Driver Corey Callahan made his first trip to Indiana a memorable one, winning Indiana’s richest harness race with Mr. Wiggles in the $500,000 Hoosier Cup at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino Saturday, May 30. The duo completed the one-mile event in a time of 1:52.1, which was held for the first time during the afternoon in the 13-year history of the stake.
Starting from the extreme outside post nine, Callahan rallied out quickly with Mr. Wiggles with hopes of getting a good position early. However, several others had the same intentions. There were four leaders before the halfway mark of the race in a time of :54.2. Mr Wiggles was the eventual leader after the initial charge for the lead. Once he had reached the top, he was able to fend off the remainder of the 12-horse field.
“I was content to find a seat, but there was a lot of action early,” said Callahan. “I cleared earlier than normal. But George (Teague) and I talked about it before the race. If I had gotten away 12th, it would have been hard to make up ground and I wouldn’t have gotten anything, so I decided to leave out of there and take my chances.”
In the stretch, Mr Wiggles led the way and fans watched as the field fanned across the track for the stretch drive home. Several horses had an opportunity to overtake Mr Wiggles, but he would not back down, rolling home for the victory by a three-length margin. Entry mate Chasin Racin and Hoosier Park’s leading driver Peter Wrenn closed in well for second. Nob Hill High and Aaron Merriman, the leading driver in the country for wins in 2009, finished third.
“I was kind of out there alone,” said Callahan, who recently scored his 1,000th career win. “I could hear them coming, but I just wanted to get to the wire as fast as I could. I didn’t look back. This horse (Mr Wiggles) has a good late kick. He didn’t want to give up.”
Mr Wiggles now has four wins in seven starts for 2009. The three-year-old Badlands Hanover colt more than doubled his career earnings, boosting his total to more than $400,000 for owners Elmer Fannin and George Teague Jr., who also serves as the trainer for Mr Wiggles. The tandem of Fannin and Teague also own Chasin Racin, the second place finisher in the race. Teague has a third entrant in the race, Barber Pole, who finished fourth.
“Coming out here today, I thought either one of my horses (Mr Wiggles or Chasin Racin) had a shot at winning,” said Fannin, a developer and home builder from Lincoln, Dela. “I try to go watch them as much as I can. Both of these horses along with my other three-year-old, Johnny Z, are all eligible to the North America Cup. We’d like to head up there next for that.” (Hoosier Park)