$75,000 Indiana finals held at Hoosier
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Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes-filled card on Tuesday, August 2, and it was an evening ruled by favorites The 14-race card featured five of the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the two and three-year-old divisions and the post time favorite delivered in all five divisions. This marked the third round of the $75,000 finals for the three-year-old competitors and the second round of $75,000 finals for the freshman competitors.
Fresh off a convincing win the Indiana Sires Stakes elimination action last week by four and a half lengths, Firstup and Jason Dillander turned in another dominant performance to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing fillies in 1:54. In near gate to wire fashion, Firstup was eased off the gate to settle along the rail in third before ranging up to take the lead. She dictated middle fractions of :28, :57.2, and 1:26.4 before cruising to the wire under a hand drive. Using a :27.1 final quarter, Firstup finished three lengths in front of Always Giggling and Andy Shetler. As the heavy betting favorite, Firstup returned $4.40 at the betting windows.
Trained by Robert Taylor, the two-year-old daughter of Rockin Image-Sand Pleasure notched her third consecutive Hoosier Park victory and third lifetime victory from six starts. Owned by Bumkum Valley Stable, Mack Racing Stables, and D. Riccolo, Firstup has now earned $60,000 lifetime.
Not to be outdone by her 2-year-old counterpart, Seventimesavirgin also turned in a gutsy victory to score her fourth consecutive victory at Hoosier Park, tonight in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Driven and trained by John DeLong, Seventimesavirgin benefitted from a pocket trip to score in 1:50.2, a new lifetime best performance.
Rockalina and Mike Peterson dictated fractions of :26.1, :55.1 and 1:23.1 while DeLong waited patiently in the pocket. As the field turned for home, the fractions began to take its toll on the leader and DeLong gave Seventimesavirgin the green light. She exploded with a :26.4 final quarter to finish five lengths in front of Can't Touch This and Eric Goodell. As the 3/5 post time favorite, Seventimesavirgin returned $3.20 to her backers at the betting windows.
"She's been so great," DeLong noted in the winner's circle. "She loves pacing home and the trips have worked out for us these last few starts. It's been a lot of fun."
Owned by Jesse DeLong, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Mrs Grant Seven notched her seventh victory of the season from eight starts and is undefeated in three $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for three-year-old pacing fillies this season. Seventimesavirgin has now amassed $229,740 lifetime while winning 12 of 20 lifetime outings.
Fly Jesse Fly didn't disappoint as the post time favorite as he went gate to wire in his assignment in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, stopping the timer in 1:53.3.
Fly Jesse Fly and Trace Tetrick used their customary front-running tactics to dictate fractions of :28.1, :57.2, and 1:25.1 before ever feeling a threat. Bridge To Jesse's and John DeLong were applying pressure to the outside as the field straightened away for home but Fly Jesse Fly didn't waiver. Bridge To Jesse's made a costly break late in the lane and Fly Jesse Fly coasted home to win by two lengths. The Ron Otto trainee returned $3 for the victory.
"He's a very nice horse," Otto noted in the winner's circle. "He takes great care of himself, he practically trains himself. He rests when he needs to rest and is all business when he needs to be. He's been a pleasure to have in the barn."
With the win, Fly Jesse Fly notched his seventh win from 11 starts while pushing his seasonal earnings to $139,962. Owned by Robert Sidley and James Otto, the gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse-Flying Rae has now won 10 of 24 lifetime outings.
The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings was up next and after an eventful mile, it was Rock N Tony and Trace Tetrick who delivered as the 6-5 post time favorite, winning in a new lifetime best of 1:52.3.
On The Virg, driven by Eric Goodell, and Man of Excess, driven by Brandon Bates were the early breakers and scattered the field through the early stages of the race. Rock N Tony was third along the rail through the opening panel in :27 but Tetrick was unwilling to take any chances and sent his colt to the front. Rock N Tony grabbed the lead just past the half in :56.2 but Unofficial Business and Tyler Smith were quickly applying pressure to the outside.
As the rest of the field closed in, Tetrick asked Rock N Tony for more and he responded gamely with a :27.2 closing quarter to get the victory by two lengths. Beckhams Z Tam and Ricky Macomber Jr. finished a game second while Ponda's Prospect and John DeLong rallied nicely to finish third.
Trained by Erv Miller, Rock N Tony notched his third lifetime victory from four outings. The gelded son of Rockin Image-Pandemonious has now earned $63,500 for owners Anthony Lombardi and Rocco Ruffolo.
The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings rounded out the stakes action for the evening and produced an exciting stretch duel won by the heavy post time favorite Bourbon Chase and Dan Shetler. The 1:50.3 victory was not only the second consecutive Hoosier Park victory for Bourbon Chase, but also a new lifetime mark.
LeWayne Miller sent Mystical Rock away from the gate firing to set the early tempo of :25.4. Shetler made his game winning move down the backside as Bourbon Chase grabbed command just past the half in :54.3 and never looked back. As the field turned for home, Enoch and Terry Cullipher were gaining ground first-over on the outside while Duel of Truth and John DeLong were also a staging a big rally in the passing lane. Using a :27.4 final quarter, Bourbon Chase withstood all challengers to get the victory by a half length.
"I always knew he was a nice colt," Shetler noted in the winner's circle. "Maybe not this nice, but he's always been a good colt. He's still very green but he just keeps getting better with every start. He's getting race smart and has a lot of ability."
Owned by Kristin Shetler and Dan Shetler, the three-year-old gelded son of Palone Ranger-Stonebridge Beauty has now won seven of nine lifetime starts. Unraced at two, Bourbon Chase has now earned $101,350 lifetime.
Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, August 3 with a 14-race card that will feature two $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the two-year-old trotters. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. (Hoosier Park)