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TJs Top Pick Trots To Hoosier Record

Published: August 21, 2019 11:08 pm ET

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TJs Top Pick became Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s newest track record holder when he powered home a winner in 1:53.3 in the co-featured event of the evening, the first division of $64,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Wednesday (Aug. 21).

The 1:53.3 mark was a new lifetime best for the freshman colt and also re-established the previous track record for two-year-old trotting geldings by nearly a full second, a 1:54.2 mark that he equaled in the last round of stakes action.

In just his fifth start, TJs Top Pick turned in a dominant performance to finish nearly five lengths in front of his next closest competitor and remain undefeated this season. His 1:53.3 victory also marked the seventh track record that has been equaled or re-established at Hoosier Park through 102 nights of live racing this season.

Leaving from post seven in the field of seven, TJs Top Pick left just enough to grab a seat along the rail in fourth. Osprey Hanover and Deshawn Minor grabbed the early lead through the opening panel in :27.4. As soon as the field straightened away down the backside, Trace Tetrick gave TJs Top Pick the green light, and the colt quickly took command at the half in :57.3.

When the field hit the three-quarters in 1:25.4, TJs Top Pick was on top with a five-length lead while the rest of the field was struggling to stay within striking distance. Turning for home, TJs Top Pick found another gear and trotted away from the field with a :27.4 closing kick. Swan In Motion and Ricky Macomber Jr. rallied well late but were forced to settle for second, while Emma Town Bud and Mike Oosting finished third. TJs Top Pick returned $2.80.

“He’s just so versatile,” trainer Jeff Cullipher noted after the victory. “He really started to come around when we shipped into Hoosier Park in March, and he’s just been getting better every week. He’s one of the smartest colts I’ve ever been around, and I think he gets a little stronger every start.”

With the win, TJs Top Pick became harness racing’s newest $100,000 earner. The Swan For All-J As Ayd gelding is undefeated through the first three rounds of Indiana Sires Stakes action for Cullipher, Pollack Racing and Trace Tetrick. TJs Top Pick was bred by Freeman Bontrager.

In the second stakes division, Brigotto broke his maiden in impressive fashion and pulled a 15-1 upset. Driven by Sam Widger for trainer Rodney Debeck, Brigotto staged a late rally to score in 1:55.3.

Leaving from post four, Brigotto found a spot along the rail in fifth and let the dust settle before making his move. Simply Swan and Joe Putnam were on top through the opening quarter in :29.1, but yielded the lead to the heavily favoured Dude Included and Verlin Yoder just before the half.

Dude Included led the field through middle splits of :58.4 and 1:27.4 while Brigotto tracked intently from first-over. When they straightened away from home, Brigotto dipped down to the inside and used a :27.2 final quarter to win by a length. Dude Included finished second, while Rocket Lee Breeze and Jared Finn finished third. As the second longest shot on the board, Brigotto returned $33.60.

“He tries really hard,” trainer-owner Rodney Debeck noted after the victory. “He made a break in his last start but he’s still figuring things out, so you have to expect that. He trained down great.”

With the win, the son of Bluto and Dream Act recorded his first win in six lifetime outings. Bred by Pond-A-Acres, Brigotto has now earned $35,201.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Thursday (Aug. 22), with three $47,000 divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies highlighting the 13-race card. There will also be a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool in races three through six and a $10,000 Hoosier High-5 in race 13. Live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday-through-Saturday schedule through Nov. 9, with a daily post time of 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit

(Harrah's Hoosier Park)

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