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.
The stage is set for a whole new chapter in Hoosier Park racing with the advent of one breed, one track. The 20th season of live racing consists of 160 days of all harness racing and will commence with an action-packed twelve race card.
With more than 120 entries flooding the box for opening night, the card will feature four legs of the Miss Windfall Series. With three $7,500 legs and a $15,000 final, the series is open to three and four-year-old, Indiana-sired, fillies and mares that are non-winners of $7,500, lifetime.
The start of the meet marks the commencement of many exciting promotions geared to both casual and serious racing fans. The opening week of live racing, labeled “fan appreciation week”, is all about the fans. Hoosier Park, in partnership with the Indiana Standardbred Association, will be offering dining specials, wagering vouchers, and an iPad mini giveaway. Patrons are also encouraged to enter the handicapping contests that will be taking place weekly throughout the entirety of the meet.
Fridays at Hoosier Park, dubbed “Fan-tastic Fridays”, will feature $1 beers, $1 hot dogs and $1 live racing programs starting at 5 p.m. In addition, guests will be welcomed to enter the ‘Beat the Big Guy’ promotion for a chance to win up to $500.
Building on the successful “Family-Fun” themed activities and events started last season, Hoosier Park will continue “Family Fun Saturdays”. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, jugglers, live entertainment, games and winner’s circle giveaways. The official Hoosier Park mascot, Hoosier Buddy, will be on hand to entertain and excite.
On the track, the racing competition is starting to take shape with the return of 2012’s leading driver champion, Trace Tetrick. Tetrick took home top honors at Hoosier Park in 2012 with 153 trips to the winner’s circle and is back seeking his second leading title. Hoosier Park’s two time leading trainer and North America’s current leading trainer, Ron Burke has also returned to Indiana with a powerhouse stable headed by assistant trainer, Jamie Rucker. The Burke stable amassed over $655,000 in purse earnings in 2012 with 46 wins, twice his closest competitor.
North America’s fastest pacers will return to the Anderson track on Saturday, May 25th for the 20th installment of the Dan Patch Invitational Pace. Hoosier Park’s signature event touts a purse of $250,000 and will be accompanied by many exciting promotions for racing fans.
“I can’t wait to get this season kicked off,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s general manager of racing. “Here at Hoosier Park we pride ourselves on bringing our guests the best in entertainment we can offer. Our dedicated team has worked hard in the off season to “set a new standard”. I hope our guests will enjoy all the excitement as much as we enjoy bringing it to them.”
Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday live racing schedule through November 9, with a 5:30, eastern post time daily.
Watch for a cyclone of dust and drive found only on Hoosier Park’s oval of speed!
Once again the Fab Five Standardbred Drivers return to Hoosier Park for an unforgettable Standardbred meet. This year will be a tough one for the celebrity drivers as Peter The Wolf Wrenn returns the reigning champion and three new challengers enter the fight.
Trent Stohler, aka The Bachelor, will catch your eye at first glance. Blessed with good looks and style, Stohler is sought after both on and off the track. Brandon Big Ticket Bates earned his title because he’s never afraid to take on a long shot or a hard-to-handle horse and drive it to the wire. Most of Brandon’s winners pay double digits. Outlaw Josh Sutton brings passion and intensity to the sport of Standardbred racing. Josh was on a winning streak in 2006 before he headed West. He returns to Hoosier Park determined and ready to reclaim his territory.
Check back throughout the season for special guest updates from drivers and the latest information on the 2011 Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Standardbred Season!