The best in the sport of Harness Racing will be showcased at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, October 30 as Grand Circuit racing action returns to Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval for the fourth and final time this season.
With over $1.1 million in purses to be distributed on the evening, Hoosier Park will offer arguably one of the best cards of the 2015 live racing season with a 14-race card that includes the $285,500 Monument Circle Pace, the $265,000 Carl Erskine Trot, and the $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. The first race of the evening will line-up behind the starting gate at 5:45 p.m.
The $285,500 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will feature perhaps the most anticipated matchup in all of harness racing as the Hoosier state’s sophomore superstars Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete face-off in the rubber match of their rivalry. These two have met twice before on the track at Hoosier Park and each have a win to their credit. Wiggle It Jiggleit bested Freaky Feet Pete earlier in the season in Indiana Sires Stakes action but Freaky Feet Pete avenged that loss with a victory in their most recent match-up in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final at Hoosier Park on October 10.
Wiggle It Jiggleit will line-up behind the gate for the Monument Circle after a sharp 1:49.4 score in his $45,300 division of the Circle City Stakes on October 23 at Hoosier Park. Driven by regular pilot Montrell Teague, Wiggle It Jiggleit went gate to wire to finish four and a half lengths in front of his nearest rival. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing, has drawn the rail and has been installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite in the Monument Circle Pace, slated as the 13th race on the program.
Freaky Feet Pete returns to Hoosier Park fresh off a stretch rallying victory as the post time favorite to capture the $531,250 Breeders Crown three-year-old male pacing event at Woodbine on October 24. As a $62,500 supplemental entry, Freaky Feet Pete looked to be far out of contention in the final turn but sprinted home to stop the timer in 1:50 and record his first victory outside the state of Indiana. For the Monument Circle, Freaky Feet Pete drew post three with Trace Tetrick in the sulky and is slated at 7-5 on the morning line for trainer Larry Rheinheimer.
Also among the stellar cast of entrants at Hoosier Park on Friday will be the 2015 Hambeltonian winner Pinkman who will look to add to his bankroll when he visits Indiana for the first time against nine other competitors in the $265,000 Carl Erskine Trot. Pinkman, harness racing’s top-earning horse this season, drew post four with Yannick Gingras in the sulky for trainer Jimmy Takter. Pinkman has bankrolled $1.86 million this year and won 11 of 16 seasonal outings. Most recently, Pinkman finished second the Breeders Crown final for three-year-old trotting colts at Woodbine Racetrack behind stablemate The Bank.
The Carl Erskine Trot also includes the undefeated Indiana Sires Stakes Champion Homicide Hunter who was made eligible to the race by a supplemental nomination. The Curt Grummel trainee has won 16 of 16 starts this year and will start from the rail with regular driver John DeLong in the bike as he embarks on his most ambitious outing to date after dominating state breds.
The 2015 Dan Patch Stakes winner JK Endofanera will return to Hoosier Park for the second time since his Dan Patch victory and looks to keep his three-race win streak at Hoosier Park in tact in the $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby from post five with Brett Miller in the sulky. JK Endofanera will ship to Indiana after a second place finish in his last start behind Always B Miki in the Breeders Crown final for open pacers.
Not only will the best horses in the country go to post at Hoosier Park on Friday’s 14-race card but the best drivers in the country will also be in the spotlight in the second annual East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. This unique challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a five-race challenge with the victorious team going home with a winner take all $10,000 prize.
The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East making up “Team East”. The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will be featured in races 4-8 on the evening.
For more information on the upcoming live racing and entertainment at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. The live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, October 23 as Grand Circuit racing action made a stop at Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval for the third time this season. The 13-race card was highlighted by divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotters and pacers and it was Harness Racing’s top ranked horse, Wiggle It Jiggleit who stole the show.
After suffering a loss in his last Hoosier Park start, Wiggle It Jiggleit not only made amends but made a statement in his $45,300 split of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings as he coasted to the wire in 1:49.4. Driven by regular pilot Montrell Teague, Wiggle It Jiggle used a gate to wire victory to finish four and a half lengths in front Mohawk Warrior and John DeLong.
Teague sent the overwhelming favorite away from the gate firing and he grabbed the first call through an opening panel in :26.4 while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Wiggle It Jiggleit remained uncontested through splits of :55.3 and 1:22.4 before he began to put his talent on display.
As the field turned for home, it was all over but the shouting as Wiggle It Jiggleit’s lead was ever-increasing. Using a :27 final quarter, the World Champion son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover coasted to the wire under a hand-drive to notch his 19th seasonal victory.
Trained by Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $1,842,170 with the victory. Wiggle It Jiggleit’s next engagement will be the $275,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings slated for Friday, October 30 at Hoosier Park.
On the trotting side of the stakes action, Homicide Hunter put together his own impressive performance as he took home top honors in the second division of the $43,000 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings to remain undefeated in 16 starts this season. Staging a big rally late in the long Hoosier Park lane, Homicide Hunter and John DeLong used a :27.3 final quarter to surge past Muscle Up The Goal and Aaron Merriman and stop the timer in 1:54.1.
DeLong rated Homicide Hunter off the early pace while Classic Venture and Trace Tetrick dictated early fractions of :27 and :57. Homicide Hunter moved to the outer flow down the backside but would have his work cut out for home turning for home. DeLong tipped his mount to outside of tiring cover and Homicide Hunter found another gear late in the lane to get the victory and kept his winning streak in-tact.
“He’s an amazing animal,” trainer Curt Grummel noted in the winner’s circle. “I thought they would probably get him tonight after we were so far back at the half but he really surprised me. He’s just an amazing horse.”
Homicide Hunter sent his seasonal earnings to $385,737 with the victory. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, the son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won 19 of 26 lifetime starts. The connections of Homicide Hunter said he will most likely be supplemented to the $250,000 Carl Erskine Trot for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Hoosier Park on October 30.
Other stakes winners on the evening included Roland N Rock scoring in 1:51.4 in the first division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings for driver Aaron Merriman and trainer Rob Harmon. Chips Starr and Hugh Beatty pulled a $52.60 upset in their division of three-year-old trotting colts and geldings and stopped the timer 1:55.2.
Bright Baby Blues delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the first division of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:54.4 to give Aaron Merriman his second win of the night. Muscle Baby Doll and John DeLong took the second division for three-year-old trotting fillies using a near gate to wire victory to score in 1:53.1 and establish a new track record for three-year-old trotting fillies in the process. The previous mark of 1:53.4 was set by Churita in stakes action earlier in the season.
Rockin Good and Triple V Hanover took home top honors in their respective divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. Rockin Good and trainer, driver Jared Finn wired the field in 1:51.2 to score their sixth win of the season. Trace Tetrick used the same front-running tactics to get Triple V Hanover home a winner in the final division scoring in 1:52 for trainer Brian Brown.
The stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 24 as the 14-race card will feature the Madison County Stakes for two-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The first race will line-up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
ANDERSON, Ind.—August 11, 2015—A field of ten will be sent post-ward in the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 14. Featuring the largest purse in the 22-year-history of the event, ten of the top rated older pacers in North America will take center stage as they go to post seeking glory in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event. The 2015 installment of the Dan Patch Stakes will highlight the 14-race program that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. and be supported by an all-star undercard includes Indiana Sires Stakes and overnight series action.
The 2015 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $17 million and includes five millionaires and two World Champions. North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke, will look to be the first trainer to score back to back victories in the Dan Patch Stakes since Nat Varty scored with Ready To Rumble and Pacific Rocket in 1994 and 1995.
Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history, with $7.09 million in career purse earnings, headlines the ten horses entered in this year’s Dan Patch Stakes and will play the role of morning line favorite at odds of 5-2 from post two. The 11-year-old World Champion pacer will make first appearance in the race, and third Hoosier Park start, with regular pilot Yannick Gingras in the bike for trainer Ron Burke.
Burke has enlisted Hoosier Park’s all-time leading driver, Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, to drive Bettor’s Edge from post nine. Bettor’s Edge and Macomber Jr. finished second in the 2014 edition of the Dan Patch to stablemate Sweet Lou in a track record setting mile of 1:47.2. Joining Foiled Again and Bettor’s Edge from the Burke Stable on Friday will be Limelight Beach from post seven, All Bets Off from post eight, and Clear Vision from the trailing post position ten.
JK Endofanera will join the stellar cast of entrants and be a main contender for the 2015 Dan Patch title from the coveted rail position. With over $1.5 million in career earnings, the Jimmy Takter trainee has been tabbed as the 3-1 morning line second choice. Brett Miller has been listed to drive both JK Endofanera and World Champion Clear Vision.
The 2015 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes:
- JK Endofanera Tr: Jimmy Takter Dr: Brett Miller 3-1
- Foiled Again Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Yannick Gingras 5-2
- Lyonssomewhere Tr: Julie Miller Dr: Andy Miller 8-1
- Captive Audience Tr: Douglas Berkeley Dr: Andrew McCarthy 20-1
- Duc Dorleans Tr: Jacques Dupont Dr: Peter Wrenn 15-1
- Let’s Drink On It Tr: Joe Seekman Dr: Travis Seekman 20-1
- Limelight Beach Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ed Hensley 12-1
- All Bets Off Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Matt Kakaley 6-1
- Bettor’s Edge Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr 10-1
- Clear Vision Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Brett Miller 4-1
Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program for the Dan Patch race. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for the Dan Patch Stakes is 9:44 p.m.
A 10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 pool will also be available to racing fans on Friday’s 14-race card. The Pick-4, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, begins in the third race and will continue through the sixth race. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the third race, is 5:55 p.m. (EST).
Hoosier Park’s most prestigious pacing race has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil. Hoosier Park’s event is named after the early 1900’s racehorse phenomenon, Dan Patch born in Oxford, Indiana.
Now, 100 years after his birth, the great pacer is still remembered every year at Hoosier Park with this signature race. Since its inception in 1994, the Dan Patch Stakes has drawn the very best older pacers in North America. Previous Dan Patch winners include World Champions Pacific Fella, Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist, Won The West, Mister Big, and Sweet Lou.
The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $800,000 mark.
Indiana-sired freshman trotting fillies were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 21 as the evening’s 14-race card was highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final and $25,000 consolation for the two-year-old trotting fillies.
Miss Tootsie Hall and Trace Tetrick made a clean sweep of the second round of stakes action as they scored their second consecutive victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final. After scoring handily in her elimination last week, Miss Tootsie Hall rallied gamely late in the lane to score in a lifetime best of 1:58.1.
The heavily favored Naughty III and Peter Wrenn, also winners in elimination action last week, dictated first half fractions of :28 and :58.1while the rest of the field remained in single file order. Unable to wait any longer, Tetrick made his move down the backside and began the long first-over bid approaching the third station in 1:28.4.
As the field turned for home, Naughty III appeared to be up to the task as she matched strides with Miss Tootsie Hall who quickly joined her on the outside. Tetrick asked his mount for more and she responded gamely to overcome the leader in the final strides of the mile.
With the victory, the daughter of Mr Cantab-Malibu Hall has now won three of five lifetime outings. Trained by Robert Taylor, Miss Tootsie Hall has earned $60,000 for her connections at Hoosierland Farm.
In the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for two-year-old trotting fillies, Just Jess and Doug Rideout returned to their winning ways scoring in 1:59.4. Just Jess, who captured the first $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies earlier this month, rebounded to score her third win of the season after finishing third in her elimination.
Using her customary late charge, Just Jess was able to track down the pacesetter Lockwood Grace and Trace Tetrick late in the lane to win by three parts of a length. Trained by Doug Rideout, the daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Glide Sally Glide scored her third career victory and equaled her lifetime best in the process. Owned by Julie Rideout and Alan White, Just Jess has now bankrolled $54,900 for her connections.
Montenegro and Jason Dillander turned in a dominant performance to capture the co-featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 10. Using a sharp, gate to wire effort, Montenegro was able to hold off the rest of the field late in the lane to score in 1:51.4.
Leaving from post five, Dillander sent Montenegro away from the gate firing and she reached the front through the opening panel in :27.2. Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler also left aggressively to grab a pocket seat with Native Dream and Peter Wrenn next in line, third.
Montenegro rattled off middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:25 before feeling a threat from Wild Wanda who tipped from the pocket approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Tyler Smith had the heavy betting favorite, Color’s A Virgin, three-wide but she would have her work cut out for her as Montenegro looked game on the front.
Using a :26.4 final quarter, Montenegro dug in gamely to hold off Wild Wanda and Color’s A Virgin who finished second and third, respectively. As the bettors’ second choice, Montenegro returned $4.80 at the windows.
Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old mare scored her fifth victory of the season and has now won 32 of 149 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $87,135 this season.
On the trotting side of things, Allie Labrook returned to her home state and turned in an impressive performance to score in 1:52.4 in the featured trot, a $21,000 Invitational Trot. After racing at Mohawk Racetrack for three starts, Allie Labrook returned to Hoosier Park to score her third win of the season. The 1:52.4 victory was just a few ticks off the overall trotting track record at Hoosier Park, a 1:52 mark she established earlier in the season.
Using her customary late-surging tactics, Allie Labrook was rated off the pace through fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.1 before beginning her attack in the final turn. As the field turned for home, Allie Labrook was poised to strike. Shetler asked his mount for more and Allie Labrook found another gear to win under wraps by three lengths. Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder 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. Lady Blitz and James Yoder rounded out the trifecta.
The five-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Allie Jane is trained by Dan Shetler and has now won three of eight seasonal outings. Owned by Sawgrass Farms, Allie Labrook has amassed $185,932 lifetime.
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.