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May Baby Sets Track Record At Hoosier

Published: October 2, 2019 12:15 am ET

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May Baby stole the show Tuesday, Oct. 1 at Harrah's Hoosier Park when lowering the track record in one of four divisions for the final round of Indiana Sires Stakes prior to the $250,000 Super Final on Oct. 11.

Stopping the clock in 1:53:2, May Baby lowered the previous track record for two-year-old trotting fillies set by Phaetosive during the Breeders Crown eliminations in 2017.

May Baby and driver James Yoder grabbed the lead once the wings of the gate opened, followed closely by La Nancio with Jared Finn and then Pretzel Party with Trace Tetrick. May Baby led the field through opening fractions of :27.4 and :57.1 as the trotters remained in straight formation.

After the third quarter in 1:26.1, May Baby began to bolster her lead on her competition. With a lead of sixth lengths, May Baby trotted strong to the wire. When she crossed the wire in track-record time, she was 11 lengths to the good. Pretzel Party staged a late rally to get up for second, while La Nancio held on for third. May Baby paid $2.10 across the board at the betting windows.

“It really has been a long season, but this is what we’ve been training for all year,” trainer, driver James Yoder noted in the winner’s circle. “The preparation for next week won’t change—she’ll be doing what she’s been doing, sticking to her normal schedule.”

May Baby is the daughter of Guccio-Free Wheeling and was bred by Oakwood Farms. In just her freshman career, she has now won six of seven starts and boasts a lifetime bankroll of $154,990 for owner Cheyenne Yoder.

The other division for the fillies brought fellow heavy-favourite Rock Swan to the winner’s circle for her fourth-straight Indiana Sires Stakes win. With Trace Tetrick in the bike, the filly gamely rebounded from the Kentuckiana Stallion Management two weeks prior and returned to her winning ways in 1:55.4.

It was Rjz First Lady with LeWayne Miller who took the lead from the start and through an opening quarter of :28.3 while J-S Miss Carly with Alex Udell sat in second and Rock Swan waited patiently in third. Just before the half in :58.3, Tetrick moved Rock Swan into the front position, remaining unchallenged as the horses turned for home, clocking a third quarter of 1:27.3.

Rock Swan looked to be maintaining a two-length lead, but a fast-charging Rjz First Lady dug in on the inside. Rock Swan held her ground, crossing the wire first and leaving Rjz First Lady in second with J-S Miss Carly in third. Rock Swan paid $2.60 for her betting backers.

Rock Swan, the daughter of Swan For All-Jolly Jessica now sports a lifetime bankroll of $229,480 for owners S&R Racing Stables and Anthony Lombardi. The Erv Miller trainee was bred by Bobby Brower and Debra Garland and has now won seven of nine lifetime starts.

Favourites continued to shine once the colts & geldings took to the track when Trace Tetrick drove TJs Top Pick to victory for trainer Jeff Cullipher. The track-record holder surged past the leading Brigotto in the final strides, making this win seven of eight for the gelding.

When the gate opened, Osprey Hanover with Deshawn Minor took the front position and held it through the first quarter in :28.2. Not long after that first fraction, Sam Widger urged Brigotto, who sat in second, out to attack and claim the second spot just in time to record a half time of :57. Brigotto held his lead through three-quarters in 1:27.

When Brigotto reached the stretch, Tetrick urged TJs Top Pick to dig in and rally for the win. While Brigotto appeared strong on the front, it was TJs Top Pick who rushed up the grandstand side, crossing the wire first in 1:55. Brigotto held on for second and R Fromoutacherry staged a late rally for third. TJs Top Pick paid $2.60 to win.

“I liked everything in his video, but I didn’t think we’d buy him,” owner Tom Pollack said in the winner’s circle. “Jeff really liked him, but I had my eye on another trotter. We ended up getting him, though, since he was Jeff’s ‘top pick.’”

TJ’s Top Pick is the son of Swan For All-J As Ayd and was bred by Freeman Jay Bontrager. He now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $177,870 for owners Pollack Racing LLC, Jeff Cullipher and Trace Tetrick.

The betting public’s second choice took a win in the fourth and final stakes race of the evening when Emma Town Bud with Michael Oosting provided a slight upset over Swan In Motion with Ricky Macomber Jr. The Byron Hooley trainee grabbed back-to-back stakes wins and established a new lifetime best of 1:54:4.

Hungry for another stakes win, Emma Town Bud went straight for the lead when the gate opened and carried it through the opening quarter in :27.3. After the half, Katkin Morgan with James Yoder took the lead while the field went nose to tail through the half in :56.3 and the third quarter in 1:26.1.

As the field turned for home, Emma Town Bud and Swan In Motion began to match strides in a stretch battle, but it was Emma Town Bud who ultimately prevailed and crossed the wire one length ahead of his competitor. Swan In Motion accepted the second spot while J-S Jasper dug in for third. Emma Town Bud paid $7.00 to win at the betting windows.

Emma Town Bud, the son of Big Stick Lindy-Centerfold Lady was bred by Mervin Lehman. With this being the third win of 10 lifetime starts, the gelding now sports a lifetime bankroll of $110,045 for owner Summit Pacing Acres LLC.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Wednesday, October 2 with two divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies and two divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The evening’s live racing card will be highlighted by the $20,000 Guaranteed Trifecta in Race 10.

(Harrah's Hoosier Park)

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