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Favourites First In Indiana Sires Stakes

Published: September 10, 2019 11:28 pm ET

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Just when it seemed an upset trend was forming on the evening’s 11-race card at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, Sept. 10, the favourites prevailed in the featured races of the evening, two $64,000 divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes action for two-year-old trotting fillies. A total of 15 Indiana sired trotting fillies lined up behind the gate to square off in the fifth round of their six round series.

After suffering the first loss of her young career in the last round of stakes action, May Baby rebounded gamely with an impressive 1:54.4 victory. With trainer James Yoder in the bike, May Baby turned in a near-gate-to-wire effort to win by open lengths and establish a lifetime best in the process.

Leaving from post 6, Yoder sent the 1-5 favourite away from the gate but John DeLong and RJZ First Lady also left quickly. RJZ First Lady grabbed the lead through the opening panel in :27.1 before yielding the lead to May Baby just before the half in :57.2.

May Baby went uncontested through three-quarters in 1:27.2 and when the field turned for home, she was on top with an ever-increasing lead. Using a :27.2 closing kick, May Baby coasted to the wire to finish five lengths in front of Pretzel Party and Trace Tetrick. RJZ First Lady held on for third.

As the heavy favourite, May Baby returned $2.60 to her backers at the betting windows.

“We made a few changes after her last start,” Yoder said. “We changed her shoes and it seemed to help her tonight. She was back to her old self. She was strong tonight.”

Owned by Cheyenne Yoder, May Baby recorded her fifth win from six outings. With the win, the daughter of Guccio-Free Wheeling sent her lifetime purse earnings over the $100,000 mark. May Baby was bred by Oakwood Farms.

In the second division of the stakes action, Rock Swan turned in an impressive performance of her own to score in 1:55.4 and deliver as the 1-9 post-time favourite. With regular pilot Trace Tetrick in the bike, Rock Swan overcame a first-over trip to record her fourth-straight stakes win.

After racing on the front in her last few starts, Tetrick switched up his tactics and opted for a trip off the pace. Leaving from post 7, Rock Swan eased off the gate and settled along the rail in fifth while Collettes and LeWayne Miller did the heavy lifting on the front. Collettes clicked fractions of :28 and :58.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field.

As the field hit three-quarters in 1:27.3, Tetrick had Rock Swan out and applying pressure to the leader first over. Turning for home, Rock Swan appeared to find another gear as she quickly tracked down the leader and trotted strongly to the wire to finish nearly two lengths in front of her competition. Collettes held on for second while Bluebird Ladyluck and Dan Shetler rallied well for third. As the heavy post-time favourite, Rock Swan returned $2.10 at the betting windows.

“She loves to chase horses down,” Tetrick said after the win. “She can race either way and is getting more versatile every start.”

Trained by Erv Miller, Rock Swan has now won six of seven starts. With the win, the daughter of Swan For All-Jolly Jessica pushed her lifetime bankroll to $143,731 for owners S&R Racing and Anthony Lombardi.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, Sept. 11 with one $92,000 division for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $69,000 divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies highlighting the evening’s 13-race card.

The Pick 4 went unsolved on Tuesday and, with a carryover in excess of $4,000, Wednesday’s live racing action will also feature a $20,000 Pick-4 sequence in Races 3-6. The Guaranteed Pick-4 will be offered in addition to the regularly scheduled $20,000 Guaranteed Trifecta in Race 10 and a $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 in Race 13. The guaranteed wagers are made possible by Harrah’s Hoosier Park in partnership with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering program and the Indiana Standardbred Association.

(Harrah's Hoosier Park)

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