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'Grace' Prevails In Indiana Sires Stakes

Published: September 1, 2015 11:12 pm ET

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Lockwood Grace used a strong stretch rally to pull the 20-1 upset in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 1.

Driven by Jason Dillander, Lockwood Grace avoided early traffic trouble to score in a lifetime best of 1:58.

In a race ruled by miscues, Dillander had Lockwood Grace out of harm’s way in the early stages of the race, sixth along the rail. Her stablemate and post time favourite, Miss Tootsie Hall, made a break behind the gate for driver Trace Tetrick and took herself out of the race completely before the wings folded.

Naughty III, driven by Tyler Smith, made her customary move to the front through an opening panel in :28.1 but had trouble down the backside and was quickly passed on the outside by Nothing But Nice and Rick Farrington at the second station in :58.2.

Doug Rideout and Just Jess also avoided the early traffic trouble and made a powerful move down the backside to take control just before the three-quarter clocking in 1:28. While the rest of the field sorted out positions, Just Jess put a few lengths between her and the rest of the field around the final turn.

As the field turned for home, Just Jess continued to call the shots but was beginning to tire on the front. Just as Just Jess was retreating, Dillander had Lockwood Grace in perfect striking position second-over. Lockwood Grace was given the green light and exploded past her rivals using a :28.4 final quarter to win by three-parts of a length. Nothing But Nice held on for the second place finish wile Sunny Jeans and Rick Plano rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As one of the longest shots on the board, Lockwood Grace returned $43.60 at the betting windows.

“I don’t know what happened out there,” Dillander noted of the race. “It worked out for us, but it was a crazy race, that’s for sure. When we came around the last turn, I wasn’t sure if I had enough to get to the wire but once we straightened out, she really started gaining ground. She trotted all the way to wire and showed up big tonight.”

Trained by Robert Taylor, the freshman filly is the daughter of Gymnasium-Montgomery Jewle. Lockwood Grace notched just the second win of her career from eight seasonal outings. Lockwood Grace has now earned $60,245 for her owners at Hoosierland Farm.

“She’s been a nice filly all year,” trainer Robert Taylor noted in the winner’s circle. “She’s just coming into herself I think, maybe a little later than the others, but she’s been a nice filly from the start. She’s a super nice filly to be around and takes good care of herself too, so I think that will help her in the long run.”

Live harness racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, September 2 at the regularly schedule post time of 5:15 p.m. Wednesday’s 14-race card will be highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake final and $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.

(with files from Hoosier)

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