Overcoming a tough, first-over trip, Fusion Man pulled the slight upset in the co-featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Invitational Trot, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday. Guided by regular driver Tyler Smith, Fusion Man proved game in the stretch as he was able to get up in the final strides in 1:53.
Leaving from post four, Fusion Man left just enough to secure an early position along the rail in third while Martz Time and Trace Tetrick used their customary tactics and quickly grabbed the front. Somebody As and Brad Hanners were well placed in the pocket through the opening panel in :27. The heavily favored, Summer Indian and Ricky Macomber Jr. were uninvolved in the early stages of the race and were along the rail in sixth.
Martz Time continued to call the shots down the backside through the second split in :55.4 but were soon pressed by Fusion Man on the outside. LeWayne Miller had Banker Volo well placed second-over while the field began to tighten approaching the final turn.
The stage was set for the stretch battle to the wire as Martz Time and Fusion Man were neck and neck at the third station in 1:24.2. As the field turned for home, Martz Time appeared to be up to the task but Fusion Man wasn't finished.
Tyler Smith asked his mount for more and Fusion Man responded gamely with a :28.2 closing quarter to finish two lengths to the good. Summer Indian rallied late in the stretch for second place honors while Banker Volo also closed well to finish third. As the publics' fourth choice, Fusion Man returned $10 at the window.
The 1:53 score was a seasonal best effort for the 5-year-old son of Valley Victor-Classical Girl and just two-fifths off the track record at Hoosier Park for older horses on the trot. Fusion Man has now won three of nine seasonal outings and 13 of 45 lifetime starts. Trained by Jeff Smith, Fusion Man has now earned $389,727 for his connections of Tdtrot LLC. (Hoosier Park)