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Willy Mucha, Proud Yankee Upset Opens

Published: April 12, 2012 12:33 am ET

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Willy Mucha and driver Ed Hensley proved to be much the best as they pulled off a 14-1 upset in the $24,000 Open Pace at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino on Wednesday.

Willy Mucha left alertly from post five securing a spot third on the rail while Lookinforadventure and Jason Dillander maintained their rail position to head the field of seven through an opening quarter of :27.1. Heavy favourite Allthatgltrsisgold and Josh Sutton could see the entire field as they sat seventh much of the way with the public’s second choice, Freddyscooter, just one in front of them in sixth.

Hensley opted out of a three-hole trip as he had a headstrong Willy Mucha out and rolling down the backside to find the half mark in :56.2.

Easily securing the lead from Lookinforadventure, Willy Mucha and Hensley prepared for the arsenal of horse power behind them. Blueridge Doc and Andy Shetler were the first to make a run at the leader as they pulled first up through a mild three-quarters in 1:25.1 with Dontsaygoodby and Pete Wrenn in tow. Freddyscooter and Trace Tetrick found themselves third-over to execute their usual come from behind strategy.

Hensley went to work on Willy Mucha who responded with a :27.1 last quarter to hold off a hard charging Get It Now and Ricky Macomber Jr. The seven-year-old scored in 1:52.2 to match his previous best that was set at Indiana Downs two years ago. Freddyscooter rallied late to finish third by a length and a quarter.

“I didn’t plan on cutting the mile with him, especially in this group of horses,” Hensley said of his mount. “He surprised me tonight; he fought off those horses down the lane and really impressed me. He has always been a nice horse but I didn’t think he could win in that class. He definitely impressed me tonight with the way he raced.”

Willy Mucha paid $31.60 to win. Hensley also trains and co-owns the chesnut gelding with Jessica Hensley of Lyndhurst, New Jersey. The Real Artist-Tupelo Rose N gelding increased his career earnings to over $168,000 with his second win of the year.

The trend continued in the co-featured $24,000 Open Trot as Proud Yankee found late trotting room in deep stretch to pull of the 10-1 upset at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

Dismissed at 10-1, Proud Yankee had his work cut out for him as he left from post five with three-time Indiana Trotter of the year, Abc Mercedes, to his outside in post six and heavy betting favourite, Winning Mister, starting from assigned post seven. Abc Mercedes made an un-characteristic break behind the starting car as Pete Wrenn sent Winning Mister to the front in a brisk opening quarter of :27.2.

The field remained in single file line as Winning Mister and Wrenn led the way through a half of :56.2. Rompaway Beau benefitted from a two-hole trip as Proud Yankee and driver Sam Widger sat fourth.

Winning Mister and Wrenn looked to have the race well in hand as they turned for home reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:25.1. Widger and Proud Yankee timed their attack perfectly as they tipped around a tiring Christina Victory and driver Jimmy Smith to take their run at the leader. With a last quarter in :28.2, Proud Yankee split his rivals to take the lion’s share of the purse in a final time of 1:54.3. Winning Mister held on for second as Rompaway Beau and Magee rounded out the tri-fecta.

The six-year-old horse is trained by Danny Collins and is owned by Margaret Hobbs of Mullins, South Carolina. In his first win of the year, Proud Yankee has now increased his earnings to over the $125,000 mark. The son of Muscles Yankee has now won 15 times and sports a lifetime mark of 1:54.1.

(With files from Hoosier Park)

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