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Reigning ISS Champ Strikes Gold Again

Published: June 19, 2012 9:00 pm ET

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Dontfusswithruss was back to his old form Tuesday, June 19, taking the third of four $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts & geldings in the evening’s opener at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

The reigning freshman trotting champ turned in a gate-to-wire performance to win in a lifetime best effort of 1:56.2 for driver Trace Tetrick.

Leaving from post three, Tetrick left no room for error as he sent the son of Elegant Man to the front to dictate first half fractions of :28.3 and :58.1. DC Chugalug, part of a three-horse Lester Raber-trained entry, was well placed in second with stablemate, Martz Time, following him closely in third. Mark O’Mara had the third part of the entry, Jolenes Pinehonker, aimed at the leader first over as the field rounded the final turn in 1:27.1. But as they turned for home, Dontfusswithruss began to shine, opening up by three lengths to win over My Muscleman and Jason Dillander. Jolenes Pinehonker rallied for the third place finish.

Dontfusswithruss didn’t disappoint as the 3-5 favourite paying $3.40 to win.

“We didn’t know how the race would go,” trainer Melissa Essig noted of her stable standout. “But we were really happy with the way he raced tonight. He ended up on the front and it seems like he has been on the front in a lot of his starts, but he races well that way. We took him off lasix in his last start because he had a little bit of a reaction to it, and he seems to be coming back from that good so we are really happy about that too.”

After a sensational two-year-old campaign, the gelding celebrated his second seasonal victory in four outings. Owned and bred by Jacalyn Beeman, Dontfusswithruss now sports a bankroll in excess of $235,000 as he won six of 13 starts last year, including the Indiana Sire Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting colts.

(With files from Hoosier Park)

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