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Stakes Stars Impress At Hoosier

Published: May 22, 2021 6:28 am ET

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Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes filled card on Friday, May 21 and with it—officially kicked off the 2021 Indiana Sires Stakes season.

The Hoosier State’s top sophomore trotters and pacers were on display and served notice that the 2021 stakes season would deliver plenty of excitement. The 2021 Indiana Sires Stakes program will feature eight legs throughout the season and culminate with the $250,000 Super Finals on October 15.

It was a big night on the track for trainer Erv Miller who scored three stakes victories on the evening’s 13-race card. The most notable score of the evening for Team Miller was produced by the rookie three-year-old trotting colt Mallard Hanover who turned in a 1:52.4 effort to romp in the opening division of the Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

Sent off as the heavy 1-2 favourite, Mallard Hanover moved first-over just past the half and never looked back. With Atlee Bender at the controls, Mallard Hanover trotted home in :27.1 to get the win by 2-1/2 lengths over Bluebird Yoshi and Peter Wrenn. With the victory, Mallard Hanover remains undefeated in five starts this season.

“He’s a professional,” Bender said after the race. “He does everything you want and really is a true professional—that’s what sets him apart.”

The 1:52.4 clocking was a new lifetime best for the son of Swan For All—Mynah Hanover and just a few ticks off the track record for three-year-old trotting geldings at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Mallard Hanover is owned in partnership by Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Ervin Miller Stable and G. Golemes.

In the very next race on the card, Team Miller would find the winner’s circle once again only this time they would have to share it. Skyway Victor and Trace Tetrick used a valiant stretch rally to track down the heavily favoured JK Going West and LeWayne Miller to dead heat for the win in the first division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

It was the first win of the season for Skyway Victor who is owned by Engel Stable Of II LLC and Jerry Graham. It was also the first win of the season for JK Going West in his first start of the season for trainer LeWayne Miller. The 2020 two-year-old pacing colt champion is owned by Bill Beechy and Flying Manes LLC. The 1:50.1 clocking was a new lifetime best for both Skyway Victor and JK Going West.

“I thought he was ready to go tonight,” LeWayne Miller noted of his colt. “But I wasn’t expecting the way he did it—he showed a lot of guts tonight. We are really happy with him. We are hoping to hit some bigger stakes with him but just going to take it week by week."

After the two-year-old pacing colt champion was victorious, the 2020 two-year-old trotting filly champion Swift Swanda was not to be outdone. Driven by regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Swift Swanda picked up right where she left off and captured her split of the stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies in her first start of the season. Swift Swanda used a front-stepping effort to hold a game Country Girl Charm and LeWayne Miller at bay and score in a new lifetime best of 1:54.

Trained by Erv Miller, the daughter of Swan For All—Cheetah Hall is owned in partnership by Anthony Lombardi and The Kales Company.

LeWayne Miller would not settle for second place honours in the second division for three-year-old trotting fillies and sent Dewtifuls Grace to the front where she would capture a 1:54.4 victory.

Also trained by LeWayne Miller, Dewtifuls Grace scored her fourth win of the season and established a new lifetime mark in the process. The daughter of Pine Credit—Dewtiful Lass is owned by Eleven Star Stables, Oakwood Farms and Kristen J. Wagler.

One of the most dominant winners of the evening was found in the three-year-old pacing filly ranks as Hot Mess Express ventured to Hoosier Park for the first time this season and was a four-length winner in 1:50.4.

Driven by John DeLong for trainer Tony Alagna, Hot Mess Express made her game winning move down the backside and then simply paced away from the field. Owned by Samuel Bowie, the daughter of Panther Hanover—My Heart Was True is now two for two to start her sophomore campaign.

The opening division of the stakes action for the three-year-old pacing fillies produced the biggest upset of the evening as Rollonbeauty pulled the 15-1 upset to score in 1:51.2.

Driven by Brandon Bates for trainer Curtis Rice, Rollonbeauty utilized a pocket trip and found late race room up the inside to score in a new lifetime best. The daughter of Time To Roll—Michelle’s Beauty is now two for two this season for owner Curtis Rice.

Driver Sam Widger scored a driving double on the evening’s program and both victories were found in the three-year-old pacing colt ranks. Widger’s first victory was behind Brookview Bullet who would utilize a sharp, front-stepping effort to score in a new lifetime best of 1:50.3.

Trained by Ron Burke, the gelded son of Always A Virgin—Babylon Sister scored his first win of the season for the ownership group of Burke Racing Stable, Eleven Star Stables, Frank Baldachino and Weaver Bruscemi.

Utilizing similar tactics, Goldies Legacy and Widger pulled the slight 9-1 upset in the final division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Stopping the timer in 1:50.2, Goldies Legacy finished two lengths in front of his competition and established a new lifetime best in the process. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the gelded son of Always A Virgin—Ag N Au Bluegrass is owned by Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher.

Driver Peter Wrenn also had a good night at the office as he scored a driving triple on the evening’s program. One of those wins was in the second division of the stakes action for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings with Swingforthefences. Utilizing a pocket trip, Swingforthefences was able to track down the pacesetting Breckenridge and Dan Shetler to get the victory in 1:53.2.

It was the second win of the season for the son of Swan For All—Sunday Yankee and also a new lifetime best. Swingforthefences is trained by Melanie Wrenn and owned by David McDuffee and L&L Devisser LLC.

Live racing will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Saturday, May 22 with a 14-race card. In addition, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will add Sundays to the racing calendar beginning on May 23. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing will be conducted through December 4.

(Hoosier Park)

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