Rip Wheeler Upsets At Hoosier

Rip Wheeler
Published: August 27, 2022 10:19 am EDT

The Hoosier state’s top three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were back in action at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Aug. 26) as the evening’s 14-race card was highlighted by one $97,000 division of Indiana Sires Stakes. It was the fifth round of the eight-round series for the pacing colts as they all looked to gain valuable points for the season-culminating $250,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 14 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. 

It was Rip Wheeler and driver Brandon Bates who turned in a valiant stretch rally to pull off the 7-1 upset and stop the timer in an impressive 1:48.4. Leaving from post seven in the talented field of nine, Rip Wheeler settled along the rail in fifth while a host of others left for position. Ponda Warrior and driver Jimmy Whittemore were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :26.3 but eventually yielded the lead to the post time favourite, JK Victory and Trace Tetrick. 

Jk Victory led to the half in :55 and when the field reached the third station in 1:22.1, Bates had Rip Wheeler on the front and on a mission. Using a :26.3 closing kick, Rip Wheeler was able to keep his challengers at bay and get the win by three lengths. Ponda Warrior held on for second while Sure Thing Herman and Atlee Bender rounded out the trifecta. Rip Wheeler returned $16.20 for the victory. 

Trained by Walter Haynes Jr., the gelded son of Rockin Image — Novascotia Hanover recorded his sixth win from 16 starts this season. Owned by Jeff Fought and David E. Fought, Rip Wheeler recorded a new lifetime best while pushing his lifetime earnings over the $100,000 mark with the victory. The victory was also one of three driving wins on the card for Bates.  

Live harness racing will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Saturday, August 27 at an adjusted post time of 4:00 p.m. due to The Temptations' concert. The 12-race card will also feature two divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes for the three-year-old pacing fillies.