Natural Herbie Returns to the Winner’s Circle in Hoosier Park Feature

Natural Herbie scores his second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park in the Featured Trot.

Natural Herbie scores his second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park in the Featured Trot.

Natural Herbie extended his win streak to two at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as he captured the featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Trot, on Friday, June 26. Natural Herbie responded to a bump in class to score in 1:55.1 over a sloppy rated track after scoring last week in a condition trot.

Opting for a trip off the pace, Natural Herbie was eased off the gate from post six while Penn, driven by Darrell Wright, used his gate speed to grab the early lead. Penn dictated first half fractions of :27.3 and :58.3 before being joined on the outside by Lady Blitz and James Yoder.

While the top pair were matching strides approaching the final turn, Trace Tetrick had Martz Time well placed second over with Natural Herbie in tow. Penn continued to call the shots through the third station in 1:27.2 but Lady Blitz was not going away.

Lady Blitz was able to wear down the tiring leader to secure the lead turning for home as the rest of the field was closing in. Yoder tipped Natural Herbie around tiring cover and the five-year-old gelding found another gear.

Using a :26.4 final quarter, Natural Herbie bested his stablemate by a neck to get the win. Lady Blitz was a game second while Penn held on for third place honors. Sent off as the bettors’ choice, Natural Herbie returned $4.80 to the window.

With the win, Natural Herbie notched his second victory from eight seasonal starts while bankrolling $31,650 in 2015 for owner, trainer, driver Verlin Yoder. Sporting a career bankroll of $781,491, Natural Herbie has hit the board in 41 of 53 lifetime outings.

Saturday’s 14-race card also hosted six eliminations of the Indiana Sires Stakes for the Hoosier state’s three-year-old pacers. With three divisions of three-year-old pacing colts, Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick delivered the fastest elimination of the evening with a 1:50.2 romp. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored the second victory of his sophomore campaign and established a new lifetime best in the process.

Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander were the fastest through three divisions in the three-year-old filly ranks as they scored a near gate to wire victory in 1:52. It was the second consecutive win for the Marlin Fry trainee and fifth seasonal victory from 12 starts.

Each of the winners from the six Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations tonight earned a spot in the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals slated for Friday, July 3 at Hoosier Park.

Live racing returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 27 with a 14-race card. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m.

Hoosier Champions Night Highlights Holiday Weekend at Hoosier Park

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, in its 22nd season of harness racing, will kick start the Independence Day weekend with a mix of ‘family fun’ promotions, free fireworks presentations, entertainment, and live harness racing on Friday, July 3. The 2015 racing season will be highlighted on Friday as Indiana’s finest trotters and pacers convene on Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval for Hoosier Champions Night, a round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals.

A total of 14 races have been carded and the evening will feature eight $75,000 finals for the two and three-year-old competitors. Friday’s 14-race card is set to get underway at 5:15 p.m.

Revamped last season, the Indiana Sires Stakes program features five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses return to compete in a final and consolation.  The 2015 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 10 at Hoosier Park.

Freaky Feet Pete headlines Indiana Sires Stakes action at Hoosier Park on Friday, July 3.

Freaky Feet Pete headlines Indiana Sires Stakes action at Hoosier Park on Friday, July 3.

The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old competitors will be headlined by Indiana Sires Stakes champions Freaky Feet Pete and Churita. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete has been enlisted as the 1-5 morning line choice and will look to score his third win of the season from the rail in race 13.

Churita will look to keep her four-race win streak in-tact and remain undefeated this season from post nine in race 9. Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, the daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare has been installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite with driver Trace Tetrick.

In addition to the racing program that boasts lofty purses for the Indiana stakes program, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer racing fans a four-day celebration starting Thursday  that will include a carnival, nightly fireworks shows, a beer garden and live entertainment as part of the Hoosierfest Carnival.

“We always talk about Hoosier Park Racing & Casino being the place to be for racing, gaming, dining and entertainment.  That statement will never hold truer than this coming weekend,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “Hoosier Park will indeed be the place to be as we get ready to celebrate the 4th of July Weekend in grandiose fashion with outstanding racing, the best in fireworks display, and a carnival for the entire family to enjoy.”

The carnival features main-attraction midway rides, fair food, a $5,000 Cash Cakewalk and fireworks every night, all outdoors at Hoosier Park. The carnival hours will be 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the carnival is free and unlimited ride tickets start at $25.

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

Freshman Trotters Debut Impressively in Indiana Sires Stakes

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes filled card on Tuesday, June 23 as the 14-race card featured six divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for two-year-old trotters. With two divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies and four divisions of trotting colts, the 2015 crop of freshman trotters opened their series in impressive fashion.

Fawn De Savage and Dan Shetler kicked off the stakes action for the evening with a decisive maiden breaking win in 2:00.3. Trained by Kristin Shetler, the daughter of Keystone Savage-Ms Mastercraft used a well timed rally late in the lane to score her first lifetime victory in her career debut.

In the very next division, Double D Angel and Rick Plano used a pocket trip to find the winner’s circle in 2:00. Trained by Dan Perdue, the daughter of Mr Cantab-Paloma Hanover scored her first career victory in just her second start.

Just a few races later, the freshman trotting colts would not be outdone by their female counterparts in their four eliminations. Justice As began his career impressively as he surged late in the lane to score in 1:59.3 in his split of the stakes action. Driven by Trace Tetrick, the gelded son of Justice Hall-Pandora As used a :27.3 final quarter to score his maiden breaking win. Owned by Acl Stuteri, Justice As is trained by Anette Lorenzton.

Sixty Minute Man and LeWayne Miller delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the second elimination for trotting colts, scoring in 1:59.2. Sixty Minute Man used a gate to wire effort to score his maiden breaking victory in his first career start. Trained by Erv Miller, the son of Swan For All-Anna Nicole is owned by the Erv Miller Stable and Daimond Creek Racing.

The fastest division of the evening came as Fly Jesse Fly and Rick Plano crossed the wire in 1:58.4. Using similar gate-to-wire tactics, the Ron Otto trainee scored his second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park from two career outings. The gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse-Flying Rae is owned by Robert Sidley and James Otto.

In the final division of the stakes action, Dreamstyle Herbie and Ross Leonard pulled a slight upset to score in 2:00. Dreamstyle Herbie found late racing room in the stretch and used a :28.1 final quarter to score his first career victory. Trained by Dave White, the gelded son of Here Comes Herbie-Deean Dream is owned by James Myers and William White.

Each of the winners from the six Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations tonight earned a spot in the first $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final slated for Friday, July 3 at Hoosier Park.

The 2015 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 10 at Hoosier Park.

$25,000 Guaranteed Pick-5 Pool on Thursday at Hoosier Park

With a carry-over in excess of $12,000, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino has announced a $25,000 guaranteed Pick-5 pool for Thursday, June 25 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. In partnership with the Unites States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering program and the Indiana Standardbred Association, Hoosier Park will offer this signature wager for the stakes-filled 14-race card on Thursday that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m.

Two long-shot winners in Wednesday’s Pick-5 sequence at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sparked a carryover of $12,238.92 and will kick-start the Pick-5 pool for Thursday.

The Pick-5, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, begins in the tenth race and will continue through the fourteenth race of the program. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the tenth race, is 8:15 p.m. (est.).

The 14-race card slated for Thursday, June 25 will be highlighted by six divisions of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings and three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Each of the six divisions will serve as eliminations for the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final slated for Friday, July 3 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

Live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule, with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. Offering an extended stakes schedule this season, the 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 14.

About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the fourth 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 harness racing each year.  Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting facilities located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Fifth Annual ‘Guns & Hoses’ Event Entertains and Raises Money for Good Cause

ANDERSON, IND. – June 19, 2015 – Madison County police officers and fire fighters will compete in a series of challenges in the fifth annual Guns & Hoses charity event at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 20 starting at 5 p.m. The event will take place in-between live racing and is open to all ages.

The series of challenges will begin after race two and range from a foot race carrying Hoosier Park drivers and a jelly donut speed eating contest to a dunk tank and the crowd favorite tug of war competition. Hoosier Park will also offer various children’s activities along with a classic police car and fire truck on display. The family friendly event will feature live Standardbred racing and a community fair, complete with carnival foods and family-fun games.

At the culmination of race nine, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing, Rick Moore, will present representatives from the Fire Rescue House of Madison County with a special $5,000 donation towards their charitable works. As a token of Hoosier Park’s appreciation for their continued work to help local families in need, Hoosier Park will make the donation to help further their goals and maintain their high level of community service.

As a special thank you to local heroes, all first-responders, such as police officers and firefighters, with valid credentials will receive $10 in casino cash available at Club Centaur. Additionally, each guest who would like to donate $10 to the Madison County Fire Rescue House will receive $10 in casino cash.

The mission of the Madison County Firefighters Foundation, Inc (Fire Rescue House of Madison County) and its volunteers is to provide the victims of domestic house fires, natural disaster, or other personal difficulties, including but not limited to, victims of domestic house fire or natural disaster with temporary housing, assistance, and inspiration in a safe and supportive environment as they begin to rebuild their lives. As part of the community, the Fire Rescue House attempts to fill the gaps in a manner that leaves no one or no family without a place to call home in their time of need. For more information, please visit www.FireRescueHouse.org .

In conjunction with the Guns & Hoses activities, Hoosier Park will host a 14-race card that is set to begin at its’ regularly scheduled post time of 5:15 p.m. Saturday’s card will be highlighted by the $21,000 Invitational Pace, slated as race 12 on the program.

Repeat Winners in Hoosier Park Featured Events

Penn captures Invitational Trot at Hoosier Park.

Penn captures Invitational Trot at Hoosier Park.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino hosted a 14-race card on Friday, June 12 that was highlighted by the $21,000 Invitational Trot and $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares. Both of the featured events saw familiar faces in the winner’s circle as Penn and Montenegro scored decisively in their respective divisions.

Penn, with Darrell Wright in the bike, rebounded from a second place finish in his last outing at Hoosier Park to score his fourth win of the season in the top trot with a final time of 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Penn used his quick gate speed to fire from the wings from post eight. The Bobby Brower trainee dictated fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field.

Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. made a strong bid at the leader late in the lane but Penn was too strong on the front. Using a :28.3 final quarter, Penn held off a late charge by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder to win by a length. Rose Run Parker rounded out the trifecta. Penn returned $4.20 to his backers at the window.

With the victory, Penn scored his fourth seasonal victory from seven starts. The five-year-old gelded son of Master Glide-Photo Queen scored his 23rd career victory and has now earned $165,934 for owner, Barkley Counts.

Montenegro captures Invitational Pace for Fillies and Mares.

Montenegro captures Invitational Pace for Fillies and Mares.

In the featured pace for fillies and mares, it was Montenegro and Jason Dillander who came out on top scoring their fourth victory of the season at Hoosier Park, this time in 1:53.2. Montenegro, who also finished second in her last outing at Hoosier Park, rallied late in the lane to get up in the final strides of the mile.

Lease Ness Monster and Peter Wrenn fired away from the gate through the opening quarter in :27.1 but their lead was short lived as Just A Bee and Mike Micallef were on a mission to the front.

Just A Bee continued to call the shots through splits of :55.4 and 1:24.1 before Tyler Smith and Miss Kilo would apply pressure first-over. As the field turned for home the race appeared to be wide open with horses fanning out across the track. Dillander tipped Montenegro off tiring cover and she responded with a :28.2 final quarter to get the win over Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler. Miss Kilo finished third. As the bettors’ choice, Montenegro returned $5.60 at the betting windows.

Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $71,385 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $566,914.

American Pharoah’s Triple Crown Victory Produces Two Mega-Bet Winners at Hoosier Park

History was made as American Pharoah crossed the finish line in the 147th running of The Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years on Saturday, June 6. Thousands walked in to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino to watch and wager on the 2015 edition of the Belmont Stakes, but it was Bill Ditto and Phil Coburn that walked out with the thousands, $1,750 to be exact.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino provided three invited guests an opportunity to place a $1,000 Belmont Stakes win bet on the horse of their choice in this year’s edition of the Belmont Stakes and two winning bets were made.

Hoosier Park drew three names from several hundred entries prior to the running of the race. The winners had to wager the entire $1,000 sum on the horse they believed would win first place honors. The names drawn were Phil Coburn, Ricky Harlow, and Bill Ditto. All three were instructed to choose a horse for their win wager and two got behind the heavily favored, American Pharoah, while Ricky Harlow was upset minded and chose Frosted.

“I knew American Pharoah was my horse,” Bill Ditto noted. “There wasn’t a doubt in my mind he was the best horse in the race and of course, I really wanted to see another Triple Crown winner.”

American Pharoah broke from post five in the gate, went right to the lead and led the entire race, pulling away in the stretch for the victory. He finished the mile and a half in 2:26.65. Frosted was second, five and a half lengths back, and Keen Ice rounded out the trifecta. The three-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile paid $3.50, $2.80 and $2.50 across the board as the favorite in the race. American Pharoah is now six for seven lifetime with earnings in excess of $3.7 million as he becomes only the 12th horse to achieve the prestigious Triple Crown feat.

“That was really something to see,” Ditto continued. “It was a great day for the sport of horse racing and I think everyone had a lot of fun cheering this horse to the wire, I know I did.”

Belmont weekend at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino included property-wide dining specials, expanded beverage options, and official Belmont merchandise sales. The first 1,000 racing fans also had the opportunity to receive a free $2 commemorative win bet on American Pharoah.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, June 9 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.

Triple Crown Hopeful American Pharoah Races to End 37 Year Drought

2015-belmont-logoIndiana’s racetrack casinos and off-track betting (OTB) locations will welcome racing fans back on Saturday, June 6 for the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes, the oldest and longest leg of the famed Triple Crown. American Pharoah, winner of both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, will compete to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed raced into the history books in 1978. Each of Indiana’s five designated simulcast wagering locations are broadcasting the 10-race card from Belmont Park in New York as well as offering a variety of entertainment, dining, and themed festivities.

For the third time in four years, Belmont Park will play host to a Triple Crown hopeful when American Pharoah takes on the final and most demanding leg of the series. It will mark the 14th time since Affirmed swept all three races in 1978 that a horse has had a chance to join the 11 Triple Crown champions. Three of those attempts have been by American Pharoah’s Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert, who won the first two legs in 1997 with Silver Charm; 1998 with Real Quiet and 2002 with War Emblem. Two previous attempts were also made by jockey Victor Espinoza, who rode California Chrome to a fourth-place finish in 2014, and was also aboard War Emblem.

Indiana’s simulcast race-wagering locations will be busy as they are the only locations in the state of Indiana to take wagers on what could be a historic race. Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille, & OTB in Indianapolis, Winner’s Circle Brewpub & OTB in New Haven as well as the Off-Track Betting facility in Clarksville, Indiana will offer several reserved dining and free general admission options for racing fans to watch and wager on the Belmont Stakes.

Tickets, priced at $55 per person, are still available for Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s Clubhouse seating where ticket holders will receive reserved seating and unlimited food and beverage for the event. Three lucky guests at Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park will also be selected to take part in a Belmont Stakes $1,000 Mega Bet. Each Mega Bet winner will be given $1,000 to place a win bet on the Belmont Stakes horse of their choosing. Additionally, the first 1,000 bettors at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will receive a commemorative $2 Win Bet on Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah.

Advanced wagering at each of the five locations will be offered on the Acorn Stakes and Belmont Stakes starting Thursday, June 4. The Belmont Stakes day race card will begin at approximately 11:35 a.m. EST. The signature Belmont Stakes race is set for a post time of 6:50 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, June 6.

HP-Belmont_Facebook#16D20E7Belmont Stakes reserved ticket or dining reservations at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, or one of the Off-Track Betting locations can be made by calling:

  • Indiana Grand Racing & Casino (Shelbyville): 317-421-0000
  • Hoosier Park Racing & Casino (Anderson): 765-609-4527
  • Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille, & OTB (Indianapolis): 317-656-7223 (ext. 9)
  • Winner’s Circle Brewpub and OTB (New Haven): 260-490-9006
  • Clarksville OTB (Clarksville): 812-280-1013

Wiggle It Jiggleit Takes Center Stage on Indiana Sires Stakes Finals Night

On a night where Indiana’s brightest harness racing stars came out, Wiggle It Jiggleit was the brightest of them all as he paced to a 1:49.3 victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, May 23 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino over a sloppy rated track. Mother Nature was uncooperative as Hoosier Park played host to the first round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old competitors on Saturday’s 14-race card.

The rain didn’t seem to inconvenience Wiggle It Jiggleit as he posted his tenth consecutive win and second consecutive Hoosier Park victory to remain undefeated in ten career starts.

Wiggle It Jiggleit was a 1:49.3 winner in Indiana Sires Stakes action.

Wiggle It Jiggleit was a 1:49.3 winner in Indiana Sires Stakes action.

Leaving from post seven in a talented group of ten, Wiggle It Jiggleit was sent away from the gate firing by driver Montrell Teague to grab the lead through the opening panel in :26. As heavy rain continued to fall, the rest of the field sorted out early position with Rockin Ron and Rick Plano grabbing a pocket seat behind the overwhelming favorite.

Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to dictate fractions of :54.2 and 1:21.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were the first to pose a threat as they were unable to find a spot along the rail and pressed on to the front after being parked for the much of the mile.

Freaky Feet Pete would finally find the rail as he was able to tuck in behind the leader rounding the final turn but would have his work cut out for him with Wiggle It Jiggleit inching away with every stride. With Freaky Feet Pete now on his back, Teague asked Wiggle It Jiggleit for more and the colt responded with a :28 final quarter to coast home a winner by a length. Freaky Feet Pete turned in his own impressive performance to grind out a second place finish after a very taxing mile. Harfo Hanover and Tony Hall rounded out the trifecta.

“The weather didn’t bother me; you’ve got to race in all kinds of weather,” owner George Teague Jr. noted in the winner’s circle. “Good horses you don’t have to make excuses for and we didn’t have to for him tonight, he was able to overcome it.”

“He’s had two great races now and did everything we wanted him to,” he continued. “Now, he can go on to those other races and hopefully earn some respect against the other horses. He seems to travel well and be easy on himself so we’ll head to the North America Cup and see how it goes up there.”

Trained by Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $142, 242 with the victory. Wiggle It Jiggleit is a gelded son of Mr. Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover.

The action-paced night opened with the first $75,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies and Churita looked every bit the part of a 1-2 favorite as she overcame the outside post nine to score in 1:55. Driven by regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Churita dictated fractions of :28.1, :57.3, and 1:26 before cruising to a five length victory. The 1:55 victory was a new lifetime mark for the daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare and her second consecutive victory in 2015.

Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won 10 of 12 lifetime outings. Owned by Jackie Porter, Churita has amassed $310,725 lifetime.

Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander were victorious in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Fresh of a decisive win in the Indiana Sires Stakes elimination last week, Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander turned in a gate-to-wire performance to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies.  Scoring in a lifetime best of 1:52.2, Nora Rockwell outlasted all challenges from the rest of the field to score her third victory of the season.

“She has matured quite a bit from last year and tonight she was all business,” owner, trainer Marlin Fry noted after the win. “She is doing now what I thought she might always be capable of. Jason (Dillander) has done a great job with her.”

Nora Rockwell is a homebred daughter of Palone Ranger-Norma Rockwell. She has now won seven of 22 lifetime outings while earning $81,072.

While the stakes action switched gears, the weather did not. Rain continued to fall on the Hoosier Park surface but Homicide Hunter and John Delong seemed unbothered as they scored a decisive victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts. The 1:55.1 was a lifetime best performance and the second consecutive win from two seasonal outings for the Curt Grummel trainee.

Uninvolved in the early stages of the race, Homicide Hunter was able to avoid traffic trouble and early breakers to put away all challengers in the final eighth of the mile. Using a :27 final quarter, Homicide Hunter held off the heavily favored, Bluebird Reverend and Rick Farrington, late in the lane to win by four lengths.

“It wasn’t exactly how I thought the race would play out but the trip worked out for us,” Delong noted after the race. “We made a couple of adjustments after last week and tonight he was awesome. He’s a perfect gentleman to drive and he does everything you ask of him. He really raced great tonight.”

Homicide Hunter sent his career earnings over the $100,000 mark with the victory. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, the son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won five of 12 lifetime starts.

Each of the four stakes winners from tonight’s program have now earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals. The 2015 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 10 at Hoosier Park. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, June 2 with a 14-race card.

Hoosier Park Spotlight on Hoosier Champions Night

HoosierChampions-2013Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will highlight the early stages of the 2015 harness racing season on Saturday, May 30 with Indiana’s finest trotters and pacers convening on Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval for Hoosier Champions Night, the first of five rounds of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. A total of 14 races have been carded and will feature four $75,000 finals for the three-year-old competitors.

Revamped last season, the Indiana Sires Stakes program features five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses return to compete in a final and consolation.  The 2015 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 10 at Hoosier Park.

“Our Hoosier Champions Night has become a much-anticipated event among horsemen and racing fans alike,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “While all four $75,000 races are loaded with top-notch contenders, the three-year-old colt and gelding pace has the harness world buzzing as ultra-talented sophomores Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete prepare to go head to head for the first time.”

The three-year-old filly trotters will kick-off the stakes action for the evening and have been slated as the 9th race on the 14-race program. Indiana’s reigning two-year-old trotting filly of the year, Churita, will start from post nine with driver Trace Tetrick in the sulky. The Matt Rheinheimer trainee will be looking to score her second consecutive victory of the season and has been entrusted as the even money favorite.

A field of ten will be sent post-ward in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Rockin Good, Indiana’s two-year-old pacing filly of the year, will start from post three for driver, trainer Jared Finn. Last week’s elimination round winners, Nora Rockwell, Feetonthedashboard, and Sandysgoldenhour, will start from posts 6, 7, and 9, respectively.

In the three-year-old trotting colt ranks, Bluebird Reverend will look to remain undefeated in 2015 starting from post 5 with pilot Rick Farrington. Trained by Robert Reeser, the son of Swan For All scored his fourth consecutive victory at Hoosier Park in the elimination round of the stakes action last week.

The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for three-year-old pacing colts is the twelfth race on the program and will feature perhaps one of the most anticipated matchups in all of harness as superstar Wiggle It Jiggleit will square off against Indiana Sires Stakes Champion Freaky Feet Pete.

Wiggle It Jiggleit has been tabbed as the 3/5 morning line choice and will put his nine race win streak on the line from post seven with Montrell Teague in the sulky. Wiggle It Jiggleit remained undefeated with a win in his elimination of the Indiana Sire Stakes last Saturday and with that, moved to No. 1 in this week’s Hambletonian Society poll of top ranked harness horses. The World Champion is perfect in eight starts this season and 9-for-9 lifetime.

Freaky Feet Pete has been installed as the 8/5 second choice and will start from post nine for trainer Larry Rheinheimer. Voted Indiana’s two-year-old pacing colt of the year, Freaky Feet Pete has now won 10 of 11 career starts and earned $271,950 for owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer.

Saturday’s 14-race card is set to get underway at 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park’s ‘Family Fun Days’ return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the harness racing season. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, live entertainment, games and winner’s circle giveaways.

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