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Homicide Hunter To ‘Knock Off’ Rivals?

Published: November 6, 2015 12:12 pm ET

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Despite the fact that trotting gelding Homicide Hunter tasted defeat for the first time as a three-year-old last week, owner Dr. Patrick Graham and trainer Curt Grummel are brimming with confidence heading into Saturday’s American National at Balmoral Park, as they will be returning to their ‘home base.’

After having stepped into Open company and having finished a close up second behind Crazy Wow in last week’s Carl Erskine at Hoosier Park, the son of Mr Cantab renewed his camp’s enthusiasm in their Indiana-bred champion.

“We were extremely happy with the way he raced against some of the best trotters in the country in the Erskine,” said Grummel. “It cost us $20,000 to supplement to that race and we wound up earning around $68,000, so we figured we’d roll the dice right back and supplement him to the American National.”

So another cheque was cut, this time for $21,000, to make him eligible to the richest race on Balmoral’s Saturday night card.

“Even though we felt he had a bit of a home-field edge at Hoosier because he had raced there so much and he put together those 16 straight wins this year on that track, he may have an even bigger advantage here at Balmoral,” Grummel chuckled. “This is where he’s been based at, this is where he trained down at to get ready for this year, and this is where he qualified at, so, really, this is home for him.”

Up until having tasted defeat for the first time in last week’s battle, there had been 75 trotters in North America that had won 10 races or more in 2015, but only Homicide Hunter was still toting around a perfect record. Despite that win streak having come to an end, his conditioner was still in good spirits heading into Saturday’s American National.

“That win streak was not that big of a deal to me,” Grummel said. “He really dominated the Indiana-bred ranks, but when you have to go up against the horses he faced last week and the ones he’ll be up against on Saturday night, it’s an entirely different world.”

Grummel said that Dr. Graham did not hesitate to put up another large sum of money to make Homicide Hunter eligible to Saturday night’s battle.

“He came out of the Hoosier race in very good shape, so we’re going to hope to get our supplement money back, and then some,” Grummel laughed. “He’s been unbelievably sound and healthy his entire career and we are not hard on him at all. He basically gets no training between starts, only his usual light jogging and he seems to enjoy the routine we’ve got him on.”

Homicide Hunter, who is the first foal out of the mare Evening Prayer, will enter Saturday’s American National with and an eye-catching record of 19-3-3 from 27 lifetime starts, with earnings of nearly $540,000.

(Balmoral Park)


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