Catch The Fire Prevails In Dan Patch Photo

Published: August 13, 2021 11:33 pm EDT

Catch The Fire and driver Scott Zeron came through as the 6-5 favourites to win the 28th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes presented by Brittany Farms, Harrah's Hoosier Park’s signature event for free-for-all pacers.

After making an appearance on the lead during the second panel, Catch The Fire emerged from the pocket between foes down the stretch to get up in the final strides for the 1:48.1 victory.

Runner-up Tellmeaboutit (Michael Oosting), the longest shot on the board at 68-1, came flying on the far outside into the photo finish, while Backstreet Shadow (Trace Tetrick) and Little Rocket Man (John De Long) finished third and fourth, respectively. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) was fifth. Less than a length separated the top five finishers.

In what proved to be an action-packed mile from start to finish, Zeron sent Catch The Fire away from the gate firing from post four but a host of others also wanted early position. Workin Ona Mystery (Todd McCarthy) was the first to get a call through the opening quarter in a blazing :25.3. Cattlewash (David Miller) cleared to the front, but quickly yielded the lead to stablemate This Is The Plan, who wanted his turn on the front through the half-mile time in :54.1.

This Is The Plan was joined on the outside by his other stablemate in the field, Backstreet Shadow, and the Ron Burke-trained duo lead the field to the third station in 1:21.2. When the field turned for home, the stage was set for an all-out cavalry charge to the wire.

This Is The Plan dug in gamely down on the inside as Backstreet Shadow continued to press forward. With the top pair battling stride for stride, Zeron found late racing room and Catch The Fire exploded through the gap to get up in the final strides of the mile. After sitting last for much of the mile, Tellmeaboutit used an incredible :25.2 closing quarter to get up for second while Backstreet Shadow held on for third.

"He didn't leave as quickly as I needed to, but that just shows you how fast they were leaving inside of me," said Zeron, commenting on the trip. "And then when I went to make my move to the front, I didn't know if David was on a mission with Cattlewash, but I was lucky enough that I got there, and Yannick was right on my back. It kind of put Backstreet Shadow in a bad spot, but it worked out great for me."

"I kind of saw room to go to the outside [down the stretch] and he's a racy horse, so I kind of put him in between horses and he wanted to go right through them."

Trained by Todd Luther, the four-year-old son of Captaintreacherous out of Dream Outloud earned his third victory in a row -- winning his prior two by a neck margin as well.

Fresh off a triumph in a division of the Sam McKee Memorial last week at The Meadowlands, Catch The Fire paid $4.40 to win.

Now seven-for-10 this year, Catch The Fire notched his 15th career win and surpassed the million-dollar earnings mark. He is owned by Black Magic Racing LLC and CT Stables LLC.

“He loves to race,” said trainer Todd Luther after the victory. “I think he would race three times a week if we would let him. He’s just an amazing animal.”

The victory was the first Dan Patch Stakes win for both Luther and Zeron. The race proved to be a very fitting ending to a sensational evening of harness racing in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

Trainer Todd Luther, caretaker Toni Dale Hollar and driver Scott Zeron
in the winner’s circle with Catch The Fire. (Dean Gillette Photography)

(With files from Hoosier Park)



I think that we can safely say that Catch The Fire will be listed in next week's Top Ten Poll.

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