The seventh annual Charlie Hill Memorial Trot gathers seven top trotting horses at Eldorado Scioto Downs on Thursday (May 6). The Ron Burke trained Mission Accepted is the 9-5 morning line favourite, however don’t discount Whata Swan, who was supplemented to the event.
The connections of 18 horses paid the $500 nomination fee to be made eligible to the $135,000 race for four-year-old and older trotters, but per the conditions, a horse not nominated by March 15 could be supplemented at the time of entry for $10,000. And owner John Barnard of Miami, Fla. took the plunge.
“He’s had six starts this year and he’s been racing in the open at Hoosier Park,” said Barnard about the Swan For All stallion who has taken a mark of 1:52.4 both last year and this year at Hoosier. “Based on his performance I decided to give him a shot there at Scioto. I figured it would be a good test for him and let him go against some tougher competition.“
As the second choice at 3-1 on the morning line, it seems like a good gamble for Barnard, regular pilot Trace Tetrick and trainer Luis Quevedo. Barnard is also the owner of Fiftydallarbill, a son of Swan For All who earned more than $1 million by winning such events as the Breeders Crown for two-year-olds and the Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final for three-year-olds.
Barnard purchased Whata Swan from the Michiana Classic Yearling Sale in Nov. 2017 for $39,000. Whata Swan was the first foal out of the Lous Legacy mare Tanyas Legacy, and Barnard has purchased each foal since out of that mare at the yearling sales.
“I liked him (Whata Swan) and I’ve got another Swan full sister of his—she got injured as a 2-year-old, so I’m breeding her this year,” Barnard said. “The (current) two-year-old (out of that mare), she’s in training right now and I think she’ll be a racehorse.
“I tried to talk the breeder into giving me the mare since I’ve bought all of her foals.”
So far the investment is paying off. In four racing seasons, Whata Swan has earned $274,523, with $44,600 of that earned this year in six starts going into Thursday’s race.
“He (Luis) has done a good job with the horse,” Barnard said. “Luis has been with me through William Crone; last year was the first year Luis was a trainer on his own. They both (Trace and Luis) are doing a good job with him.”
Besides Whata Swan and Mission Accepted, the compact field of seven includes Guardian Angel As, who will start from the outside post in his seasonal debut. The earner of more than $1.4 million sits at 9-2 on the morning line for trainer Anette Lorentzon.
The Charlie Hill Memorial Trot will go off as Race 9 on Thursday evening’s 11-race card. As part of Caesar’s Entertainment’s commitment to integrity, all entrants must be in detention six hours prior to the advertised post time of the race.
Scioto Downs offers free programs online for each live racing card, as well as qualifiers, and nightly wagers that include the Player’s Pick-5, with takeout at 14 percent, and the Pick 6, with a 15 percent takeout. The Superfecta, Super High 5, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 5 races all have 100 percent carryovers into the next race of that wager.
Live racing is held at Eldorado Scioto Downs each Tuesday-Saturday through Saturday (Sept. 18). Special cards will be held on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.