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Tetrick Wins 'Whipless' Race

Published: October 22, 2008 8:05 pm ET

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There are no plans at the moment for additional whipless races at Indiana Downs, but Saturday's trial won by favorite Looselipssinkships was deemed a success by race secretary Scott Peine and several drivers that participated in the event.

Drivers could carry a whip for use in emergency situations, but six of the 10 participants went without one, Peine said. Looselipssinkships' time of 1:52 was the fastest of the night and equaled the clocking of his most recent victory, which came in March at the Meadowlands.

"It worked out really well," Peine said. "We had a couple customers – not too many – who were concerned about us defrauding the public, and that the favorite wasn't going to do well. Ninety percent of the people thought it was a good idea and were willing to try it. It was contested like a normal race. There was a lot of movement, which was good to see."

The race was for non-winners of $3,501 in their last five starts and featured, with the exception of nine-year-old Barbs Bullet, horses ages three to six. Looselipssinkships, a five-year-old gelding, was driven by Indiana Downs' leading reinsman, Trace Tetrick.

"Every horse has their own way of going, and how much encouragement they need," Tetrick said. "The field they had was a good bunch of horses for that trial. It all depends on the class of horse you're driving and their mentality. A lot of horses, you don't have to hit them, you just have to show (the whip) to them. You just have to tap them. You can tell if a horse is going to take off or not."

Tetrick carried a whip for safety reasons, noting it might have been useful if a horse made a break or tried to wheel on him. "Overall, the race was a success," he added.

Mark O'Mara, who is second to Tetrick in the drivers' standings at Indiana Downs, finished eighth in the race.

"I think the best horse won the event and the rest of us were chasing second prize," O'Mara said. "It was something different to try to see how it went. Most of the horses traveled near where they had been going. It was a novelty; not good or bad, just that it went."

O'Mara went onto the track without a whip.

"I figured I'd get caught up in the heat of the action and do something," he said. "It felt a little naked not having it."

There are no immediate plans to contest another whipless race.

"This year? Probably not," Peine said. "It was more of a novelty, but it was still pretty interesting to see the end result."

(HRC)


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