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Nitro And DeLong Headline Hoosier Card

Published: May 22, 2016 12:27 am ET

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Nitro, with John DeLong at the lines, made amends for last week’s second-place finish and rolled home a winner in the featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 21.

Scoring in gate-to-wire fashion, Nitro stopped the timer in 1:50.3 and gave driver John DeLong one of his six wins on the 13-race card.

DeLong took no chances and sent Nitro to the front from post five in an abbreviated field of six to grab the top spot through the opening panel in :27.3. Bluehourpower and Ricky Macomber Jr. left just enough to grab a pocket seat while If I Lose and Brian Carpenter were next in line third. The field remained in single-file order down the backside as Nitro clicked off fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.4 before ever feeling a threat.

As the field turned for home, Jason Dillander had Shooters Dream pointed to the front in the outer flow while Colors A Virgin and Tyler Smith grabbed the cover second-over. As the rest of the field closed in, DeLong asked his mount for more and Nitro dug in gamely. Using a :26.4 closing quarter, Nitro finished a length and a half in front of the pocket-sitting Bluehourpower. As the only mare in the field, Colors A Virgin rallied gamely for third-place honours. Sent off as the heavy betting favourite, Nitro returned $4.20 at the betting windows.

The six-year-old son of Charley-Barley-Deferred Comp notched his second seasonal victory from 14 outings. Trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Christine Hecht, Nitro has now won 20 of 107 lifetime starts and has amassed $347,934 lifetime.

In the very next race, DeLong found the winner’s circle in a conditioned pace with JL Dontwastemytime in 1:52.1 for trainer Trent Stohler. Stohler and Delong also teamed up to get ER Zach Attack home a winner in a claiming event earlier on the card.

Driving in each and every race on the program, DeLong found the winner’s circle for the first time in the third race of the evening with Hot N Shooting for trainer Grant Wilfong and then scored in the very next race with Ok Ferrari for trainer Dylan Davis.

In the $20,000 Steve Gray Memorial Pace, it was Four Socks who turned in a gate-to-wire effort to score in a new lifetime-best of 1:50.1 for DeLong. The win was the third of the season for the six-year-old son of I Scoot Hanover-Well Hello Dolly, who is trained by Mike Murphy.

DeLong is currently second on the leading driver standings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with 61 wins on the season through 35 nights of live racing. Hoosier Park’s 2015 leading driver, Trace Tetrick, has 82 wins on the season.

(With files from Hoosier Park)

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