Tactical Approach Adds Carl Erskine To Grand Circuit Resume

Tactical Approach winning at Hoosier Park
Published: November 3, 2023 11:05 pm EDT

Millionaire three-year-old trotting colt Tactical Approach returned to the scene of his Breeders Crown victory on Friday, Nov. 3 and capped off the evening's Grand Circuit stakes action at Hoosier Park with a dominant victory in the $205,000 Carl Erskine Memorial.

Driver Scott Zeron pointed Tactical Approach right to the lead this time out from post eight and cleared to command in the first turn. The Nancy Takter trainee set fractions of :27, :55.3, 1:24.1 and turned for home with a three-length lead en route to the victory in 1:52.1. 

The 4-5 favourite, who also counts the Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity among his major wins this season, returned $3.20 to win. Jet Hill (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) dove to the inside down the lane and edged out pocket-pursuer Ponda Jet (Kyle Wilfong) for the runner-up honours, finishing two lengths behind Tactical Approach at the wire.

"Everytime the horse races, it's very exciting to have a horse like him, and for him to do it again -- he's had three tough weeks in a row here and he's come out a winner in the Breeders Crown final and here tonight again -- I couldn't be prouder of him," said Takter.

The Tactical Landing-Sarcy colt will look to follow in his sire's hoofprints and take on older foes in the FanDuel Championship at The Meadowlands next.

"It's going to be interesting to see how he fares against the older horses, but I think he deserves a shot," said Takter.

So far this season, Tactical Approach has won 10 of his 18 sophomore starts while earning the bulk of his $1.4 million bankroll for owners John Fielding, Robert Leblanc and Joe Sbrocco And Jaf Racing. As announced earlier today, he will stand stud in Pennsylvania in 2024.

With Trace Tetrick in the bike, Coach Stefanos showed off his wicked late-closing speed once again as he powered home from the backfield to steal the spotlight in a photo finish in the $190,000 Monument Circle for three-year-old pacing colts.

Overcoming an outside post in a full field of 10 with one trailer, the Erv Miller trainee prevailed in 1:49.4 for a 7-1 upset, returning $17.60 to win.

Admiral Hill (Andy Miller) got the first call from the inside with Racing Rampage (Darren Dowler) and Why Not Now (Dexter Dunn) leaving from the outer wing and forging three-wide to the turn. Racing Rampage opted to take back in behind Admiral Hill while Why Not Now pressed on with 6-5 favourite Stockade Seelster (David Miller) hot on his heels. 

Why Not Now took the lead past the quarter in :27 before Stockade Seelster cleared to command down the backstretch and fronted the field through middle splits of :55 and 1:22.4. Down the stretch, Why Not Now shot up the inside but Tetrick timed it just right with a from-last Coach Stefanos picking them off on the line in a :25.1 final quarter. Why Not Now was second in the photo finish with Stockade Seelster third.

Coach Stefanos winning at Hoosier Park

Coach Stefanos is owned by Kenneth Duffy,  D And M Trading Ii and John Stefanos. The fleet-footed pacer, who closed from the backfield to finish fifth in the Breeders Crown championship last weekend after taking his elimination with a :24.2 jaw-dropping final frame, now has seven wins from 15 starts and more than $500,000 in purse earnings this year. 

Driven by Dexter Dunn, Call Me Goo rallied off the favourite's cover to take the $115,000 Crossroads Of America for three-year-old trotting fillies.

After getting away mid-pack after a trailing tier start, Call Me Goo and Dunn tracked the cover of 6-5 bettors' choice Tactical Mounds (Scott Zeron) into the final turn and swept by the favoured filly in deep stretch as they passed the mid-race leader Rose Run Yolanda (Yannick Gingras), who settled for third. Call Me Goo prevailed by one length over Tactical Mounds in 1:53.4.

 Mommamia Volo (Toddy McCarthy) broke stride from the inside at the start while Mass Hysteria (David Miller) fired across from the outside to establish the lead before the first turn. After a :28 opening quarter, Helpoftheseason (Peter Wrenn) looped the early leader and was followed by Rose Run Yolanda, who reached the half in :56.3 then three-quarters in 1:25 before the closers came to call.

Callmegoo winning at Hoosier Park

 Sent off as the 7-2 third choice following a win in the Circle City and a close second-place finish in the Pegasus the last two weeks at Hoosier, Call Me Goo returned $9.80 to win.

Jason Skinner trains the Googoo Gaagaa-Callmemza filly, whose Grand Circuit resume also includes a division of the Casual Breeze at Woodbine Mohawk Park, for Graham Grace Stables. Call Me Goo is now 11-for-15 with nearly $290,000 earned in her sophomore season.

Favoured three-year-old pacing filly Strong Poison and driver Yannick Gingras were victorious in the $105,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial.

Strong Poison left well from post two but was shuffled to third during a contested :26.4 first quarter as Rollin Rosie (Trace Tetrick) left alongside and took over then the parked out Beach Cowgirl (Brian Sears) cleared.

Once the early action settled as the field headed down the backstretch, Gingras gave his filly the cue and she advanced from third to take command, reaching the half in :55.4 then three-quarters in 1:23.4 while rebuffing a challenge from one of her stablemates, Southwind Bella (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.).

With Beach Cowgirl re-rallying inside down the stretch, Strong Poison opened up 2-3/4 lengths on top to win in 1:50.4. Beach Cowgirl finished second and Southwind Bella was third over Rollin Rosie.

Strong Poison winning at Hoosier Park

A Breeders Crown elimination winner who finished fifth in the final, Strong Poison had the backing of the betting public and was sent off as the 3-5 favourite, paying $3.40 to win.

Ron Burke trains the Always B Miki-Fiyonce filly for Burke Racing Stable, Jandt Silva Stables, Knox Services and Beasty. With top three finishes in 11 of her 13 stakes starts this year, Strong Poison sent her seasonal earnings over the $400,000 mark with her fourth win.

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