Freshman trotting colts were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals on Tuesday.
After a costly break in the first $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final at Hoosier Park, Airman Batten and LeWayne Miller rebounded nicely to score in 1:57 and make a clean sweep of the second round of the stakes action. Last week, Airman Batten made quick work of his $20,000 elimination to score in 2:00.3 and secure his spot in the $75,000 final.
In a field ruled by miscues, Airman Batten was eased off the gate this week from post six to settle along the rail in fifth while the field sorted out early positions. Summit City Nate and Sam Widger were the quickest off the gate and dictated early fractions of :27.4 and :58.3. Victory Blitz and Andy Shetler were well placed in the pocket while Homicide Hunter and John DeLong followed intently in third.
Summit City Nate continued to call the shots down the backside but yielded the lead to Homicide Hunter at third station in 1:28.1. With most of the field breaking stride, it was a four horse race to the finish with Homicide Hunter leading the charge.
Using a :28.2 final quarter, Airman Batten saved his best for last as he staged a big rally late in the lane to wear down the tiring leader. Homicide Hunter trotted evenly to finish second while Summit City Nate held on gamely to round out the trifecta. As the 6-5 favorite, Airman Batten returned $4.60 to his backers at the window.
Trained by Erv Miller, the son of Swan For All-Ladylike Volo has now won three of four career starts. Airman Batten set a lifetime record with the 1:57 score and has now amassed $66,500 for his connections of Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman, and Greg Gillis.
With the win, Airman Batten also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for Oct. 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals. (Hoosier Park)