Hoosier Hosts Opening Round Of Indiana Sires Stakes

Lets Go Endofaera
Published: May 28, 2024 12:02 am EDT

Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes filled card on Monday, May 27 for a special Memorial Day card of live racing.

The evening’s 14-race card featured the opening round of Indiana Sires Stakes action for the three-year-old competitors. The 2024 Indiana Sires Stakes program will feature eight legs throughout the season and culminate with the $250,000 USD Super Finals on Oct. 11.

The 2023 two-year-old filly pace Super Final winner, Lets Go Endofaera, picked up where she left off last season to make her three-year-old debut a winning one in the $65,753 first division for filly pacers. Driver John De Long put Lets Go Endofaera on the lead just beyond the half in :57 before sprinting away from the field with a :26.1 closing quarter to win by 3-1/4 lengths in a lifetime best 1:51. Driver John De Long co-owns the daughter of JK Endofanera-Lets Go Higher along with William De Long and breeder Jesse De Long. Tabby De Long does the training. A winner now of six of 11 lifetime starts, Lets Go Endofaera has banked $317,777 in her career.

Lyin Eyes deployed similar tactics to score the victory in the $66,438 second division for pacing fillies. Driver Joey Putnam moved the 1-5 favourite from fourth on the backstretch before powering home in :26.3 to fend off All JK (Trace Tetrick) by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.1 for her second victory through two starts this season. Joey Putnam co-owns the Joe Putnam trainee along with J P Racing and Crazy Parrot Farm. The daughter of Odds On Equuleus-Miswave Hanover was bred by Silver Linden Farms and now sports a career bankroll of $174,671.

Skyway Paige kicked off the action for the three-year-old trotting fillies, teaming up with driver LeWayne Miller to take the $66,438 first division in a lifetime best 1:53.1. Moving into second on the final turn, Skyway Paige put away a revved up Starlit Dora (Atlee Bender) in the stretch before fending off a late bid by the upset minded Hail Broadway (Jordan Ross) at 43-1 by a quarter length on the wire. The victory was the first in as many starts in 2024 for Skyway Paige, who is trained by Susan Miller and owned by D&S Stable, Ryan Raber, L&S Racing and Anthony Swartzentruber. The daughter of Swan For All-Prismatica was bred by Kenneth Slabach and has now earned $247,639 following her fourth career victory.

Agent Of Fortune continued her winning ways in the second division for trotting fillies, extending her win streak to five to kick off her sophomore season. Driver Robert Taylor cleared to the lead just beyond the quarter with the 1-9 favourite and from there the win was never in doubt as she powered home in :27.1 up by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:54.4. Taylor also trains the daughter of Dover Dan-Posterity who was bred by Black Creek Farm. Owned by Taylor Racing LLC and Bert Paddock, Agent Of Fortune vaulted her career bankroll to $154,292 while preserving her unblemished three-year-old campaign.

In the first of two $70,548 splits of 10 for the three-year-old trotting colts, Gruesome Twosome delivered at 4-5 in his first start off of the bench. Trainer/driver Daryl Bontrager stalked from fourth before making a first-over bid on the far turn to take command before repelling a late surge by Helpem Dance (Ricky Macomber Jr.) by a length in 1:54. Bontrager and Ira Steinberg co-own the son of You Know You Do-All Set Lets Go who was a Grand Circuit winner at two, winning the $110,000 USD Madison County at Hoosier Park. Now a seven-time winner through 10 career starts, Gruesome Twosome has banked $260,649 in his career. He was bred by Merle Yoder.

Dashing Danny and driver Kyle Wilfong delivered the biggest upset of the stakes action on the card, launching off cover in the lane to score at 10-1. The Jeff Cullipher trainee found the cover of the previously unbeaten A Blue Million (Mike Peterson) before roaring home in :27.4 to track down a stubborn Ira Who (Jared Finn) in a lifetime best 1:54. Following the theme of the night, the victory came for the 2023 Breeders Crown finalist in his three-year-old debut for owners Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher. Bred by Steve Stewart and Black Creek Farm, Dashing Danning now boasts a career bankroll greater than $200,000 following the 10th victory in his young career.

Driver Kyle Wilfong came right back with another stakes victory on the card, this time teaming up with trainer Jay Hochstetler and Premier Romeo to pull off the minor 5-1 upset in the first of two $67,808 divisions for sophomore pacing colts. After sitting mid-pack throughout, Wilfong put the nose of Premier Romeo on the helmet of Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and the 3-2 favourite Noblesville on the final turn where he stalked second-over turning for home. Premier Romeo wound up a :26.3 stretch rally to vault off of cover and surge to the line first by 1-1/4 lengths in a career best 1:50.2 over the two longest shots on the board, Stat That (LeWayne Miller) at 72-1 and Warrior For Truth (Ricky Macomber Jr.) at 24-1. Owned by Connie Hochstetler, Mary Buddig and Janet Schwartz, the gelded son of Rockin Image-Kaitlyn Akeeper is now a two-time winner in five starts in 2024. Bred by Dennis Bontrager, Premier Romeo pushed his career bankroll to $108,611 with the win.

Things returned to form in the final Sire Stakes on the card, in which Sabonis and Joey Putnam delivered at 1-9 in the second division for pacing colts. Putnam wasted little time getting Sabonis to the lead, keeping the young star clean up front where he had things his way, turning for home 5-1/2 lengths clear of the field. The 60-1 shot Play Action Pass (Jordan Ross) did his best to make things contentious in the lane for the favourite with a late rally; however, Sabonis crossed the line 1-1/4 lengths clear in a geared down 1:51.3. Trained by Aaron Stutzman for owner Pat Miller, the son of Tellitlikeitis-Gypsy Bellevue has only tasted defeat once in 2024 through seven starts, and has been a winner of seven of nine lifetime. Bred by Karl Dean Miller, Sabonis padded his career earnings to $103,147.

The racing week will resume at Hoosier Park on Wednesday, May 29 with a 14-race card set to get underway at 6:15 p.m. The Wednesday card will feature the traditional $10,000 guarantee on the Hoosier High 5 in the Race 14 finale, along with a carryover of $10,227.21 into the Jackpot Pick 6 in Races 8-13.

(Hoosier Park)

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