Thunder Rises Establishes New Dash Record at Hoosier Park

THUNDER RISES NEW TRACK RECORD 7-8 MILEFifth Track Record Lowered at Hoosier Park in 2013 

ANDERSON, Ind.—July 9, 2013— Thunder Rises, with Dan Shetler at the lines, shattered a 16-year-old record for the seventh-eighths mile dash on the pace when he powered home a winner in 1:39.2 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 9. As part of a four horse blanket finish, Thunder Rises got up in the final strides to notch his fourth win of the season for trainer, Andy Shetler. The previous record of 1:41.3 was established by Ima Noble Son and driver D.R. Ackerman for trainer Homer Hochstetler on July 23, 1997. The 1:39.2 victory marked the fifth track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in 2013.


Leaving from post seven in the ten horse field, Thunder Rises was away a worrisome ninth while the rest of the field battled for early position. Fox Valley Griffin and Trace Tetrick defended their rail position and were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.2. Captain Mark and Brad Hanners benefitted from a pocket trip while the publics’ choice, JJ’s Gazette, was hard pressed to find a spot along the rail and was parked to the outside in third. Fox Valley Griffin continued to call the shots down the backside and reached the half mile mark in :55.0. JJ’s Gazette was the first to reach the leader’s wheel through a three-quarter clocking in 1:23.4 with King Me and Trent Stohler in tow. As Fox Valley Griffin tired on the front, the rest of the field closed in. After sitting eighth through much of the mile, Thunder Rises found another gear in the stretch to reel in the leaders and reach the wire first. Captain Mark found late racing room to get up for the second place finish while JJ’s Gazette held on gamely to finish third. Dismissed at 24-1, Thunder Rises returned $49.80 to his backers. The trifecta including Thunder Rises, Captain Mark, and JJ’s Gazette paid $795.25.


Sired by His Mattjesty, Thunder Rises sent his seasonal bankroll over $15,000 for his connections of Ervin Wickey and Dixie Shetler. The six-year-old gelding has now won 19 of 105 lifetime outings while bankrolling over $85,000 in purse earnings.


Tyler Smith enjoyed a noteworthy evening as he piloted five winners on the 13-race card. Smith scored wins in the early double with Desperado Alibi for trainer, Melissa Essig and then with Curmudgeon for trainer Steve Boroff. Smith followed suit in the third race with Dale Peterson’s Round About Fame and was home a winner again with Fox Valley Swift for trainer Nick Giberson in the seventh race. He ended the night with a win in the ninth race for trainer, Melissa Essig once again, only this time with her three-year-old pacing gelding, Ralph.


Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 10 with two divisions of $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies.  Live racing will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m.


Photo: Thunder Rises and Dan Shetler. Photo Courtesy of Linscott Photography.

Another Track Record Falls at Hoosier Park

Sand Royal Blu Lowers Hoosier Park Track Record in Sire Stakes Action

Sand Royal Blue, with Tyler Smith at the lines, stormed home a winner and not only pulled off a 33-1 upset victory in the featured event on the evening but lowered the track record in the process at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, June 6. With a final time of 1:55.3, Sand Royal Blue took advantage of a perfect second over trip to win the second round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts, in a lifetime best effort.

Sand Royal Blue made amends for a costly break in the opening round of the Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action as he scored his second win of the season for trainer, Tye Loy. The victory also marked Tyler Smith’s fourth trip to the Hoosier Park winner’s circle on the evening.

Leaving from post seven, Tyler Smith sent the three-year-old colt away from the gate just enough to secure a position along the rail in fourth. As the heavy betting favorite, Super Rock and Charlie Conrad left alertly to secure their rail position but it was Just A Steady Hall and Ricky Macomber Jr. who would grab the lead through the opening panel in :27.3. Super Rock yielded for the pocket trip while Boy Meets Girl K and Sam Widger followed intently in third. Just A Steady Hall slowed the tempo down the backside and with a second quarter in :59, Boy Meets Girl K was out and taking aim at the leader. Tyler Smith gave Sand Royal Blu the green light and was well placed second-over. Boy Meets Girl K was able to wear down Just A Steady Hall to put a nose in front through the three-quarter panel in 1:28.1 while Sand Royal Blu loomed large in the background. Super Rock found late racing room up the rail but was unable to hold off a hard charging Sand Royal Blu. With a final quarter in :27.1, Sand Royal Blu put a nose in front to get the win. Super Rock finished second while Boy Meets Girl K battled gamely to finish third. Dismissed at 33-1, Sand Royal Blu returned $68.00 for the victory.

Sand Royal Blu lifted his career bankroll to $146,180 with the win. The son of Jailhouse Jesse banked over $125,000 while winning three of eight starts in 2012. Owned and bred by Bill G Sanders of McDonald, TN, Sand Royal Blue lowered a Hoosier Park track record that stood for 13 years. The previous track record for three-year-old trotting colts was 1:55.4, a record established by Band’s Gold Chip and trainer, driver Chris Boring in 2000.

Sand Royal Blu’s track record breaking performance marks the second track record lowered at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino this week and the third track record broken this season. Jesse Lane and driver Mark O’Mara broke the track record for three-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, June 5 with a 1:55.3 win in the Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action. Benny Christensen and Don Giovanni established a new track record of 1:54 for older horses on the trot in the $24,000 Invitational trot on May 4.

The Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park on Friday, June 7 as one division of three-year-old pacing fillies will go postward for $30,000. The two-time Indiana Sire Stakes two-year-old pacing filly champion, Always About Katey, will start from post two in the 11 horse field that is slated as the 12th race on the 13-race card. The three-year-old pacing colts will follow suit on Saturday, June 8 as two divisions will highlight the Hoosier Park card.

Live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday, Saturday schedule, with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all  harness racing meet will be conducted through November 9.