 2014 edition of our signature race,” Peine noted. “We haven’t officially decided, but the horses we are looking to invite are evenly matched and that makes for great racing. There is an outstanding group of older pacers racing all over the country right now and we are looking forward to bringing them to Hoosier Park.”
Post positions for the 2014 edition of the Dan Patch will be drawn at a community luncheon held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, August 5.
This year delivers a new and exciting aspect as the winner of the 2014 Dan Patch Invitational will get an automatic nomination to the 2014 edition of the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, October 31 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch Invitational has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration.
The Dan Patch Invitational will be part of a special weekend tagged as the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The thrill-themed weekend will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will by a concert by Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as Hoosier Park continues their summer concert series line-up.
Im The Real Lady pulling out a victory!
While she may have played the bridesmaid in her first start against stakes company, Im The Real Lady found the winner’s circle when it mattered most as she shined in the featured event, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 25. With driver Peter Wrenn at the lines, Im The Real Lady was able to overcome a tough, first-over trip to score the second win of her career in a lifetime best performance of 1:54.3.
Leaving from the coveted rail position, Im The Real Lady was eased off the gate to settle along the rail in fifth while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Trace Tetrick had Flight Cancelled dialed in as he sent her to the front through an opening panel in :28.4. Shady Linds and Ed Hensley were well placed in the pocket while Aristobrat Hanover and Tyler Smith found good, early position third along the rail from post nine.
Flight Cancelled dictated fractions of :58.1 and 1:26.4 before ever feeling pressure from the rest of the field. Unable to wait any longer, Wrenn gave Im The Real Lady the green light heading into the final turn and they began their long first-over journey to the front with Ashok Ace and LeWayne Miller in tow. The field began to tighten as they rounded the final turn and it was a cavalry charge to the wire.
With the even money favorite Feetonthedashboard and Dale Hiteman making a costly break around the final turn, the race appeared to be wide open. Im The Real Lady had reached the leader’s wheel half-way down the stretch and dug in gamely to put a nose in front at the wire. Flight Cancelled held on for the second place honors while Aristobrat Hanover took advantage of a ground saving trip to round out the trifecta. Sent off at odds of 4-1, Im The Real Lady returned $10.00 at the betting window.
“The trip wasn’t perfect but she was on her game tonight,” Wrenn noted after the win. “She’s a pretty handy little filly that is just starting to learn how to race and come into her own.”
Trained and Owned by Perry Smith, the daughter of Real Desire-Hysterical Lady has now won two of three career starts while amassing $47,100 in career earnings. Im The Real Lady won her career debut at Hoosier Park and followed that performance up with a second place finish in her elimination round of the Indiana Sires Stakes action last week.
Toni’s Affection pulled out a great win!
Freshman pacing colts were in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 in the second round of Indiana Sires Stakes action but the night belonged to trainer Jeff Cullipher and driver Sam Widger.
The Cullipher-Widger duo teamed up to score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts with Toni’s Affection in 1:51.4 and then just a few races later in the $25,000 consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3. Cullipher sent out three of the ten entries in the $75,000 final from his stable and in the end it was Toni’s Affection prevailing in a hard fought battle to the wire. Stablemates Harfo Hanover and Mr. Julian finished second and fifth, respectively.
Leaving from post two, Widger sent Toni’s Affection away from the gate just enough to secure an early position along the rail in second. Camturo Rock and Dave Magee would get the first call through the opening panel in :26.3 but quickly yielded the lead to the post time favorite, Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick.
Freaky Feet Pete carved out fractions of :55 and 1:23.3 before feeling a threat by Skyway Dante and Peter Wrenn who were on the attack first-over. As the field turned for home, Freaky Feet Pete began to labor on the front with the rest of the field closing in. Camturo Rock surged from the pocket to take a short lead but was unable to hold off the hard charging Toni’s Affection.
Toni’s Affection utilized a :27.4 final quarter to win by a head in a lifetime best effort. Camturo Rocked finished second but was placed third after a judge’s disqualification in the stretch leaving Harfo Hanover and Tyler Smith to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed at the betting window, Toni’s Affection returned $18.40 to his backers.
“This is the toughest group of Indiana-bred two-year-old pacing colts that I’ve ever seen,” Cullipher noted after the victory. “I’ve always had faith in this colt though, he has been the perfect horse to train all winter and I had a lot of confidence in him tonight.”
“This is just amazing,” he continued. “His namesake was here tonight and everything worked out for us. He is a nice, nice colt.”
Toni’s Affection was a $19,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase and was later re-named after co-owner David Lewis Linker’s wife. Linker co-owns the son of Always A Virgin-Yankee Affection with Thomas Pollack. Toni’s Affection has now amassed $71,250 from four lifetime starts for his connections.
Pollack and Linker would find the winner’s circle once more with the Cullipher-Widger duo this time in the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3 who is owned in tandem by the partnership of Randall Bendis, David Linker and Thomas Pollack.
In much the same fashion, Widger had Ima Full Time Job forwardly place through hot opening fractions of :26.1 and :55.1 set by the heavily favored Kelly D and Trace Tetrick.
When the field hit the three quarter mark in 1:24.4, Kelly D was clinging to the lead while the rest of the field closed in. Widger was able to find the late racing room he needed in the stretch and Ima Full Time Job did the rest.
Using a :27.3 final quarter, Ima Full Time Job coasted home a winner to finish a length in front of Rockin Jimmy and LeWayne Miller. Much like his stablemate a few races earlier, Ima Full Time Job was slightly dismissed at the betting window and returned $17.20 for the win.
“This colt may be the sleeper,” Cullipher noted after the race. “He’s had some bad racing luck with post positions and trips earlier in the season but take nothing away from him, he’s a nice colt.”
It was a maiden breaking victory for the son of I Scoot Hanover-Mother Alberta in just his fourth career start. The freshman colt has now earned $50,350 for his connections.
Special JJ kept her flawless freshman record intact using a perfectly timed rally late in the stretch to score in the featured attraction, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 23. With a final time of 1:57, it was a lifetime best performance and third victory of the season for Special JJ.
Leaving from post two in the field of ten, Special JJ and driver Trent Stohler were away a worrisome seventh while the heavily favored Crunchess Finale and Darrell Wright made their customary move to the front. Crunchess Finale made an uncharacteristic break through the opening panel in :27.2 leaving Diamond Dagger and Thomas Russell to inherit the lead. Peter Wrenn sent Sloane Elise to the front through the half-mile time in :58.2 but would quickly yield the top spot to Churita and Trace Tetrick.
Churita continued to call the shots as the field approached the final turn but was feeling pressure from Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners on the outside. As the field hit the third station in 1:28.1, the top pair was stride for stride turning for home.
Churita was able to put away Golden Big Stick halfway down the stretch but her biggest threat was still behind her. Just as Stohler found late racing room, Special JJ found another gear. Using a :28 final panel, Special JJ powered home to get the win by a head. Churita made a costly break just before the wire and was placed third leaving Golden Big Stick to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed by the betting public at 5-1, Special JJ returned $13.60 at the betting window.
“She’s done everything we’ve asked of her so far,” Stohler noted after the victory. “We’ve taken our time getting her ready. She’s still learning and figuring things out but does know how to win.”
Trained by Trent Stohler, who also co-owns the filly with The Kales Company, Special JJ now sports a lifetime bankroll of $52,100 for her connections. The daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Rhonda T was also victorious in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination just last week at Hoosier Park.
With the win, Special JJ also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals.
Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing colt division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.
Airman Batten and LeWayne Miller make a great rebound in the finals!
Freshman trotting colts were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals on Tuesday, July 22. After a costly break in the first $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final at Hoosier Park, Airman Batten and LeWayne Miller rebounded nicely to score in 1:57 and make a clean sweep of the second round of the stakes action. Last week, Airman Batten made quick work of his $20,000 elimination to score in 2:00.3 and secure his spot in the $75,000 final.
In a field ruled by miscues, Airman Batten was eased off the gate this week from post six to settle along the rail in fifth while the field sorted out early positions. Summit City Nate and Sam Widger were the quickest off the gate and dictated early fractions of :27.4 and :58.3. Victory Blitz and Andy Shetler were well placed in the pocket while Homicide Hunter and John DeLong followed intently in third.
Summit City Nate continued to call the shots down the backside but yielded the lead to Homicide Hunter at third station in 1:28.1. With most of the field breaking stride, it was a four horse race to the finish with Homicide Hunter leading the charge.
Using a :28.2 final quarter, Airman Batten saved his best for last as he staged a big rally late in the lane to wear down the tiring leader. Homicide Hunter trotted evenly to finish second while Summit City Nate held on gamely to round out the trifecta. As the 6-5 favorite, Airman Batten returned $4.60 to his backers at the window.
Trained by Erv Miller, the son of Swan For All-Ladylike Volo has now won three of four career starts. Airman Batten set a lifetime record with the 1:57 score and has now amassed $66,500 for his connections of Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman, and Greg Gillis.
With the win, Airman Batten also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals.
Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 23 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old trotting filly division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.
Stylish Rocket and Lewayne Miller coming home for a win!
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2014 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race card on Saturday, July 19 and it was LeWayne Miller who was crowned the winner to take home his share of the $5,000 prize. In its’ inaugural edition, the 2014 Champion Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge with the ten coveted spots being based upon wins at Hoosier Park.
As the youngest driver in the group of ten, Miller was able to overcome his sixth place rankings in the standings to accumulate the most points in the five races of the challenge and secure the win. In just his second full season a driver, Miller has recorded 238 career victories and proved a force to be reckoned with in the bike.
The 27-year-old, Indiana native earned two wins, one third, one fourth, and one ninth place finish during the five-race competition for a total of 47 points, beating out nine other Hoosier Park driving stars. Sam Widger finished second with 38 points followed by Andy Shetler finishing third with 37.5 points.
Miller kicked off the challenge with a fourth place finish with Rocknroll Special from post eight earning seven points while Brad Hanners and Lady’s Man notched a victory for 15 points.
In the very next race of the challenge, Miller was able to utilize the long Hoosier Park stretch to get Pam Mater Mark home a winner at 12-1 in a lifetime best performance of 1:55.2. Hanners had Velocity Chip Shot well placed to finish second and earned 9 points. After the second race of the challenge, Hanners continued to lead all drivers with 24 points but Miller was closing in with 22 points.
With a third place finish behind Lyons Frank in the third leg of the challenge, Miller accumulated 8 more points and moved into the lead. Although he failed to hit the board in the fourth leg with Flight Request, Miller earned two points for his ninth place finish and was still atop the leader board, by a narrow margin, with 32 points. Ross Leonard moved into second place with 31 points after a win with Henry Blue Chip.
Miller clinched the trophy by turning a pocket trip into a victory in the final race of the challenge with Mike Wilson’s Stylish Rocket in 1:52.2. It was the fourth win of the season and a lifetime best performance for Stylish Rocket.
“I had some nice horses and I got really lucky,” Miller noted after the victory. “I felt confident about my picks coming into tonight but wasn’t sure what to expect. I picked 6th in the draft and I was happy with that because I felt like I had a decent shot of getting some live horses rather than picking last in some of the races.”
“The trips worked out and the horses showed up,” he continued. “I’d like to thank the trainers and Hoosier Park for this opportunity, it feels great.”
Miller will now aim to defend his title in the second series of the challenge slated for September 27 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. While the second challenge will be conducted in the same manner as the first challenge, the winner of the final challenge will be awarded a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
“I think I would look pretty good driving that car,” Miller noted with a smile. “Hopefully, things go my way and I have another night like I did tonight.”
Malosi N and Ed Hensley
The drivers for the 2014 Champion Driver Series at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino have been solidified with Ed Hensley securing the last spot in the competition after a victory on the 14-race card on Saturday, July 12. The first of two rounds in the 2014 Champion Driver Series will kick off on Saturday, July 19th and will pit the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge for their share of a $5,000 prize.
Qualifying for the 2014 Champion Driver Series began on Friday, March 28 and ended at the conclusion of the live racing card on Saturday. Heading into the weekend, just one win separated Ed Hensley and Mike Micallef for the tenth spot in the win standings. Scoring a victory on Saturday’s card and pushing his meet total to 28, Hensley managed to secure a spot in the top ten standings even after being sidelined for nearly two months due to an injury.
“I’m excited,” Hensley noted at the conclusion of the evening’s card. “I didn’t know if I would be able to get back into it after being out for so long. This is a really great thing Hoosier Park is doing for the drivers and for the fans and I am glad I get to be a part of it, hopefully I can win it too.”
Hensley will join meet leader Trace Tetrick who has secured his number one position with 147 victories. The other drivers, listed by position in the standings, are as follows: Tyler Smith (118 wins), Peter Wrenn (94), Sam Widger (91), Ricky Macomber Jr. (64), Andy Shetler (59), Brad Hanners (59), LeWayne Miller (58), and Ross Leonard (32).
In each of the challenges, the drivers will be picking the horses they will drive via a draft system for all five of the races in the challenge. In the first race of the challenge, the top driver, Trace Tetrick, will get first pick of the horse he wants to drive. Next the No. 2 driver, Tyler Smith, will pick and then continue through all 10 drivers.
For the second race of the challenge, the selection order will be inverted and the No. 10 driver, Ed Hensley, will pick first. This drafting system 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 and compliment the 14-race card slated for Saturday, July 19. After the dust settles and the points have been tallied from each of the five races, one driver will be walking away with his share of $5,000 and a secured spot in the second round of the series.
The top eight finishers from the first challenge will return for round two on Saturday, September 27 with the final two positions being determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, September 20.While the second challenge will be conducted in the same manner as the first challenge, the winner of the final challenge will be awarded a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
One of Trace Tetric’s five wins of the night!
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted their 21st season of live harness racing with a stakes filled card on Saturday, July 5. Four new Indiana Sires Stakes champions were crowned on the evening that featured the first of five rounds of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the freshman competitors and the second round of the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old divisions. It was Hoosier Park’s leading driver, Trace Tetrick, who stole the show with five winners on the evening’s 14-race card, four of which came in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals.
In the opening division of the two-year-old stakes action, Crunchess Finale and Darrel Wright continued their winning ways to score their third consecutive victory in the $75,000 two-year-old trotting filly final with a 1:58 final time.
Using the same front-running tactics as she has in her previous two starts, Crunchess Finale looked every bit the part of an 8-5 favorite and left alertly from post eight. The freshman filly easily secured the lead and clicked off fractions of :28.3, 1:00, and 1:28.2 before finding another gear. As the field turned for home, the daughter of Abc Garland-Crunchess looked poised on the front and began to trot away from the rest of the field. Using a :28.4 final quarter, Crunchess Finale coasted on to the wire to finish five lengths in front of Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners. Heavily backed at the window, Crunchess Finale returned $5.40 to her backers.
The 1:58 victory was a lifetime best mark for the Dan O’Mara trainee who remains undefeated this season. Owned by Joseph Hess, Crunchess Finale has now earned $50,500 from three lifetime outings.
In the very next race, Stickem Buck, driven by Ed Hensley, staged a big rally late in the lane to score his maiden breaking win in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts in 1:58.2.
After a miscue at the start by the heavily favored, Airman Batten the race appeared to be a wide open affair. Flashy Cantab and Trace Tetrick left aggressively to set first half fractions of :29.2 and :59.2 before making a costly break around the final turn. Swan on One and Dave Magee inherited the lead after the break by the front-runner and appeared to be up to the task but Stickem Buck loomed large in the background. Under urging from Hensley, Stickem Buck was able to track down Swan On One in the final strides of the mile to win by a nose. Slightly dismissed at the windows, Stickem Buck returned $12.60 at to his backers.
From the first crop of Big Stick Lindy, Stickem Buck is trained by Roger Welch and owned by William C. Delong and William P. Delong. Stickem Buck has now earned $42,500 from two career starts.
On the pacing side of the two-year-old stakes action, Hoosier Park’s leading driver Trace Tetrick doubled up in both the two-year-old pacing filly final and two-year-old pacing colt final. First, Tetrick guided Flight Cancelled to her second consecutive win as a freshman in the $75,000 pacing filly final with a final time of 1:55.
Leaving from the trailing post ten, Flight Cancelled was eased off the gate and settled along the rail in fifth while HeyHey Mahanah and Peter Wrenn carved out first-half fractions of :28.4 and :57.4. Approaching the final turn, Tetrick gave his mount the green light and she reached the leader’s wheel at the third station in 1:26.
As the field turned for home, the top pair was neck and neck but Flight Cancelled wasn’t finished. Using a :28.3 final panel, Flight Cancelled was able to wear down HeyHey Mahanah late in the lane to grind out the victory. As the betting publics’ second choice, Flight Cancelled returned $13.00 for the victory.
Trained by Steve Carter, Flight Cancelled remains undefeated at two for owners Steve and Tammy Carter. The daughter of Panspacificflight-Goa BB now sports a career bankroll of $37,500 from two lifetime outings.
Just a few races later, Tetrick continued his winning ways and scored with Tom Simmon’s Kelly D in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts in 1:52.4. Kelly D remains undefeated at two and equaled the national’s season mark for two-year-old pacing colts with the win.
Kelly D left aggressively from post two to get the first call in :27.4 but quickly yielded the lead to Harfo Hanover and Ed Hensley. Harfo Hanover led the way through the middle splits of :56.3 and 1:25.2 before feeling pressure on the outside from Camturo Rock and Dave Magee.
Harfo Hanover was able to put away Camturo Rock and dug in gamely down the lane but could not hold off Kelly D who exploded from the pocket. With a final quarter in :27, Kelly D finished two lengths in front of the hard-charging Toni’s Affection and Sam Widger. As the publics’ third choice, Kelly D returned $7.40 at the betting windows.
The homebred son of Panspacificflight-U Olive is owned by Larry Breed and has won all three of his lifetime outings. Kelly D now sports a career bankroll of $51,525.
Tetrick also scored with Brian Brown’s Color’s A Virgin in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies and Scott Galloway’s Double A Cash Hall in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts. His first win of the night came in the $25,000 consolation for two-year-old pacing fillies with Do U Mind for trainer Brian Brown.
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Tuesday, June 24 will mark the debut of the freshman class of Indiana Sires Stakes competitors as the 2014 stakes season for two-year-olds is set to get underway at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with four divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes races showcasing the top two-year-old trotting colts in the state.
Revamped for the 2014 live racing season, Hoosier Park has introduced 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 two-year-old trotting colts will kick off the Indiana Sires Stakes action on Tuesday, June 24 with the two-year-old trotting fillies highlighting the 14-race card scheduled for Wednesday, June 25. The two-year-old pacing fillies will take to the track on Thursday, June 26 and the two-year-old pacing colts will follow suit on Friday, June 27.
The first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the two-year-old competitors, tagged as Hoosier Champions Night, is scheduled for Saturday, July 5 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park will once again partner with United States Trotting Association to offer racing fans a great weekend of harness racing action through the fifth annual “Back to the Track” tour.
Back to the Track is a cooperative effort among the USTA, its member racetracks and horsemen from coast to coast that provides fans across the country with exciting days and nights of harness racing combined with fan-friendly and fun promotions. Hoosier Park will offer racing fans dining specials, handicapping contests, various entertainment and give-aways on July 4 and 5.