Indiana’s top three-year-old trotters and two-year-old colt pacers wrapped up their preliminary rounds of Indiana Sires Stakes action Thursday evening at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
The evening served as a preview of what to expect for next week’s Hoosier Champions Night. Two divisions for the sophomore trotters of both sexes highlighted the evening’s 14-race card as they brought the curtain down and completed the eighth and final round of their preliminary Indiana Sires Stakes action.
The two-year-old pacing colts completed their sixth and final preliminary round. All of the evening’s winners stamped their tickets to compete for next week’s season culminating $2 million Hoosier Champions Night on Friday, October 15.
Trainer Melanie Wrenn sent two horses postward and scored a training double in stakes action on the evening. Shirley Goodness and Peter Wrenn converted a pocket trip into a 1:53 score over the heavily favoured Swift Swanda and Trace Tetrick in the opening division for three-year-old trotting fillies. The 1:53 clocking was a new lifetime set for the daughter of Swan For All—Stirling Debutant. Shirley Goodness has now won 9 of 20 lifetime starts for owners Bill Beechy, Brad Maxwell and Kenneth Frieder.
Team Wrenn found the winner’s circle once again in stakes action a little later on in the program with the three-year-old trotting colt and heavily favoured Swingforthefences. Utilizing a gate to wire effort, Swingforthefences stopped the timer in 1:53.2 and equalled his lifetime best in the process. Swingforthefences is owned in partnership by David McDuffee and L&L Devisser LLC.
Divisional leader Brookview Bolt turned in an impressive effort of his own to capture the second division of the stakes action for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. With regular pilot Sam Widger in the bike, Brookview Bolt employed a :27.4 closing quarter to track down his rivals and score in 1:54.3 by four lengths. Trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, Knox Services, J&T Silva Purnel&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi, Brookview Bolt has now won eight of 13 outs this season.
The other $47,500 divisional winner for three-year-old trotting fillies was Queen Of All and John DeLong springing the slight upset. Paying $17.00 to win, Queen Of All also utilized a pocket-sitting trip to score in a new lifetime best of 1:54. Trained by Doug Rideout, the daughter of Swan For All—Ecstatic is owned by Julie Rideout, Peter Schmucker, and Glider Stables.
Driver John DeLong had four winners on the evening’s program and his other stakes winner came behind Thunder Country in the second division for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Finding late racing room up the inside and using a 26.2 closing quarter, Thunder Country found the wire first and stopped the timer in 1:51.2. Trained by Michelle Finn and owned by Ervin Wickey, the gelded son of Rockin Image—Happy Feet Too recorded his third lifetime victory from 14 starts.
Gentle Giant turned in a decisive effort to go gate to wire in the opening division of the stakes action for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. With driver Trace Tetrick in the bike for trainer Brian Brown, Gentle Giant stopped the timer in a new lifetime best of 1:50.4. Owned by Country Club Acres & Acadia Farms, J Sbrocco, and In The Gym & Lombardo Racing, the son of JK Endofanera—Miss Liz has now won two of nine lifetime starts.
All the evening’s winners will return and compete for divisional honours next Friday at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The top ten point earners from each division will be showcased in the $250,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals. The fields and post positions for the Super Finals will be drawn on Tuesday, October 12
(Harrah’s Hoosier Park)