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Air Strike Solid In Indiana Stake

Published: August 25, 2016 11:45 pm ET

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Air Strike turned in a gritty performance to find the winner’s circle on Thursday evening at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Stopping the timer in 1:52.1, the Dylan Fagan-trained Air Strike made a clean sweep of the third round of the stakes action after an eye catching maiden breaking victory in 1:51.4 in his elimination last week at Hoosier Park.

A field of ten lined up behind the gate to do battle and a battle it was from the word go. The 6-5 post time favourite Rock N Tony was given his marching orders from driver Trace Tetrick as he left alertly from post nine to get the first call. On The Virg and Eric Goodell also left for early position from post seven but settled along the rail in second while Air Strike and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. protected their rail position and were following along closely in third.

In what would be the first of many lead changes, Air Strike was up to grab command from Rock N Tony just past the half in :55.1. Just as soon as Air Strike settled in on the point, Goodell had On The Virg out and taking aim at the leader. On The Virg was matching strides with Air Strike at the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.3 and as the field turned for home, the race appeared to be wide open.

On The Virg looked to be up to the task but Air Strike wasn’t finished. Wrenn, Jr. asked his mount for more late in the lane and Air Strike found a :28.2 final quarter to get the win by a head. Dave and Dennis and Tyler Smith employed an impressive late closing burst to get up for second place honours while Meadowbrook Tiger and LeWayne Miller rounded out the trifecta. As the 5-2 second choice, Air Strike returned $7.60 to his backers at the betting windows.

“Well, the trip didn’t work out quite like I thought,” Fagan said after the victory. “He’s a grinder and that’s a great quality to have especially after a busy mile like that. He’s a very nice colt and has done everything right since we’ve had him in the barn.”

Owned by Val D Or Farms and Ted Gewertz, the son of Always A Virgin-My Best Girl has now won two of five lifetime starts with only one off the board finish. Air Strike has now earned $53,200 lifetime.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing will continue on Friday, August 26 with a 14-race card that features two divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for the three-year-old pacing fillies. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12.

(Hoosier Park)


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