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Freshmen Trotters Wrap Up ISS Season

Published: October 23, 2013 10:31 pm ET

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Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a pair of $40,000 Indiana Silver Sire Stake finals on Wednesday, October 23 as the freshman trotters highlighted the 14-race card for the culmination of their Sire Stakes season.

Highlight As and Ed Hensley swept the second round of the Indiana Silver Sire Stakes and extended their win streak to five with a victory in the $40,000 Indiana Silver Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Using his customary late charge, Highlight As was able to track down horses late in the lane and score the victory in a lifetime-best performance of 1:57.3.

Unhurried from the gate, Hensley placed Highlight As along the rail in fifth while the battle for early position ensued. Brad Hanners sent the bettors’ choice, Sandy Ztam, to the front and they dictated fractions of :28.3 and :58.3 before ever being contested. Domitian Hall and Pete Wrenn benefitted from a pocket trip while Lou Man and Sam Widger were next in third.

Sandy Ztam relaxed on the front and continued to lead the was through the three-quarter clocking in 1:28.1 as the rest of the field closed in around the final.

Sandy Ztam was able to hold off a charge from the pocket-sitting Domitian Hall, but Highlight As loomed large in the background. Using a :28.4 final panel, Highlight As powered home to put a nose in front of Lou Man at the wire. Sandy Ztam held on gamely to finish third. As the public's second choice, Highlight As returned $6.80 to his backers at the window.

“He has been a fun colt to drive all season,” Hensley noted after the race. “He is a colt that loves to track down horses in the lane and the trip worked out for us tonight. I wanted to avoid trouble and I knew if we were close around the last turn he would be good in this field of horses tonight.”

Sired by In Dix Huit, Highlight As has now won seven of eight seasonal starts while bankrolling $44,653 for his connections at ACL Stuteri. The homebred freshman is trained by Annette Lorenzton.

Baby Steps and Tyler Smith used the same late surging tactics to score in the $40,000 Indiana Silver Sire Stakes final for two-year-old filly trotters in 1:59.3. The freshman filly earned her second win in a row after scoring in the last preliminary Indiana Silver Sire Stakes leg at Hoosier Park on October 16.

Leaving from post five, Baby Steps settled along the rail in third while Swanslittlelady and Sam Widger left alertly to land on top through the opening panel in :28.1.

The top pair yielded the lead to Sack Full of Money and Pete Wrenn down the backside and they dictated splits of :58.4 and 1:28.3.

As the field turned for home, Swanslittlelady pulled from the pocket and matched strides with the leader. Smith, using a well timed rally, tipped his filly off the rail and she responded to power home a winner. Swanslittlelady held on gamely to finish second while Earls Dixie Darlin and Trace Tetrick rallied from well off the pace to finish third. Baby Steps returned $7.80 to her backers at the windows.

Trained by Dan Perdue, Baby Steps has now won three of six lifetime starts while amassing $30,152 for her connections at Sage Knoll Farm. Sired by Keystone Savage, the freshman filly was bred by Michael Bardo.

(With files from Hoosier Park)

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