Jason Dillander wins the 2015 Champion Driver Series at Hoosier Park
The second and final round of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2015 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race card on Saturday, October 17 and it was Jason Dillander who raced away with top honors, winning a Hawaiian excursion for four, a prize valued at $15,000. Not only was it a race to the islands but also a race to the finish as Dillander narrowly won the final round of the challenge by one point over Sam Widger.
In its’ second year, the 2015 Champion Driver Series placed the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge not once, but twice, throughout the season. Dillander, a 39-year-old Kentucky native, accumulated a total of 32 points and finished fourth in round 1 of the challenge held on July 25.
With the points from round 1 carrying over to round 2, Dillander earned a total of 69 points in round two to secure the win over Sam Widger who finished second with 68 points. LeWayne Miller, the 2014 Champion Driver Series winner, finished third in the final round with a total of 67 points.
Although Dillander did not find the winner’s circle in any of the five races in the challenge, he earned two second place finishes, one fourth and two fifth place finishes to secure the victory. With a second, a fifth and a fourth place finish in the first three races of the challenge, Dillander had earned 54 points and was fourth in the standings heading into the fourth leg.
After a second place finish behind Meersburg in the fourth race of the challenge, Dillander accumulated nine more points and moved into third place in the standings with 63 going into the final race. Widger led all challengers with 67 points and Miller was a close second with 64. When the final race of the challenge hit the track, it appeared to be anyone’s game.
Dillander secured his trip to Hawaii with a fifth place finish in the final race, earning six more points, behind Greystone Moe for trainer Joe Cirasuola. Greystone Moe and Dillander rallied late in the lane but couldn’t catch winners Ra Ra Steven and John DeLong. Dillander’s six points were just enough to push him past Widger and into the lead by one point for the win.
“I had no idea I won,” Dillander noted in the winner’s circle. “It was really close going into the last race and it was a competitive group of horses so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.”
“I felt good about my horses coming into tonight but all of these races were really competitive so I knew it would be tough,” he continued. “We are always competitive but this was a little different, we had a lot of fun with it.”
Dillander called the Chicago racing circuit home for a number of years before venturing to Hoosier Park in 2008 where he has been a mainstay atop the leading driver standings nearly every year since. Now in his 18th season as a driver, Dillander is back in the bike in 2015 after a racing injury sidelined him for much of the 2014 season. Dillander celebrated his 2000th career win at Hoosier Park in 2013 and is approaching $20 million in career purse earnings.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will resume on Tuesday, October 20 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.
Wiggle It Jiggleit will return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, October 23.
Wiggle It Jiggleit, the No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing, will headline the list of entrants set to go postward during the stakes filled card on Friday, October 23 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Circle City Stakes for the three-year-old competitors will highlight Friday’s 13-race card while the Madison County Stakes for the two-year-old competitors will be featured on Saturday, October 24 at Hoosier Park.
On Friday, a total of six Circle City Stakes will be featured on the 13-race card that is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. with each division for the three-year-old trotters and pacers of both genders being contested through two divisions. A total of 21 horses entered the Circle City Stakes for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings and will be sent postward in two divisions, a ten and an eleven horse field, respectively.
Wiggle It Jiggleit has drawn post three and has been installed as the 2-5 morning line favorite in his split of the $43,500 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Slated as the eleventh race on the program, regular pilot Montrell Teague will be in the bike for trainer Clyde Francis.
The connections of the leading Horse of the Year candidate opted out of paying the $62,500 supplemental payment to make him eligible to the lucrative Breeders Crown events at Woodbine Racetrack to keep their stable standout in his home state of Indiana for a series of Grand Circuit races. Wiggle It Jiggleit’s engagements in the Hoosier state include Friday’s Circle City Stakes and the $275,000 Monument Circle Pace slated for October 30 at Hoosier Park.
Wiggle It Jiggleit will be looking to rebound after a second place finish in his last appearance at Hoosier Park in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final on Saturday, October 10. The second place finish snapped a five race winning streak for the World Champion son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover and marked just his third loss from 21 starts this season. Wiggle It Jiggleit dictated fractions of :27.2, :56, and 1:24 before being overtaken in the long Hoosier Park stretch by Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick.
“One of the best things about this horse that I’ve seen so far is his ability to bounce back after he gets beat,” driver Montrell Teague said of the colt. “He’s gone some big miles this year but he always gives 110% every start. He drew well so that will make it easier for him to be up close and in the hunt. He should be good to go.”
Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 18 of 21 races this year and has amassed $1.81 million in seasonal earnings. The world-record holding son of Mr. Wiggles is owned and bred by George Teague Jr. His resume includes wins in the Meadowlands Pace, Hempt Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, and the Little Brown Jug. Wiggle It Jiggleit was also victorious in Indiana Sires Stakes action at Hoosier Park earlier in the season.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., the live racing season will be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, in partnership with the Indiana Standardbred Association (ISA), will offer a free, introductory seminar for those considering first-time horse ownership of a Standardbred race horse on Saturday, October 17 at Hoosier Park. The seminar, which will run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., will cover horse racing basics, the rewards and financial obligations of horse ownership and the various ways to get started owning a horse.
Atttendees will not only learn the basics of horse ownership but will also have a hands-on opportunity to meet some of the top horses, trainers, and drivers currently racing at Hoosier Park. The program will include a presentation by Jessica Barnes from the Indiana Horse Racing Commission about forms of ownership, tax considerations, and licensing procedures. Participants will also hear from an owner based at Hoosier Park for insight on their experiences and advice for first time owners.
The educational event will begin at 2:00 p.m. and will be held in the Top of the Park room at Hoosier Park. The seminar will conclude at 5:00 p.m. followed by a tour of the backside and stabling area at Hoosier Park. Attendees are encouraged to stay for a night of live racing which will begin at 5:45 p.m. After the seminar, attendees will also be invited to enjoy a complimentary meal during the live racing card.
Interested parties can sign up at http://shop.ustrotting.com/events.aspx to reserve their place today or call the ISA office at (317) 462-6616 for more information.
About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a Centaur Gaming destination, 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 the Winner’s Circle Brewpub & OTB in New Haven/Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Always B Miki scored his first victory of 2015 at Hoosier Park.
Always B Miki made the first start of his 2015 campaign a winning one as he cruised to a dominant victory in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination for aged pacing stallion and geldings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 3. With trainer Jimmy Takter in the bike, Always B Miki stopped the timer in 1:49 under wraps, finishing five lengths in front of his next closest competitor over a track rated good on a cold, windy night in Indiana.
Leaving from the outside post nine, Takter took no chances and sent Always B Miki away from the gate firing. Always B Miki quickly crossed over and grabbed the early lead through the opening quarter in :26.1 while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Always B Miki dictated fractions of :54.2 and 1:22.2 before he began to put his talent on display.
As the field turned for home, Takter asked his mount for more and Always B Miki found another gear and began to pace away from the rest of the field. Always At My Place and Ricky Macomber Jr., the second betting choice, staged a big rally late in the lane but had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and had to settle for second place honors. Always The Sun and Travis Seekman rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Always B Miki returned $3.20 at the betting window.
“Scary good,” Jimmy Takter said with a smile in the winner’s circle. “No, really, he was scary good tonight. He raced as good as I could have hoped for.”
It was the first victory of the season for the son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper who had his three-year-old season cut short due to an injury. Owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter, Always B Miki has amassed $936,866 lifetime.
With the win, Always B Miki secured a spot in the $50,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for the aged pacing stallions and geldings slated for Saturday, October 10 at Hoosier Park. Mykindachip and Peter Wrenn were victorious in the other elimination for aged pacing stallion and geldings, scoring in 1:51.3. Trained by Jim Dailey, Mykindachip scored the 10th win of the season and sent his seasonal earnings to $129,165 for owner Carl Atley.
Color’s A Virgin delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination for aged pacing mares. Overcoming a tough, first-over trip, the Brian Brown trainee was home a winner by three lengths, scoring in 1:52.1. Owned by the Emerald Highlands Farm, Color’s A Virgin scored the sixth win from 16 seasonal outings and pushed her bankroll over the $100,000 mark for 2015 with the win.
Always B Miki Returns to Racing at Hoosier Park on Saturday, October 3
Three Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for the aged pacing divisions will highlight the 14-race card slated for Saturday, October 3 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The elimination for the aged pacing mares division drew a field of twelve while nineteen entered in the aged stallions and geldings elimination and will be contested through two divisions.
Making his 2015 pari-mutual debut and headlining the list of entrants in the aged stallions and geldings division is pacing sensation, Always B Miki. With trainer Jimmy Takter enlisted to drive, Always B Miki will start from post nine and has been enlisted as the 4-5 morning line choice. He will face nine other rivals in the 10th race of the program.
Always B Miki will make his return to Hoosier Park fresh off a world-record equaling qualifying victory at The Red Mile last week. He cruised to a ten and a half length victory, scoring in 1:48.2, with Jimmy Takter in the sulky. The time of the mile equaled the fastest qualifying mile in the history of harness racing, which was recorded by Shark Gesture over the Meadowlands Racetrack in June of 2010.
Always B Miki was a winner of 12 of 19 starts at three with seasonal earnings in excess of $794,000 for Bluewood Stable and Roll The Dice Stable. In 2014, Always B Miki’s victories included the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings and the $275,000 Monument Circle at Hoosier Park and he had not finished worse than second in his last 12 starts.
The son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper was the morning line favorite in the 2014 Breeders Crown final before being a late scratch due to a left hind pastern fracture and required surgery. As he was making his 2015 comeback for trainer Jimmy Takter, he fractured a right hind pastern in May and required another surgery.
“He’s just a lovely horse,” trainer Jimmy Takter noted of the pacer. “I’m very happy with him. He’s come back extremely well. Right now, we are taking it one week at a time with him but he seems really good and really sharp. He’s an extremely fast horse, just a great horse to have in the barn.”
“The owners wanted me to drive,” Takter continued. “I want to make sure everything is okay with him. We’re pointing him to the Breeders Crown and we needed a couple of starts to prepare him for that. This should be a good race for him.”
The 2015 Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate at Hoosier Park on Saturday, October 10 with the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals; the four finals for the aged competitors will compliment the 14-race card, each carrying a purse of $50,000. The top five finishers from the two eliminations in the aged male pace will return for the final while the top ten finishers from the aged mares elimination will make up the final. The aged trotting divisions did not require eliminations.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Building upon the successes of the 2015 harness racing meet, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino announced a series of enhancements to the remainder of its 2015 season. Effective Oct. 6, all purses will reflect a 20 percent increase and the first-race post time will be changed from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The 160-day all harness racing season will continue to follow the Tuesday through Saturday schedule and end on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Additionally, Hoosier Park’s commitment to improve its wagering product has led to wagering format changes going forward. In an effort to consolidate the wagering menu and offer bigger pools on the mainstay wagers, Hoosier Park will no longer offer rolling pick-three’s or rolling daily doubles.
“These changes are a direct result of Hoosier Park’s and the Indiana Standardbred Association’s commitment to present Indiana’s harness racing program in the best of light,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing. “With a renewed focus on fresh marketing efforts, facility enhancements, specialty wagers, and an increase in overall quality of racing, we believe these steps will bolster Hoosier Park’s remaining 2015 race dates and help prepare for a successful 2016 season.”
Hoosier Park will play host to the second of three million dollar nights this season on Saturday, Oct. 10 with the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super finals for the two and three-year-old competitors. Grand Circuit racing action will return to Hoosier Park on Friday, Oct. 23 and make its final stop on Friday, Oct. 30.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino kicked off on April 2 and will continue through Nov. 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Bee A Magician Captures the Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park
Bee A Magician made Hoosier Park history as she became the first mare to ever win the $210,000 Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 26. With David Miller in the bike, Bee A Magician dominated a field of nine male counterparts to win by a length in 1:53. The World Champion mare was able to overcome a long, first over trip to score her second consecutive victory and first victory at Hoosier Park.
When the talented field of ten left the gate, Lindy’s Tru Grit and Andy Miller fired from the wings to reach the opening panel in a snappy :26.4. Wind Of The North and Dave Palone grabbed the pocket seat while Bee A Magician let just enough to grab a spot next in line, third. Yannick Gingras pointed Gural Hanover to the front and they were in command just before the half in :55.3.
Miller gave Bee A Magician the green light approaching the final turn and she ranged up to reach the leader’s wheel at the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.4. As the field turned for home, Bee A Magician began to put her talent on display as she found another gear to trot away from the field. Wind Of The North rallied gamely in the stretch but had to settle for second place honors while Gural Hanover held on for third. As the 3-5 favorite, Bee A Magician returned $3.20 at the betting window.
“She’s an amazing animal,” winning driver David Miller noted in the winner’s circle after the victory. “She was able to overcome a bad post and unfavorable trip to win that race tonight. There was enough early speed that I didn’t have to move her till late in the mile so I felt pretty good about it coming around the last turn. She raced great again.”
“She really is something though,” he continued. “To be able to continually dominate at this level and take on the boys week after week is pretty special. She’s a pleasure to sit behind.”
Trained by Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman, the five-year-old Kadabra mare scored her 41st career win and 10th seasonal victory from 14 starts. With the win, Bee A Magician pushed her career bankroll to $3.6 million for owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. The victory was also one of four wins on the 14-race card for driver David Miller.
In conjunction with a star-studded 14-race card, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 pool on Saturday, September 26. In partnership with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering program, Hoosier Park will offer this signature wager on races 10-13. The first race will line up behind the gate at 5:15 p.m.
The Pick-4, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, will begin in the tenth race of the evening and continue through the 13th race. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the tenth race, is 8:30 p.m. (EST.). Expert selections and handicapping tools are available on Hoosier Park’s website. As an added bonus, racing fans can visit Hoosier Park’s website for a free download of Saturday’s live racing program.
Saturday’s card will be highlighted by Hoosier Park’s richest trotting event, the $210,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, along with the $207,300 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $150,150 Elevation Pace and the $110,250 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace. The Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace and The Centaur Trotting Classic will be the last two legs of the Pick-4 wager, slated as races 12 and 13, respectively.
Hoosier Park’s live racing action will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Hoosier Park will offer arguably one of the best 14-race cards of the 2015 live racing season to-date on Saturday, September 26. Grand Circuit racing action will make its way to Hoosier Park for the second time this season and with it, bring the top rated horses in North America to Hoosier Park as they convene on the seven-eighths mile oval in search of the lucrative purses offered on the card beginning at 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park will host a standout card that includes the $210,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $207,300 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $150,150 Elevation Pace and the $110,250 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace.
2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician will highlight a powerful field of ten for Hoosier Park’s richest trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic which has been slated as the thirteenth race on the 14-race card. Bee A Magician ships to Hoosier Park fresh off her win in the $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot where she became the first mare to win the race since the great Peaceful Way accomplished the feat nine years ago. The career winner of $3.6 million is scheduled to tackle the boys once again; starting from post nine with David Miller enlisted to drive.
The $110,250 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace will feature a big match-up between top 3-year-old pacing colts Wakizashi Hanover and Freaky Feet Pete, slated as the twelfth race on the program. Both horses enter Saturday’s race with a winning streak on the line and each have put together their own sensational sophomore seasons. Wakizashi Hanover has been enlisted as the morning line choice at 7-5 with Tim Tetrick in the bike from post six while Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick will play the role of local favorite and start from post nine at odds of 8-5.
“If you are looking for harness racing star-power you need to look no further than Hoosier Park on Saturday night,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s vice president and general manager of racing. “From the sensational trotting mare Bee A Magician to the lightning fast sophomores Wakizashi Hanover and Freaky Feet Pete to a host of precocious two-year olds, it doesn’t get any better than this. Add to that an undercard of ultra-competitive betting races and you have an evening of racing that we take pride in offering to our on-track racing audience and simulcast outlets throughout North America and beyond.”
In a continued partnership with Hoosier Park, local news station WISH-TV will provide exclusive coverage for all the Grand Circuit racing action at Hoosier Park on Saturday. WISH-TV will be on property to provide racing fans with exclusive coverage of all the festivities happening on and off the race track. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park throughout the evening. WISH-TV’s live coverage begins at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 26 and includes the live showing of the Centaur Trotting Classic and the Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace.
In conjunction with all the action taking place on the track, Hoosier Park will host the second annual Petacular Weekend, benefitting the Animal Protection League (APL). Racing fans are encouraged to pick up a free APL Savings Booklet at Club Centaur Rewards. The booklet features Hoosier Park’s Champion Drivers and pictures of local pets in need. The Champion Drivers, many of whom own and train their racehorses, are working as a team to support the APL. Guests can also take advantage of more than $100 in great community cash offers, dining discounts, and more located in the back of the booklet.
Hoosier Park’s live racing action will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
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Freaky Feet Pete cruised to his ninth straight victory in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings
Freaky Feet Pete continued his divisional dominance at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, September 17 as he cruised to his ninth straight victory in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Guided by regular driver Trace Tetrick, Freaky Feet Pete coasted to the wire under a hand drive to finish six lengths in front of his closest competitor and stop the timer in 1:49.4.
Leaving from post seven in the field of ten, Freaky Feet Pete was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in sixth. John DeLong had Swing City on a mission to the front and the Erv Miller trainee dictated first half fractions of :26.2 and :54.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field.
Tetrick gave Freaky Feet Pete the green light just past the half and the sophomore colt appeared to do the rest on autopilot. Ima Full Time Job and Jason Dillander were first to commit to the outer flow but were unable to gain on the leader. Freaky Feet Pete reached the leader’s wheel at the third station in 1:22.2 and by the time the field turned for home his lead was ever-increasing.
While the rest of the field struggled to stay within striking distance, Freaky Feet Pete found another gear and used a :26.2 final quarter to find the wire first. American Virgin and Ricky Macomber Jr. rallied for second while Kelly D and Dale Hiteman rounded out the trifecta. As the overwhelming favorite, Freaky Feet Pete returned $2.10 at the betting window.
“I knew there would be a lot of early speed in the race,” Tetrick said after the victory. “I didn’t want to get tangled up with anyone early so I just wanted to float out of there and catch cover. I asked him a little around the last turn and that’s really all I had to do. He did the rest. He’s a great horse and loves what he’s doing out there.”
Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored his 18th career victory from 20 lifetime outings. The son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has now earned $482,100 lifetime for his owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer, who incidentally celebrated a birthday today with the win. Rheinheimer’s star pupil will now be aimed for the $100,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace at Hoosier Park on Saturday, September 26 for his next engagement.
“I paid the supplement so we will go to the Jenna’s Beach Boy next week,” Larry Rheinheimer said after the win. “As for the rest of the season, we will take it one start at a time. We’ll get through these next couple of starts here and go from there but we’ll do whatever is best for the horse. He will tell us what he wants to do. We haven’t changed anything so far and it seems to be working.”
The $100,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace will be part of a star-studded card slated for Saturday, September 26 at Hoosier Park. The evening’s 14-race card will also include the $275,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes trot and pace and the $225,000 Centaur Trotting Classic.
Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 18 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.