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Thunder Steeler Steals The Show

Published: April 27, 2013 11:09 pm ET

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Ontario-owned Thunder Steeler made his presence felt in the late stages of the $24,000 Invitational Pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as he rallied sharply to take home top honours in the featured event on Saturday (April 27).

Shipping in from Balmoral Park, the four-year-old gelding’s 1:50.1 victory marks the fastest mile over Hoosier Park’s oval thus far into the 2013 meet.

As the gate closed, Ricky Macomber Jr. and I Trust You attempted to get a quick jump on their rivals as they left alertly from post six, however, Paco Labrook and Brad Hanners had the same idea from post nine. The front end was the coveted spot as the early fractions of :27 and :55.1 saw much movement.

Unable to find position along the rail, Thunder Steeler and Jason Dillander pressed on to the front and reached the top spot as the tightly knit field of 10 continued down the backside.

Thunder Steeler sprinted to a 1:22.1 third quarter split and waited for the cavalry charge from behind as they turned for home. Uncle Smoothie and Sam Widger were in the outer flow with Sammys Cool Win and Trace Tetrick in tow.

Dillander asked Thunder Steeler for more and he responded with a :28 final panel to hold off a hard-charging Paco Labrook. Sammys Cool Win rallied from off the pace to get up for the third-place finish. As the public's choice, I Trust You overcame traffic trouble to finish fourth. Thunder Steeler returned $6.60 to his backers for the victory.

Sired by Lis Mara, Thunder Steeler has now won six of 10 seasonal starts with over $40,000 on his card in 2013. Owned by Uncirculated Stable and Frank Smyth, the four-year-old gelding is trained by Donna Lee Ozment. Bred by Concord Stud Farm, Thunder Steeler has now won nine of 30 lifetime starts while amassing over $120,000 lifetime.

On the trotting side, Abc Mercedes continued his winning ways in the $24,000 Invitational Trot with a 1:54 sharp, front-running effort for driver-trainer Trace Tetrick.

Abc Mercedes notched his third consecutive victory of his eight-year-old campaign as he pushed his seasonal earnings over $30,000 for owner Larry Miller of Springport, Indiana. Sired by Abc Garland, Abc Mercedes has won a remarkable 59 times in 106 lifetime outings. With over $1 million in lifetime earnings, the Indiana standout finds himself in elite company as he ranks as the richest trotter in Indiana history.

The season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues to trend in a positive direction with all-sources handle showing a 17 per cent increase for the first 20 days of the meet.

(With files from Hoosier Park)

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