With a final time of 1:53, Matrix of Luck notched his fourth consecutive victory at Hoosier Park.
Matrix of Luck and Tyler Smith made a clean sweep of the fourth round of Indiana Sires Stakes action after they captured the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, September 3. With a final time of 1:53, Matrix of Luck notched his fourth consecutive victory at Hoosier Park and became the sport’s newest $100,000 earner after the victory.
Leaving from post two in a talented group of 10, Matrix of Luck was unhurried from the gate and found a spot along the rail in fourth while LeWayne Miller had Mystical Rock out and firing from post seven. Mystical Rock dictated first half fractions of :27.1 and :55.4 while stablemate Legere and Trace Tetrick benefitted from a pocket seat.
Smith made his game winning move down the backside as he pointed Matrix of Luck to the lead approaching the final turn and the colt quickly grabbed command just before the three quarter clocking in 1:24.4. As the field turned for home, Downthehighwy was the first to apply pressure from first-over and the stage was set for an epic stretch battle to the wire.
Matrix of Luck was able to put away Downthehighwy late in the lane but Mystical Rock loomed large in the pocket. Miller was able to find late racing room with Mystical Rock but Matrix of Luck wasn’t done. Using a :28.1 final quarter, Matrix of Luck dug in gamely to get the win by a neck over Mystical Rock. Legere rallied strongly in the lane to finish third. As the publics’ choice, Matrix of Luck returned $4.80 at the betting window.
“He’s a super nice colt to sit behind,” Smith noted in the winner’s circle. “I’ve got to thank his connections for letting me drive him. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the colt and they’ve done a great job with him all season. He just seems to get better every week; he always shows up and does his job.”
Trained by Roger Cullipher, Matrix of Luck notched the fifth win of his young career from just nine lifetime outings. Owned by Brian Carsey, John Mcgill, and Debbie Cullipher, the son of Rockin Image-My Taylor’s Maid pushed his lifetime bankroll to $128,000. The victory was one of four wins on the 14-race card for Smith.
Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 4 at the regularly schedule post time of 5:15 p.m. Friday’s 14-race card will be highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake final and $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.
Bridge to Jesse’s turned in another dominating performance to find winner’s circle once again at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, on Wednesday, September 2. Extending his win streak to six with the victory, Bridge To Jesse’s and driver Ed Hensley reached the wire three lengths in front of their competitors in 1:56.3.
Leaving from the trailing post position ten, Bridge To Jesse’s was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in third. Victor’s Hall and Ricky Macomber Jr. showed early speed off the gate and dictated first half fractions of :27.4 and :57.4. Fly Jesse Fly and Rick Plano benefitted from a pocket trip while Bridge To Jesse’s would begin his long first-over quest for the front approaching the final turn.
Victor’s Hall continued to call the shots around the three-quarter clocking in 1:29 while Bridge To Jesse’s slowly begin to close in on the leader. As the field straightened away for home, Hensley asked his mount for more and Bridge to Jesse’s found another gear. Bridge To Jesse’s was able to wear down a tiring Victor’s Hall late in the lane. Late Bid Tom and Jason Dillander rallied gamely in the homestretch to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Bridge to Jesse’s returned $4.20 at the betting window.
Bridge To Jesse’s and driver Ed Hensley reached the wire three lengths in front of their competitors in 1:56.3.
“He’s a pleasure to drive,” Hensley noted in the winner’s circle. “He’s got great manners, he can be a little rambunctious behind the gate sometimes but all in all, he’s a perfect colt to drive. I think he’s better racing off a helmet but he overcame the trip tonight and raced great again.”
After re-establishing the track record for two-year-old trotting geldings with a 1:56 effort in his last $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes outing, Bridge To Jesse’s has only tasted defeat once in eight lifetime starts. Trained by Roger Welch, the son of Jailhouse Jesse-Bridge To Nowhere has now bankrolled $158,000 for his owners W. DeLong, W. DeLong, R. Welch, and R. DeLong.
Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, September 3 at the regularly schedule post time of 5:15 p.m. Thursday’s 14-race card will be highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake final and $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.
Lockwood Grace Upsets In Indiana Sires Stakes Final at Hoosier Park
Lockwood Grace used a strong stretch rally to pull the 20-1 upset in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 1. Driven by Jason Dillander, Lockwood Grace avoided early traffic trouble to score in a lifetime best of 1:58.
In a race ruled by miscues, Dillander had Lockwood Grace out of harm’s way in the early stages of the race, sixth along the rail. Her stablemate and post time favorite, Miss Tootsie Hall, made a break behind the gate and took herself out of the race completely before the wings folded for driver Trace Tetrick.
Naughty III, driven by Tyler Smith, made her customary move to the front through an opening panel in :28.1 but had trouble down the backside and was quickly passed on the outside by Nothing But Nice and Rick Farrington at the second station in :58.2.
Doug Rideout and Just Jess also avoided the early traffic trouble and made a powerful move down the backside to take control just before the three-quarter clocking in 1:28. While the rest of the field sorted out positions, Just Jess put a few lengths between her and the rest of the field around the final turn.
As the field turned for home, Just Jess continued to call the shots but was beginning to tire on the front. Just as Just Jess was retreating, Dillander had Lockwood Grace in perfect striking position second-over. Lockwood Grace was given the green light and exploded past her rivals using a :28.4 final quarter to win by three-parts of a length. Nothing But Nice held on for the second place finish wile Sunny Jeans and Rick Plano rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As one of the longest shots on the board, Lockwood Grace returned $43.60 at the betting windows.
“I don’t know what happened out there,” Dillander noted of the race. “It worked out for us, but it was a crazy race, that’s for sure. When we came around the last turn, I wasn’t sure if I had enough to get to the wire but once we straightened out, she really started gaining ground. She trotted all the way to wire and showed up big tonight.”
Trained by Robert Taylor, the freshman filly is the daughter of Gymnasium-Montgomery Jewle. Lockwood Grace notched just the second win of her career from eight seasonal outings. Lockwood Grace has now earned $60,245 for her owners at Hoosierland Farm.
“She’s been a nice filly all year,” trainer Robert Taylor noted in the winner’s circle. “She’s just coming into herself I think, maybe a little later than the others, but she’s been a nice filly from the start. She’s a super nice filly to be around and takes good care of herself too, so I think that will help her in the long run.”
Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, September 2 at the regularly schedule post time of 5:15 p.m. Wednesday’s 14-race card will be highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake final and $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.
Racing fans were given a chance to show off their handicapping skills this summer through a new, dual contest between Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. In its’ inaugural edition, The Saturday Shootout competition was a free contest to Club Centaur members and provided three preliminary rounds with players earning and accumulating points based on their handicapping selections. Each player was aiming to advance into the top five standings at each location for a spot on the team for the $5,000 final slated for Saturday, September 12.
Handicappers were put to the test beginning Saturday, June 13 featuring four Standardbred races from Hoosier Park and four Quarter Horse races from Indiana Grand. The competition picked back up Saturday, July 11 featuring four Standardbred races from Hoosier Park and four Thoroughbred races from Indiana Grand. The final preliminary round was conducted in the same fashion on Saturday, Aug. 8.
After tallying up all three preliminary rounds, the top five players at Hoosier Park, with earnings, who earned a spot on Team Hoosier Park for the final round are as follows: Russel S. ($141.20), Jay M. ($111.20), Anthony A. ($111.00), Robert B. ($109.60) and Randy H. ($98.40). Andrew H. has been established as the alternate player for team Hoosier Park in the event one of the others players cannot make the final competition.
The Saturday Shootout final will take place at Indiana Grand on Saturday, Sept. 12, which will also include Childhood Cancer Awareness Night as well as PDJF Night. In addition, two Quarter Horse stakes will be featured on the latter part of the race card, including the $100,000 Stallion Service Auction Futurity and the $50,000 Stallion Service Auction Derby. The final RushShelby Energy Family Fun Night will also take place Sept. 12 with a strolling magician, bounce house and facepainter.
The Saturday Shootout Final will bring the top five players from Hoosier Park into Indiana Grand and the points will be determined by teams combining their skills on the eight selected races for the final. All players will start with a balance of $0 heading into the final. The winning team will split the $5,000 and receive the traveling Saturday Shootout trophy to be displayed at the winning track.
The five finalists for Team Hoosier Park are encouraged to RSVP and pick-up more information, all available at Trackside Club Centaur.
The 2016 Saturday Shootout final will be held at Hoosier Park.
Topville Cadillac Establishes New Track Record at Hoosier Park with her 1:52.1 clocking.
Topville Cadillac, with Tyler Smith at the lines, became Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s newest track record holder when she powered home a winner in 1:52.1 in the fourth round of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for two-year-old pacing fillies on Friday, August 28. After equaling the 1:52.2 mark previously established by Bettor Be Steppin and Corey Callahan in her last outing, Topville Cadillac bested that time by a fifth of a second to be the sole owner of the track record for two-year-old pacing fillies.
In just the sixth start of her freshman campaign, Topville Cadillac used a near gate to wire effort to defeat nine other rivals and score her fourth win of the season. Her 1:52.1 victory also marked the sixth track record that has been re-established at Hoosier Park during the 2015 live harness racing season.
Leaving from post five in the field of nine, Topville Cadillac was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fourth while the rest of the field battled for early position. Smith wouldn’t wait long as he sent the heavily favored filly on a mission to the front just past the opening quarter in :27.
Topville Cadillac dictated middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.2 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. As the field turned for home, Lookharryimwinning and Rick Plano tipped from the pocket but Topville Cadillac looked strong on the front. Using a :27.4 last quarter, Topville Cadillac was able to put away Lookharryimwinning and hold off a late charge from Endeavors Fantasy and Sam Widger who had to settle for second place honors.
Diamondtequilashot and Peter Wrenn rounded out the trifecta. Topville Cadillac returned $5.00 to her backers at the betting windows.
Trained by Alvin Miller, the daughter of Rockin Image-Topville Cyberwave notched her fourth win from six seasonal outings. Topville Cadillac, a $95,000 yearling purchase, is a half sister to former Indiana Sires Stakes Champions Always About Katey and Radar Contact. Her $95,000 purchase price also made her the highest priced yearling in the state of Indiana in 2014. Owned by Ted Comerford, Twila Harts and Alvin Miller, Topville Cyberwave has now earned $37,550 lifetime.
The post time favorites also delivered in the other two divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations on the evening. Ed Hensley guided Can’t Touch This to a 1:53 score in the opening division for trainer Roger Welch while Seventimesavirgin turned a pocket trip into a 1:54 victory for trainer, driver John DeLong.
All three of the evening’s elimination winners successfully earned a spot in the next round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final slated for September 4 at Hoosier Park. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, August 29 with a 14-race card.
For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com .
JK Endofanera and Brett Miller capture the 2015 edition of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes
JK Endofanera and driver Brett Miller used a valiant stretch drive to overtake a field of ten in the 22nd installment of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes on Friday, August 14 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. With a final time of 1:48.4, JK Endofanera was able to take advantage of the long Hoosier Park stretch to score his third win of the season for trainer, Jimmy Takter.
Leaving from the coveted rail position, JK Endofanera was quick off the gate but was forced to settle for a spot along the rail in third as Ricky Macomber Jr. had Bettor’s Edge on a mission from post nine. Bettor’s Edge was the first to get a call through a snappy opening panel in :25.3, while Lyonssomewhere and Andy Miller benefitted from a pocket trip with the rest of the field sorting out early position.
Lyonssomewhere made a move to the front approaching the second station but his lead would be short lived as Yannick Gingras had the post time favorite, Foiled Again, pointed to the front. The quick tempo continued as Foiled Again reached the front at the half mile mark in :53.1 and was joined immediately feeling the pressure from Clear Vision and Trace Tetrick on the outside.
As the field passed the three-quarter clocking in 1:21.1, Clear Vision was able to put away Foiled Again but looked down a long Hoosier Park stretch and braced himself for the cavalry charge behind him. JK Endofanera appeared to be buried at the top of the stretch as he was sitting eighth at the pylons turning for home. Matt Kakaley had All Bets Off well placed at the top of the stretch as they made a valiant bid for the lead but his biggest threat was still behind him.
Miller found late racing room, asked his mount for more, and JK Endofanera exploded past his rivals with a :26.2 final quarter to get the win by two and a half lengths. All Bets Off held on gamely for the second place finish while Clear Vision rounded out the trifecta. As the betting publics’ second choice, JK Endofanera returned $6.40 to his backers.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino congratulates the connections of JK Endofenara, 2015 Dan Patch Stakes winner.
“The race definitely didn’t shape up like I hoped,” Miller noted in the winner’s circle with a laugh. “I was buried on the rail and when we were coming around the last turn I honestly thought to myself, it’s all up to God now.”
“I know the track and I know how long this stretch is, we definitely used it to our advantage tonight,” he continued. “Jimmy (Takter) told me when he got this horse that he is the real deal and after the last few races, I’ve had a lot of confidence in him. He definitely showed how good of a horse he is tonight. It was a great race; this is actually a race I’ve always wanted to win.”
Trained by Jimmy Takter the four-year-old son of Art Major-Presidential Lady notched his third win from eight starts in 2015. With the win, JK Endofanera pushed his lifetime bankroll to $1,712,088 for his connections at the 3 Brothers Stables.
Hoosier Park’s Dan Patch Stakes saw measurable success on all fronts. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as a large, enthusiastic crowd welcomed the 22nd edition of Hoosier Park’s signature event to the track. The wagering front also success and offered significant value to the horseplayer with the continuation of a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 and a $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta.
Homicide Hunter delivers as the heavy favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final.
Story By: Kimberly French–Not to be outdone by their female counterparts in their respective $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on the evening of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes, 3-year-old geldings Homicide Hunter and Freaky Feet Pete demonstrated their superiority over overmatched rivals as the 1-5 and 1-9 wagering selections. Homicide Hunter, from the first crop of Mr Cantab and out of the Like A Prayer mare Evening Prayer, was content to allow 53-1 shot Jumpinthejailhouse to set the early pace and was trotting comfortably in fifth position throughout the first quarter mile which was clocked in :27.2. As the leader advanced to the half, however, in :56.1, the Curt Grummel conditioned gelding was given the green light by driver John DeLong to commence his advance.
Responding with ease, Homicide Hunter cleared the field and headed to the top of the stretch with a length and a half advantage. After hitting the three quarter mark in 1:25.1, DeLong shook the reins at the gelding and the race for second was on. As the trotted to the wire, Homicide Hunter distanced himself from his pursuers and stopped the clock in 1:53.4, five lengths ahead of second place finisher Bluebird Reverend with Rockin Stein holding on gamely for third. The gelding, who is owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, now shares the track record for 3-year-old colts and geldings with Rose Run Parker, and when bettors cashed their tickets he provided $2.40. With the triumph Homicide Hunter increases his win streak to 10 for 10 in 2015. His career resume is 20-13-2-3 and he has amassed more than $300,000 in earnings.
“Last year we had some problems with him trotting to the wire,” DeLong said. “This year there is absolutely no problem with anything he does. Not only is his record perfect, he is perfect. There is not one thing you can say about him that is not praise. He is a very nice horse to drive because his manners are the best you could ask for. It’s really a very special thing to be able to drive him and to see how he has matured from last year to this year.”
Once Homicide Hunter devastated his opponents with pinpoint accuracy, it was Freaky Feet Pete’s turn to take aim on his next Indiana championship. The crowd at the Anderson facility was pressed up against the fence anxiously awaiting his performance and the energy was electric as regular pilot Trace Tetrick moved him toward the gate. Larry Rheinheimer’s pupil broke well, settled in third and allowed Vague Traces set a torrid pace of :25.4 in the first panel. At the same time the tote board lit up with a stiff time of :53.3 for the half, Tetrick simply moved his hands and in a flash the gelding had cleared Vague Traces.
Freaky Feet Pete establishes a new track record for three-year-old pacing colts at Hoosier Park.
By the time Freaky Feet Pete hit the lane, he had placed three and a half lengths between him and his colleagues and paced three quarters in 1:21.0. From there on in it was simply the Freaky Feet Pete show. As he moved down the lane effortlessly, widening his advantage with every stride, the apron erupted with a loud round of applause for Indiana’s champion. Freaky Feet Pete crossed the finish line in 1:48.2 and second place finisher Skim The Top was seven lengths in arrears, with Swing City just behind. The patrons in attendance this evening were awed by the performance because Tetrick never even popped the plugs and had a strong hold on him midway through the stretch. This horse, owned and raised by Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer, could have went much, much faster if ever was ever asked. The evenings are few and far between when a track record, which is what this time was is established with such sheer, breathtaking ease. Freaky Feet Pete paid $2.10 to his loyal backers and with this triumph improved his record to 8-7-1 for 2015 with just under $190,000 in purse money. For his career, the gelding has a record of 17-15-1-0, with his only loss coming at the hooves of Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial victor Wiggle It Jiggleit. He has now collected nearly $450,000 during his two years of competition.
Larry Rheinheimer confirmed to Peter Lurie of HRTV the gelding would be a Breeders Crown participant.
“Driving him is something unreal,” said Trace Tetrick with a huge smile on his face. “He just does everything so easy and he comes from a great family as his dam is a 100 percent producer. He paces so well that it seems like he’s going in 1:58 when he’s going in 1:50 and it’s like he has no idea he’s going that fast himself. You never even have to ask him. I knew at the top of the stretch I would never even have to pop his plugs out, so I wrapped him and just sat there on the way home. He is a very, very special horse and having the opportunity to sit behind him is an indescribable feeling.”
Nora Rockwell (6) Scores in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies at Hoosier Park.
Story By: Kimberly French–In an action-packed undercard leading up to the 22nd edition of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes presented by Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the fillies were the first to strut their stuff in the first two editions of the four $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Finals on Friday, August 14 and each post time favorite certainly relished the spotlight. Nora Rockwell, whose owner and trainer, Marlin Fry was a bundle of nerves prior to the contest for 3-year-old pacing fillies, proved the public was spot on and Fry had no cause for concern as she would let no other rival put their nose down first on the wire. She captured her event in 1:51.0, which ties her lifetime mark and was the public’s overwhelming choice at 4-5.
White Metro, the second selection at 2-1 came away on top and led the field through the first quarter in :26.4, but Yannick Gingras, who picked up the drive this evening, confidently sent Nora Rockwell straight to the lead. She paced a half in a strong :54.3, with Rockin Good breathing down her neck and hit the three quarter pole in 1.21.3.
At the top of the lane the favorite dispensed of that lass, but faced another challenge in Mystical Treasure. Throughout the length of the strength Mystical Treasure attempted with every stride to overhaul the leader, but Nora Rockwell refused to be denied as she tripped the timer by a very long head, with Mystical Treasure annexing second place and White Metro in the show slot. The daughter of Palone Ranger and the V P Finance mare, Norma Rockwell, paid $2.40 to win, now sports a resume of 31-13-9-2 and has collected purse money collected of nearly $250,000.
“I knew there was no way I wanted to behind that horse and although I have not driven her before I was confident from the program lines, as well as how she felt, I had the horse to do it,” Gingras said. “She paced through some fast fractions, but she felt great right until the finish line. I am very thankful for the drive. I’m not here at Hoosier Park very often, but whenever you get the opportunity to drive a horse like this in a $75,000 race you are thrilled to have it. She definitely is a very nice filly and it was a pleasure to drive her.”
After the scratch earlier in the day of what would have been the heavy favorite in Churita, the 3-year-old final for trotting fillies definitely left the door wide open for any member in nine horse field to rise to claim the crown. The wagering public decided to cast their lot with the Ron Burke conditioned Hannelore Hanover who was sent to the gate as the 1-5 favorite.
It was Diamond Dagger, however, at 10-1 that took the field through the first panel in :28.0 and the half in :57.0. Midway to the three quarter pole the rest of the fillies decided to give chase with Jesse’s Promise the biggest threat. After three quarters in 1:26.0, Hannelore Hanover made her bid and it was a demolishing one.
Hannelore Hanover delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies at Hoosier Park.
The filly, steered by Hoosier Park’s all-time leading driver in Ricky Macomber, trotted by the rest of her colleagues like they were standing still and continued to pour it on all through the homestretch. The duo stopped the clock in 1:55.0, which is a new lifetime standard for the daughter of Swan For All and the Dream Vacation mare All Society. Jesse’s Promise and Diamond Dagger were second and third. Hannelore Hanover paid $2.40 to win and is the property of Burke Stable, Weaver and Bruscemi, William Haas Jr. and Frank Baldachino. With her third victory of the season, the filly now possesses a career record of 16-4-8-2 and a bankroll of roughly $165,000.
“We only started her twice as a 2-year-old because she was sore and we think she had a cranky attitude because of it,” Jamie Rucker, Burke’s assistant trainer, said. “Also, we knew she was a nice filly and we would just bring her back this year. You have to be patient with her and let her do what she wants to do out there. Did she see how she totally changes her stride while she’s racing? For the first half (mile) she is kind of choppy but she knows when it is time to go and she shifts into gear. Then she adjusts and is perfectly gaited. We are very pleased with her and think she is improving at the right time.”
When she is scoring down or on her way to the gate, Churita’s adoring fans line up on the fence at Hoosier Park nudging one another with their elbows and talking softly amongst themselves about how fabulous she looks. It’s as if the Anderson oval is her very own personal runway and all in attendance are only there to witness her.
“You really can just see it in her eyes,” said her owner Jack Porter. “It is also in the way she carries herself and holds her head.”
The ‘it’ Porter is referring to is star power and this Indiana champion possesses it in spades. The 3-year-old daughter of Airzoom Lindy and the Yankee Paco mare Stonebridge Volare may not be an international superstar, but she is certainly a local celebrity.
Champion Filly Looks to Remain Undefeated in 2015 at Hoosier Park
The reasons for this deep reverence are well-deserved as Matt Rheinheimer’s charge has cruised to a career record of 18-16-1-1, collected $422,050 and established a track record of 1:53.4s, which is her swiftest mile to date. She is perfect in eight trips to the gate this season and will seek to add luster to her already sparkling resume on Friday (August 14) when she takes on nine rivals in her $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Final. It is the seventh race on the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes card with an approximate post time of 7:31 p.m. and regular reinsman Trace Tetrick will be holding the lines. She will commence her journey to the wire from the rail.
“My job is just to keep her happy,” Rheinheimer said. “She has already more than exceeded my expectations so anything she does makes me happy. The minute she steps on the track she is all business and you could never ask anything more from her than that.”
Churita has been defying the odds since Porter purchased her as a yearling for a fair racing prospect. She was not even his or Rheinheimer’s first choice, but she went for the right price and is only competing in the Sire Stakes program because that is what she was eligible to. In fact, she is the only horse Porter has owned after several decades in the business that has competed at this level.
“When other trainers come up to you and say if they had to lose to anyone they are glad it was her because we deserve it is an indescribable feeling,” Porter said. “And to be honest, I never anticipated she would be undefeated at this point of the season. I really thought Golden Big Stick was going to give her some competition and would improve from two to three, but even when she has someone look her in the eye she just digs in. She doesn’t want to let another horse go by.”
Most trotting fillies do have a bit of an attitude and Churita, while not quite a diva, does have her own air about her.
“She is terrific to be around and always takes care of herself,” Rheinheimer said. “But there are times when you just need to leave her alone. She needs to do her own thing and she lets you know that.”
Despite her devoted minions and her domination of the local competition, this young lady will remain at her home base until the end of the season.
“We have her nominated to a couple stakes like the Circle City,” Porter said. “But it all depends on her. She doesn’t owe us a thing and anything else she does is like icing on the cake. If she is sound and healthy we will go, but if not that is perfectly fine too.”
Rheinheimer admitted he was always nervous during the filly’s campaign last year as he was astonished at how talented she was, but this year it’s different. Not that he still isn’t on edge about her at times, but he now can enjoy her a bit more.
“I am in awe of her,” he said. “Not that I don’t get anxious at times, but I just am astonished how good she really is. She is by far the best horse I have trained and I feel so very fortunate to have her. You always wish for a horse like this to come along and when they finally do it’s something very special.”
Churita’s $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final will be part of the star studded card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 14 that features the 2015 installment of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes. The entire racing card 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. First post is 5:15 p.m.
Story By: Kimberly French
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WISH-TV will broadcast the 22nd edition of the Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
WISH-TV’s partnership with Centaur Gaming will continue with a special broadcast of the 22nd edition of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes, a race featuring the best in the sport of harness racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 14 during the 10:00 p.m. news hour. The WISH TV broadcasting partnership kicked off on Saturday, July 18 with coverage of the Indiana Oaks and Indiana Derby live from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville.
“Centaur Gaming immediately saw the value in a strategic television partnership with WISH-TV given their solid reputation and reach not only in the Indianapolis-area but throughout much of Indiana,” said Jim Brown, Centaur Gaming President and COO. “We look forward to entertaining their viewers with live broadcasts of our biggest races at Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park as well as showcasing what has made our destinations the best in gaming, racing, dining, and entertainment in Indiana.”
The Dan Patch is Hoosier Park’s most prestigious pacing race and has become an annual tradition that highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing. Hoosier Park’s event is named after the early 1900’s racehorse phenomenon, Dan Patch. Originally from Oxford, Ind., Dan Patch raced the clock rather than his inferior competitors. Drawing crowds of more than 90,000 people at a single race, the free-legged equine hero was the unparalleled sports icon of his time.
The Dan Patch Stakes 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 REO Speedwagon on Saturday, August 15 as Hoosier Park continues its’ summer concert series line-up.
About Centaur Gaming: Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming, founded in 1993, focuses on bringing the entertainment and economic benefits of casino gaming and horse racing to key communities across Indiana. Centaur employs more than 2,000 Hoosiers and operates Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Ind., Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind., Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis, Winner’s Circle Brewpub & OTB in New Haven/Fort Wayne, Ind. and an off-track betting facility in Clarksville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.CentaurGaming.net, www.HoosierPark.com, or www.IndianaGrand.com.
About WISH-TV: WISH-TV has continued to set the standard for television excellence in Central Indiana, since 1954. The station has been honored as “Television Station of the Year” by the Indiana Broadcasters Association, for its “Overall Excellence” by the Edward R. Murrow Awards, and as “Outstanding News Operation,” “Outstanding Weather Operation,” “Best Newscast” and “Best Website” by the Indiana Associated Press Broadcast Association. 24-Hour News 8 provides around the clock news, weather and information through its television newscasts and digital platforms. WISH-TV, a CW affiliate, serves more than 1.5 million households. (Estimate according to the Indianapolis Nielsen Station Index).