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Favourites Flourish In Indiana Stakes

Published: August 24, 2019 12:40 am ET

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A trio of $48,000 Indiana Sires Stakes divisions for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings was the featured attraction at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 23 and wrapped up the third round of stakes action for the freshman competitors.

It was a night ruled by favourites, which delivered in all three divisions.

The 2019 Fox Stake winner Odds On Osiris looked every bit the part of a 1-2 favourite as he continued his winning ways and captured the first division in gate-to-wire fashion with driver Peter Wrenn in the bike. Stopping the timer in 1:51.2, Odds On Osiris was the fastest divisional winner of the night and established a new lifetime mark in the process.

Wrenn wasted no time and sent Odds On Osiris away from the gate but Buddys N Virgins and Jared Finn were a step quicker to grab the lead through the opening panel in :27.4. Wrenn had Odds On Osiris back out and firing just before the half and the colt quickly grabbed command to lead the field through middle splits of :56.2 and 1:24.4.

As the field turned for home, Odds On Osiris opened up on the field with a seven-length lead. Using a :26.3 closing kick, the colt kicked home impressively under a hand drive from Wrenn to finish nearly eight lengths in front of a hard-charging Nassau Desire and Ricky Macomber Jr. Northern Cadillac and LeWayne Miller utilized a ground-saving trip to finish third.

Odds On Osiris returned $3 to win at the betting windows.

“He went a big mile last week in the Fox Stake,” Wrenn noted in the winner’s circle. “I was glad to see him come right back and race really well. He’s a very manageable colt that is getting better with every start.”

Trained by Melanie Wrenn, the son of Rockin Image-Antiqua Hanover recorded his second lifetime victory from four trips behind the gate. Odds On Osiris has now bankrolled $51,000 for Odds On Racing.

In the second division, Clever Character was able to overcome a first-over trip to get up in the final strides of the mile in 1:52.2. Sent off as the 4-5 co-favourite with Dale Hiteman at the lines, Clever Character used a :27.2 final quarter to get the win by a head.

Leaving from post four, Clever Character eased off the gate to find a spot along the rail in fifth. Peter Wrenn gave Vivaldi Hanover his marching orders and the colt grabbed the early lead through the opening quarter in :27.1. High Impression and Sam Widger wanted their turn on the front and ranged up to grab the lead just before the half in :55.4.

As the field hit the three-quarters in 1:24.4, Hiteman had Clever Character out and applying pressure to the leaders from first-over. Clever Character was able to wear down the leader and hold off a late surge from Family Recipe to get the victory. Straight Up Cool and Michael Oosting also rallied well late for third.

Clever Character returned $3.80 to his backers at the betting windows.

“He’s still very green,” Hiteman noted after the win. “I’m learning more about him each start and which way he likes to race best. He’s got a lot of raw talent to work with though, that’s for sure.”

Owned and trained by Timothy Smith, Clever Character has now won three of five lifetime starts. With the win, the son of Tellitlikeitis-Ruby Delight pushed his lifetime bankroll to $61,375.

The final division went to Always And Again, who split rivals late in the lane to get the win by a neck in 1:52.4. Sent off at odds of 6-5, the Ernie Gaskin trainee equaled the lifetime mark he established in the last round of stakes action.

Tetrick let Always And Again coast away from the gate to find a spot along the rail in fifth. The Candyman Can and Sam Widger were the first to get a call and grabbed the lead through the first quarter in :27.2 The Candyman Can set splits of :56.1 and 1:24.4 before being joined on the outside by Alwaystellthetruth and LeWayne Miller.

As the field turned for home, The Candyman Can was still on top but Tetrick had Always And Again perfectly placed second-over. Alwaystellthetruth was able to wear down the leader but Always And Again found late racing room and used a :27.2 final quarter to stick a nose in front. Alwaystellthetruth finished second while Sawyers Desire and Ricky Macomber Jr. came flying late for third.

Always And Again returned $4.40 as the heavy betting favourite.

“He’s a colt and we’re still trying to teach him,” trainer Ernie Gaskin noted in the winner’s circle. “Trace has done a great job teaching him how to race and figuring him out. This colt has a lot of natural ability and wants to do well so that really helps.”

Always And Again recorded his third victory from five lifetime starts. The son of Always A Virgin-Kiss Me Once Again now sports a lifetime bankroll of $52,000 and is owned in partnership by Andrew Berg and In The Red, LLC.

Live racing action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, Aug. 24. Saturday’s 11-race card will begin at an adjusted post time of 4:30 p.m. due to Reba McEntire in concert at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The country superstar will close out Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2019 Summer Concert Series in front of a sold-out crowd. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit

(With files from Hoosier Park)

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