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.