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Better Rock, Virgo Win Indiana Stakes

Published: September 6, 2021 1:09 am ET

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The Hoosier state’s top three-year-old pacing colts and geldings rounded a week’s worth of stakes action at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Sunday (Sept. 5) as two $52,000 divisions were featured on the evening’s 13-race card. It was the sixth round of their eight-round series as they all looked to gain valuable points for the season-culminating $250,000 Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) Super Finals slated for Oct. 15 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

Better Rock and driver Sam Widger turned in a valiant stretch rally to capture the opening division in 1:50.4. Leaving from post 4, Better Rock was unhurried from the gate and settled along the pylons in seventh while Brookview Bullet and Ricky Macomber Jr. dictated fractions on the front. Widger moved Better Rock to the outer flow and the pair were perfectly placed second-over turning for home. Using a :27.1 final quarter, Better Rock was able to track down the leaders and hold off a late charge from Ts Raider II and Trace Tetrick to get the win by three-quarter lengths. Big Gulp and Jay Cross rallied well to round out the trifecta. Better Rock returned $11.80 for the win.

Trained by Ernie Gaskin, the gelded son of Rockin Image—Bettor Business recorded his first win of the season from 15 starts this season and established a lifetime best. Better Rock has now amassed $87,100 for owners Desyllas Racing and William Beck. Better Rock was bred by Gary Graber.

In the second division, Virgo and Trace Tetrick used a near-gate-to-wire effort to get the win by a nose in 1:50.3. Leaving from post 2, Tetrick let Virgo settle off the gate before giving him the green light just before the half. Virgo ranged up to take command and led the field to the three-quarters with Rockin On Venus and Michael Oosting getting the pocket trip.

As the field turned for home, it was a cavalry charge to the wire. Finding a :27.1 closing quarter, Virgo battled gamely in the lane and was able to hold off a late sure from Ultimaroca and Sam Widger to get the win by a nose. Saddle Up and John DeLong also staged a big rally late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As the second betting choice, Virgo returned $8.60 at the betting windows.

Trained by Dylan Davis, Virgo notched his third win from nine starts this season. The gelded son of Always A Virgin—Star of the Show has now amassed $218,152 for his ownership group of H A Taylor, J A Billings, and D P Davis. Virgo now sports a record of 18-6-6-2 and was bred by Dustin Miller.

Live racing will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday (Sept. 8) with a 14-race card. The evening’s 14-race card will feature a $40,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 after the sequence went unsolved on Sunday and produced a carryover of $11,293.70.

(Harrah's Hoosier Park)

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