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Record Wins Highlight Indiana Finals

Published: October 14, 2017 1:48 am ET

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The top performers in the 2017 Indiana Sires Stakes program converged at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, Oct. 13 for the annual Hoosier Champions Night.

With purses topping the $2 million dollar mark, the 14-race card featured the top 10 competitors from each division and provided a fitting conclusion to the 2017 Indiana Sires Stakes season.

It was a night primarily ruled by upsets as the post time favourite failed to deliver in five of the eight divisions in the stakes action. The cool October weather didn’t seem to slow the tempo on the track as the evening was also highlighted by a track record and a track record equalling performance.

Two-Year-Old Trotting Fillies

The action-packed evening opened with the first $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final for two-year-old trotting fillies and it was Meadowbrook Grace, guided by Trace Tetrick, who sprung the slight 6-1 upset. Stopping the timer in 1:54, Meadowbrook Grace worked out ground saving trip from post nine before utilizing a :27 final quarter to track down the heavily favoured O So Easy and Verlin Yoder to get the win by a head.

“Of course when I saw the draw, I was concerned with post nine,” Tetrick noted after the win. “She’s a competitive filly, she’s had her share of issues but she is a nice filly. I knew I had to give her a trip and she was strong tonight.”

Trained by Erv Miller, the daughter of Swan For All-Chips Goddess recorded her fourth win from 10 lifetime outings. With the win, Meadowbrook Grace established a new lifetime mark and pushed her lifetime bankroll to $185,950. Meadowbrook Grace is owned in partnership by Anthony Lombardi and The Kales Company.

Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts

The Erv Miller-Trace Tetrick combination would find the winner’s circle yet again a little later on in the program, this time with Rock N Tony in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Tetrick made his game winning move down the backside and Rock N Tony refused to lose late in the lane. Holding off a strong rally by the post time favourites, Beckhams Z Tam and Ricky Macomber Jr., Rock N Tony got the win by a head in 1:51.

“He got sick on us a few weeks ago,” trainer Erv Miller noted in the winner’s circle. “It has taken us a long time to get him over it but I was confident he would be better tonight. He’s a very tough horse; he tries hard every time he’s on the track.”

With the win, the gelded son of Rockin Image-Pandemonious improved his seasonal record to 15-6-3-3. Owned by Anthony Lombardi and Rocco Ruffolo, Rock N Tony has amassed $485,312 in lifetime purse earnings while winning 12 of 18 lifetime starts.

Two-Year-Old Pacing Fillies

Trainer Brian Brown would also visit the winner’s circle twice on the evening’s 14-race card, first with the two-year-old pacing filly, Always Woggy. Driven by Peter Wrenn, Always Woggy dug in gamely late in the mile to prevail in a tight photo at odds of 6-1 in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final.

With a final time of 1:53, Always Woggy tracked down the pacesetting Voom Or Bang and John Delong before holding off a serious rally by Rock On Ladys and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Divisional leader and heavy post time favourite Dee Rocks and Sam Widger made a costly break in the first turn.

“She wasn’t 100 percent last week,” trainer Brian Brown noted of his filly. “We took her blood, made some changes and I think it really helped her. It was unfortunate that the other filly [Dee Rocks] made a break, she was definitely the best filly in the field but I have to give Peter [Wrenn] credit, he drove her perfectly.”

Owned by Emerald Highlands Farm, the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Soggy Woggy recorded her fourth win of the season from eight starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. Always Woggy has now earned $184,650 in lifetime purse earnings.

Two-Year-Old Pacing Colts

The Brian Brown-Emerald Highlands Farm swept the two-year-old pacing divisions as Always Bet De Grey and Trace Tetrick bested nine other rivals in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals for two-year-old pacing colts. In track record equalling fashion, Always Bet De Grey utilized the Hoosier Park passing lane to find the wire first in 1:50.3 over divisional leader Shnitzledosomethin and Peter Wrenn. Always Bet De Grey’s 1:50.3 clocking established a new lifetime best for the rookie colt and also equalled the track record set by world champion Freaky Feet Pete in 2014.

“This colt is special,” Tetrick noted after the win. “He’s fresh right now and he loves his job. He’s a professional and he has only had a limited amount of starts. This is the type of colt that will come back even better as a three-year-old.”

Always Bet De Grey now has four wins to his credit and has yet to finish off the board in seven lifetime starts. With the win, Always Bet De Grey sports a lifetime bankroll of $175,250.

Tetrick had four winners on the program as he also guided Churita to a decisive victory over the heavily favoured Hannelore Hanover in the $70,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for aged trotting mares. Utilizing a pocket trip, Churita stopped the timer in 1:52.4 to establish a new lifetime mark for trainer Matt Rheinheimer and owner Jackie Porter.

Three-Year-Old Trotting Colts

Just when it seemed an upset trend was forming, Swan Chase proved his divisional dominance yet again with a 1:55.1 victory as the 3-5 post time favourite in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Utilizing his customary front-running tactics, Swan Chase grabbed the lead just past the half and never looked back, winning by four and a half lengths.

“Obviously I wasn’t crazy about our post position but it ended up working out for us,” DeLong said in the winner’s circle. “He has really come into his own these last few months and we’ve tried to take good care of him.”

The son of Swan For All-Precisionist notched his 13th win from 19 seasonal outings. Owned by John Barnard, Swan Chase has now won 16 of 30 lifetime outings while bankrolling $378,543 in lifetime purse earnings.

Two-Year-Old Trotting Colts

DeLong followed suit in the very next race of the program, scoring with the heavily favoured All On Black in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final for two-year-old trotting colts. Using much the same strategy, DeLong moved All On Black down the backside and he trotted away from the rest of the field, winning in 1:54.2 by four and quarter lengths. The 1:54.2 clocking shattered the track record for two-year-old trotting geldings at Hoosier Park, a mark which was previously established in 2015 by Bridge To Jesses' scoring in 1:56.

“He was a little too fired up last week,” trainer Jenny Melander noted in the winner’s circle. “We made some changes, of course having a recall at the start made me nervous tonight, but I figured he would be better. This is a big win for us, one of the biggest of my training career.”

Owned by Gabriella’s LLC and Melander Racing Inc., All On Black has now won six of eight lifetime outings. With the win, the son of Swan For All-Right On Renee pushed his seasonal purse earnings to $211,750.

Three-Year-Old Pacing Fillies

Carols Z Tam and Ricky Macomber Jr. turned in a near gate-to-wire performance to take home top honours in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies as the 7-2 post time choice. With a final time of 1:52, the Jamie Macomber trainee grabbed command just before the half and held off a late rally from stablemate Always A Z Tam and Sam Widger.

“I am a very happy guy right now,” owner Bill Matz noted in the winner’s circle. “These are the wins you live for and I have to thank the whole team -- they all do such a great job.”

Carols Z Tam notched her seventh win from 20 seasonal outings and ninth win from 31 lifetime starts. The daughter of Always A Virgin-Electric Sparkle has now amassed $269,664 in lifetime purse earnings for her connections.

Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies

The final upset of the evening proved to be the biggest as Furiette and driver Peter Wrenn pulled off a 55-1 upset in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting fillies. Furiette found a :28.1 final quarter to surge past the heavily favoured Satin Dancer and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. in the final strides of the 1:56.2 mile. The Henry Lunsford trainee was able to overcome the outside post nine to establish a new lifetime best.

“I told Judy [Lunsford] in the paddock, maybe post nine isn’t a bad spot for her,” Wrenn said. “We were able to pick up the pieces, I am actually glad I wasn’t on the inside with her. She felt strong coming around the last turn. I didn’t know if we could get the win but I felt good about it.”

The homebred daughter of Valley Speed-Donven Fury is owned in partnership by Judy Lunsford and Michael Bishop. Furiette notched her fourth seasonal win from 21 trips behind the gate and has now earned $181,630 in lifetime purse earnings.

Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, Oct. 14. The 12-race card on Saturday will feature $65,000 (est.) Circle City races for three-year-old male pacers and trotters and $65,000 (est.) Madison County events for two-year-old male pacers and trotters. The evening’s program will also feature a $20,000 Guaranteed Trifecta in Race 10 and an $11,674.55 two-day carryover in the Pick-5 sequence.

(With files from Hoosier Park)

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