After being sent off as the 1-5 post-time favorite, Always A Prince, with Trace Tetrick in the bike, continued his divisional dominance in the 3-year-old pacing colt ranks, winning with authority in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Friday at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino.
With the win, Always A Prince scored his second consecutive victory and made a clean sweep of the fourth round of stakes action.
Tetrick wasted no time and sent Always A Prince right to the front from post three and easily grabbed the lead. With the first quarter in :26.2 and the half in :53.2, Michael Oosting and Too Hot To Stop took the pocket seat while the rest of the field waited to take aim at the leader.
Once the pacers hit the third quarter with Always A Prince still leading in 1:20.4, the Ron Burke trainee GD Western Joe and driver John DeLong were the first to commit to the outer flow and were on the attack first-over.
As the field turned for home, the top pair were battling it out but Always A Prince ultimately prevailed, gliding across the wire in 1:49.1. GD Western Joe held on gamely for second while Rockin Speed with LeWayne Miller closed hard for third. Always A Prince paid $2.40 to win for his backers at the betting windows.
"He’s better off on the front but I just let Trace do his thing," trainer Tyler George noted after the victory. "The horse has great mannerisms and he’s all business. We plan to keep him here for the rest of the stakes season and maybe look at a few of the Grand Circuit races at the end of the year."
With the victory, Always A Prince brought his lifetime purse earnings to $187,500 for owners Carl L. and Melanie D. Atley. Unraced as a 2-year-old, the son of Always A Virgin—Glorious Princess has now won 13 of his 16 lifetime starts. The victory was also one of five winners on the evening’s 13-race card for Hoosier Park’s leading driver Trace Tetrick and one of two winners for trainer Tyler George. (Hoosier Park)