ANDERSON, Ind.—August 30, 2013—Natural Herbie continued his winning ways in the featured event, the fourth and final round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 30. Notching his seventh win of the season and third stakes win from four preliminary legs, the reigning freshman Indiana Sire Stakes champion turned in a gutsy performance to win in 1:55.3 for trainer, driver Verlin Yoder.
Leaving from post three in the eleven horse field, Natural Herbie was handed no favors from the onset and was parked through the first quarter clocking while the battle for early position ensued. Ray Hall and Pete Wrenn won the first battle and led the field through early fractions of :28.1 and :57.2. Unable to find a position along the rail, Natural Herbie pressed on for the lead and was applying pressure to outside of the top pair down the backside with Super Rock and Charlie Conrad hot on their heels second over. Ray Hall continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking in 1:26.1 as the rest of the field closed in.
Natural Herbie inherited the lead after a costly break by Ray Hall mid-way through the stretch and was able to hold off a late charge from Red Hot Herbie and Brandon Bates to score the win by a head. Red Hot Herbie used a late closing kick to finish second while Super Rock battled gamely to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Natural Herbie returned $3.40 to his backers at the window.
After a sensational two-year-old campaign, Natural Herbie has posted an even better sophomore season. Sired by Here Comes Herbie, the black gelding has now won seven of 11 seasonal starts while bankrolling over $150,000 for owner, trainer, driver Verlin Yoder. Sporting a career bankroll of over $290,000, Natural Herbie has hit the board in 15 of 21 lifetime outings. Natural Herbie will head the field of entrants in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters slated for September 11 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, August 31 with a pair of $30,000 divisions for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. On Saturday, August 31, Hoosier Park will also host The Beach Boys live in concert to culminate the Summer Concert Music Series at the Anderson, IN track. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m.
About Centaur Gaming: Founded in 1993, Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming’s mission is to bring the entertainment and economic benefits of casino gaming and horse racing to communities across Indiana. Centaur, a privately held Indiana owned and managed company, employs more than 2,000 Indiana residents through the award-winning entertainment destinations of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Indiana Downs in Shelbyville, Ind. In addition to the two racetrack and casino properties, Centaur’s operations extend to nearly every corner of the state with Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and Off-Track Betting facilities in Clarksville, Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind.
Photo: Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder. Photo Courtesy of Linscott Photography.
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.
Fourth Track Record Lowered at Hoosier Park in 2013
Red Hot Herbie, with Sam Widger at the lines, shattered a twelve-year-old track record for three-year-old trotting geldings when he powered home a winner in 1:55 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, June 19. The previous record was established by Major Digby and Dan Shetler in 2001 and then equaled in 2003 by Big Boy Josh and Charlie Conrad. Red Hot Herbie notched his second consecutive win at Hoosier Park and third victory of the season, in a lifetime best effort. The 1:55 victory marked the fourth track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in 2013.
Red Hot Herbie made every call a winning one as he stormed to the front from post five through a brisk opening panel in :26.3. Charming Dream and Ed Hensley left just enough to protect their rail position and followed intently in second. Emmers and Lewayne Miller were next in third as the heavy betting favorite, Jesse Lane, was placed off the pace in eighth. Red Hot Herbie seemed to relax on the front as he led the field of ten through the half mile time in :57.4. Longwell and Dan Shetler were the first to take aim at the leader as the field approached the final turn through the three-quarter mark in 1:27.2.
Just as the field turned for home, Red Hot Herbie began to put his talent on display and trot away from the rest of the field. With a :27.3 final panel, Red Hot Herbie crossed the wire well in hand and was four lengths in front of his closest competitor. Longwell trotted evenly to finished second as Charming Dream took advantage of his pocket trip to round out the trifecta. As the publics’ third choice, Red Hot Herbie returned $7.40 to his backers for the win.
“This horse can leave the gate about as fast as any trotter I’ve sat behind,” Widger noted. “He’s a little hot-headed but he will relax if he can get away from them and he did that tonight. He’s flawlessly gaited and he came back to me when I asked him to down the backside. If he will relax and let you spread the speed out, he is a tough horse to beat.”
Trained by Byron Hooley, Red Hot Herbie notched his fifth win from 20 lifetime outings while bankrolling over $40,000 for his connections of Summit Pacing Acres of Fort Wayne, IN. Sired by Here Comes Herbie, the three-year-old gelding has now won three of six starts this season. It was the second win of the night for trainer Byron Hooley who also scored with Flower Girl Charis in the third round of the Indiana Silver Sire Stakes action.
The twelve year old record for three-year-old geldings on the trot was originally established by Major Digby and driver, trainer Dan Shetler on August 12, 2001. That same record was equaled two years later by Big Boy Josh and driver, trainer Charlie Conrad on May 18, 2003.
Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, June 20 with three-divisions of the Indiana Silver Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts highlighting the 13-race card. With a daily post time of 5:30 p.m., Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday-Saturday live racing schedule through November 9.
Third Round of Indiana Sire Stakes Action Produces Upsets
Sweet Justice, with Trace Tetrick at the lines, stormed home a winner to pull off the upset in the co-featured event of the evening, the third round of Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, June 27. Sweet Justice was able to take advantage of a miscue by the heavy betting favorite, Red Hot Herbie, to score in a lifetime best effort of 1:56.3.
Leaving from post four, Sweet Justice was unhurried out of the gate and landed fourth along the rail. Red Hot Herbie, piloted by Sam Widger, used his quick speed to burst off the gate and find the front through an opening panel in :26.4. Fearless Man and driver Dave Magee benefitted from a pocket trip while Russell Mania and Ed Hensley were next along the rail in third. Red Hot Herbie continued to call the shots through the half mile time in :57.1 before making a costly break and eliminating his chances for a second consecutive win. Fearless Man inherited the front as the field reached the three-quarter mark in 1:27.1. Tetrick gave Sweet Justice the green light and was the first to take aim at the leader around the final turn. As the field closed in on the leader, Tetrick asked Sweet Justice for more and the three-year-old gelding responded with a :29.2 final quarter to reach the wire a length in front of his closest competitor. Russell Mania trotted evenly to finish a closing second while Fearless Man held on gamely to round out the trifecta. Dismissed at 7-1, Sweet Justice returned $17.80 for the victory.
After a sensational two-year-old campaign, Sweet Justice notched the second victory of his sophomore season from seven outings. Trained by Steve Carter, the three-year-old gelded son of Justice Hall has earned over $140,000 for his connections of Our Little Stable, S. Carter, and R. Mondillo. Sweet Justice bested his career mark set in 2012 by nearly three seconds with the score.
Natural Herbie followed suit and made his presence felt in the late stages of the second division of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts as he rallied sharply to score the upset for trainer, driver, owner Verlin Yoder. With a final time of 1:55.3, the Indiana Sire Stakes champion equaled his lifetime best mark to score the third win of his sophomore season.
Starting from post one, Natural Herbie took advantage of a pocket trip behind the publics’ choice, Super Rock and Charlie Conrad, who carved out fractions of :28.2, :58.1., and 1:27.0. Just as the race appeared to be over, Natural Herbie found another gear and was able to overcome Super Rock in the final strides of the mile. Super Rock finished a game second while Just A Steady Hall got up for the third place finish. Natural Herbie returned $8.80 for the victory.
Sired By Here Comes Herbie, Natural Herbie pushed his lifetime bankroll over $160,000 while notching his seventh victory from 16 career outings. Natural Herbie has now won two consecutive sire stakes at outings at Hoosier Park.
The Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 28 as two divisions of three-year-old pacing fillies will go postward for $30,000. The three-year-old pacing colts will follow suit and highlight Hoosier Park’s card on Saturday, June 29.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9.
Veteran Driver Reaches Career Milestone at Hoosier Park
Mike Micallef notched the 2,000th win of his career as he piloted Harmony Oaks Quike to victory in the opening division of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 27. The 1:54.2 victory marked a career milestone for the veteran driver and the second win of season for the three-year-old daughter of Make It Brief.
Leaving from post five as a part of a two-horse Ron Burke trained entry, Harmony Oaks Quike was away a worrisome sixth. None of You and Tyler Smith left the gate alertly and reached the front through the opening panel of :27.0. Mystic Karissa, the second half of the Burke entry, had to work for position as she was hustled to the front by Ricky Macomber Jr. through the half mile marker in :55.0. LeWayne Miller had Maddy’s Fantasy out and firing just past the half and reached the front approaching the final turn. Reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:24.3, Maddy’s Fantasy began to tire on the front as the rest of the field closed in. Mystic Karissa was the first to collar the leader as her stable mate loomed large in the background. Using a :29.4 closing panel, Harmony Oaks Quike staged a big rally late in the lane to finish seventh lengths to the good. None of You used a ground saving trip to finish second while Dirt Diamond and Sam Widger paced evenly to round out the trifecta. Heavily backed at the windows, Harmony Oaks Quike returned $2.60 to her backers.
Owned by Upland Farm, Harmony Oaks Quike recorded the seventh win from 24 lifetime starts while amassing over $30,000 in purse earnings throughout her career.
“It was really nice to win this race tonight,” Micallef noted. “She’s a really nice filly who has been racing tough and it is always nice to win one for the leading outfit here at Hoosier Park. I’m also glad that my friends and family could be here to help celebrate this win.”
Micallef is a career winner of over $11 million in the race bike. Originally from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Micallef has raced in his home state, as well as Ontario, Florida, and New York prior to his first successful campaign in Indiana. From 81 driving starts, the veteran reignsman has piloted ten winners for more than $85,000 in purses through the first three months of live racing at Hoosier Park.
Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing, Rick Moore, along with Micallef’s friends and family were in the winner’s circle to congratulate and acknowledge his accomplishment.
“On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, I’d like to congratulate Mike on such an accomplishment,” Moore noted. “We are thrilled Mike has joined the driving colony here at Hoosier Park and proud to help him celebrate win number 2,000. We wish Mike continued success for the remainder of this season and throughout his entire career. We look forward to seeing him in the winner’s circle again for win number 3,000.”
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino 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.
A full field of eleven lined up behind the starting gate for the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 29 and it was Sweet Talkin Satin who romped home a winner in 1:50.3. With Trace Tetrick at the lines, Sweet Talkin Satin used a perfect pocket trip to establish a lifetime best mark in the third round of the sire stakes action and equal the track record for three-year-old pacing geldings in the process. The current track record for three-year-old pacing geldings was set by Beeeeyouuuuuu and driver Brad Hanners on June 14, 2008.
Leaving from the coveted rail position, Sweet Talkin Satin left just enough to secure his spot while the rest of the field battled for early position. Sweet Talkin Satin reached the front through the opening panel in :26.1 while Astreo’s Love, driven by Don Eash, was well placed in second. Sweet Talkin Satin’s lead was short lived as he was quickly contested down the backside by Night Pro and Jason Dillander who cleared to the front at the half mile mark in :55.1. Sam Widger was the first to take aim at the leader as he had Nitro out and firing with stable mate Virgil and Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow approaching the final turn. Night Pro continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.3 as the rest of the field closed in. Virgil reached the leader’s wheel while Tetrick and Sweet Talkin Satin sat patiently in the pocket. Right Touch and driver Ray Paver tipped three-wide off of tiring cover and poised a large threat on the far outside but was no match for Sweet Talkin Satin from the pocket. With a :26.4 final panel, Sweet Talkin Satin found racing room late in the stretch to reach the wire first. Night Pro finished a game second while Right Touch battled rigorously to finish third. As the publics’ choice, Sweet Talkin Satin returned $4.60 for the victory.
Trained by Tom Tetrick, Sweet Talkin Satin notched the third win of his sophomore season from nine seasonal starts. The three-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin sent his career bankroll over the $100,000 mark for owners James Ainsworth and William Boden. Sweet Talkin Satin made his second Hoosier Park appearance after finishing second in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack three starts ago.
It was a driving triple on the eight race-card for Hoosier Park’s leading driver, Trace Tetrick who also scored with Time To Roll for trainer, Tom Simmons and Ohmygosh Hanover for trainer, Tom T. Tetrick. Last year’s leading driver, Tetrick currently leads all drivers at Hoosier Park with 98 wins from 682 starts.
The fourth and final round of Indiana Sire Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings is slated for July 13th with the $200,000 final on July 20th at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9.
An All Trotting Card will Highlight Hoosier Park’s Wednesday Night
On Wednesday, July 3 Hoosier Park will play host to a 14-race card comprised of all trotting events. The first of its’ kind at Hoosier Park, the evening will feature two divisions of the fourth round of the $10,000 Indiana Silver Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies.
The two-year-olds will also be out in full force at the Anderson, IN track as the late closing action for freshman trotters will also kick-off. Three $10,000 divisions of “The George Sholty”, a late closing event open to two-year-old colt and gelding trotters, will be contested while their filly counterparts will square off in two divisions of the “Fred Terry”.
Among the list of entrants in the late closing action is Rya Dawk Mya, the first foal from the Indiana Sire Stakes Champion, Mya Tri, from the Walter Haynes Jr. stable. Sired by Cincinnati Kid, Rya Dawk Mya is now undefeated from two starts on the Indiana fair circuit. Rya Dawk Mya will start from post one in the fifth race with Walter Haynes Jr. at the lines.
Each of the late closing events are comprised of two, $8,000 legs with both $18,000 finals slated for Saturday, July 20 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The $40,000 final for the Indiana Silver Sire Stakes for the three-year-old trotting fillies will also be held on Saturday, July 20 at Hoosier Park.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9.
Thunder Steeler Wins $24,000 Invitational Pace
Thunder Steeler made his presence felt in the late stages of the $24,000 Invitational pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as he rallied sharply to take home top honors in the featured event on Saturday (Apr 27). Shipping in from Balmoral Park, the four-year-old gelding’s 1:50.1 victory marks the fastest mile over Hoosier Park’s oval thus far into the 2013 meet.
As the gate closed, Ricky Macomber Jr. and I Trust You attempted to get a quick jump on their rivals as they left alertly from post six, however, Paco Labrook and Brad Hanners had the same idea from post nine. The front end was the coveted spot as the early fractions of :27.0 and :55.1 saw much movement. Unable to find position along the rail, Thunder Steeler and Dillander pressed on to the front and reached the top spot as the tightly knit field of ten continued down the backside. Thunder Steeler sprinted to a 1:22.1 third quarter spilt and waited for the cavalry charge from behind as they turned for home. Uncle Smoothie and Sam Widger were in the outer flow with Sammy’s Cool Win and Trace Tetrick in tow. Dillander asked Thunder Steeler for more and he responded with a :28.0 final panel to hold off a hard charging Paco Labrook. Sammy’ s Cool Win rallied from off the pace to get up for the third place finish. As the publics’ choice, I Trust You overcame traffic trouble to finish fourth. Thunder Steeler returned $6.60 to his backers for the victory.
Sired by Lis Mara, Thunder Steeler has now won six of ten seasonal starts with over $40,000 on his card in 2013. Owned by Uncirculated Stable and Frank Smyth, the four-year-old gelding is trained by Donna Lee Ozment. Bred by Concord Stud Farm, Thunder Steeler has now won nine of 30 lifetime starts while amassing over $120,000 lifetime.
On the trotting side of things, Abc Mercedes continued his winning ways in the $24,000 Invitational trot with a sharp, front running effort for driver, trainer Trace Tetrick.
Abc Mercedes notched his third consecutive victory for the season as he pushed his seasonal earnings over $30,000. The eight-year-old gelding has amassed over $1 million in earnings for owner Larry Miller of Springport, IN. Sired by Abc Garland, Abc Mercedes has won a remarkable 59 times in 106 lifetime outings. With over $1 million in purse earnings, the Indiana standout finds himself in elite company as he ranks as the richest trotter in Indiana history.
The season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues to trend in a positive direction with all-sources handle showing a 17% increase for the first 20 days of the meet. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through 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.
Blueridge Doc, driven by Andy Shetler, got up in the final strides of the mile to pull a 20-1 upset in the co-featured $24,000 Invitational pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, April 20. With a final time of 1:52.2, Blueridge Doc was able to take advantage of a pocket trip to notch his second win of the season.
It was a cavalry charge for early position as Pete Wrenn sent Sunday Poker out alertly from post five with Ed Hensley and Willy Mucha following suit. Leaving from post two, Shetler sent Blueridge Doc out from the gate and maintained their position along the rail in second. With a brisk opening panel in :26.0, it was Sunday Poker calling the shots on the front. Hensley wrestled Willy Mucha to settle along the rail in third while Casey’s Lil’ Harry and Ross Leonard followed intently in third. As the public’s choice, Sammy’s Cool Win and Trace Tetrick opted for a trip off the pace and were eighth along the rail through the opening fractions. Sunday Poker continued to call the shots down the backside as the field of ten began to tighten. Reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:25.2, Sunday Poker looked down a long Hoosier Park stretch. Shetler gave Blueridge Doc the green light and the seven-year-old gelding responded with a 26.4 final panel down the homestretch to get the win. Sammy’s Cool Win rallied late in the lane to get up for the second place finish while I Trust You and Ricky Macomber Jr. marched home in :26.3 to finish third. Blueridge Doc returned $42.80 to his backers for the victory.
“He raced really tough tonight,” Andy Shetler noted. “I knew there was going to be a lot of speed in the race so I wanted to get in good position. He is a tough horse that tries hard every time and tonight he showed that.”
With over $230,000 amassed in career earnings, Blueridge Doc captured his 25th lifetime victory in 118 outings. Andy Shetler trains Blueridge Doc and also co-owns the son of Mattnamaras Band with Joe Lemmon of Goshen, IN.
On the trotting side of things, Abc Mercedes continued his winning ways in the $24,000 Invitational trot with a sharp, front running effort for driver, trainer Trace Tetrick. With a field of ten going postward, Tetrick sent ABC Mercedes to the front from the assigned post nine and remained unchallenged through opening splits of :27.0 and :57.1. Jessejo and Ed Hensley made a costly break around the first turn while Cantab Lindy and Pete Wrenn avoided trouble sitting second. Solvent and Jason Dillander were well placed in third as the field remained in single file order down the backside. Reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:26.1, Abc Mercedes put his talent on display as he began to trot away from the field. Solvent took aim at the leader as they headed for home but could not catch the four-time Indiana trotter of the year who stopped the clock in 1:55.1 five lengths in front of his closest competitor. Solvent finished second as Celebrity Hercules rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy favorite, Abc Mercedes returned $3.20 for the victory.
Abc Mercedes notched his second consecutive victory for the season as he pushed his seasonal earnings over $20,000. The eight-year-old gelding has amassed over $1 million in earnings for owner Larry Miller of Springport, IN. Sired by Abc Garland, Abc Mercedes has won 58 of 105 lifetime starts.
The season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues to trend in a positive direction with all-sources handle showing a 20% increase for the first 15 days of the meet. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through 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.
Night Pro made his third consecutive trip to Hoosier Park’s winner circle as he completed the Jerry Landess series sweep winning the $15,000 final of the late closing event open to three and four-year-old Indiana sired colts and geldings that are non-winners of $7,500 lifetime at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, April 17.
The three-year-old colt notched his fourth consecutive victory in a lifetime best effort of 1:53.1 as he pushed his career earnings over $15,000.
Barley Pop and Trace Tetrick left the gate alertly from post three to control the early fractions through a first quarter clocking in :28.0. Using much the same strategy as weeks past, Night Pro and Pete Wrenn were content to sit along the rail in third before making their move to the front down the backside. Bullwinkle and Kayne Kauffman benefitted from a pocket trip as the field remained in single file line through the half mile time in :56.4. Barley Pop continued to lead the field of ten as Pete Wrenn gave Night Pro the green light approaching the final turn. Shooters Dream and Roger Cullipher were well placed second over as they reached the three-quarter mark in 1:25.3. Pete Wrenn urged Night Pro to the front, and the son of Pro Bono Best responded with a :27.3 final panel to win going away by nine lengths. Shooters Dream was able to take advantage of a perfect trip to finish second while Endeavors King and Tony Hall rallied from off the pace to finish third. Heavily backed at the windows, Night Pro returned $2.80 for the win.
“I didn’t want to rush him tonight,” Pete Wrenn noted. “I just wanted to float out of there and stay out of trouble. He relaxed down the backside and was able to get a breather before I ever had to ask him to do anything. He’s an extremely smart colt and looks like he has a future ahead of him.”
Unraced at two, Night Pro is trained and owned by Dale Decker of Temperance, MI. A $14,000 yearling purchase, the black colt is the first foal from the multiple stakes winning mare, Midnight Jewel.
“He’s an extremely smart colt,” Decker said. “People ask me why I’m not driving him and I tell them it’s because Pete (Wrenn) has about 8,000 more wins than me. He is the one that should be driving a colt like him.”
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through 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.