Cross doubles up in Indiana Sires Stakes action
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Who’s Unreal and driver Jay Cross chose all the right moves to win the $150,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Championship Saturday, July 11 at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. The three-year-old trotting gelding earned a new lifetime mark of 1:58.1 for the event.
Starting from post five, Cross placed Who’s Unreal in the two-hole heading to the first turn as ABCDE and Dan Shetler passed by the quarter-mile marker in a time of :28.2. LW Smarty Jones and Mark O’Mara made a quick move to the lead at the halfway mark, setting the time at :59.1. The change at the top left Cross with a decision to make.
“I pulled him (Who’s Unreal) on the last turn because I thought I was going to get locked in behind Ricky,” said Cross. “Earlier in the week, I had to make a choice between Who’s Unreal and LW Smarty Jones as to which one to drive. But, I did think that Dan’s horse (ABCDE) was the horse to beat in this race and the race set up the way I had thought it would.”
Cross endured the outside lane around the final turn, but Who’s Unreal was sitting in perfect position at the head of the lane. In the stretch, the son of Prague pulled away from the pack and coasted to a four and three-quarter win, earning his third win of the season in six outings. I’llshowuhow and Brandon Bates closed well for second over ABCDE, who held on for third.
Who’s Unreal, unraced at two, is owned and trained by Dennis Putman of Van Wert, Ohio. He now has nearly $100,000 in career earnings after his championship victory.
Cross was also victorious in another $150,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final, winning the three-year-old trotting filly division with JRs Star. Cross sat patiently in the third position around the track as Primetime Patsy and Ricky Macomber established the tempo of the race.
In the stretch, JRs Star had the best stride late, grabbing the win by a one-half length over stablemate ABC EZ Credit and Dan Shetler in a time of 1:58.2. Primetime Patsy held on gamely for third.
JRs Star earned only her second win of the season in the championship round. The daughter of New and Notable now has in excess of $120,000 in career earnings. She also recorded a new lifetime best with the effort for Verlin Yoder of Columbia City, Ind., who owns and trains. (Hoosier Park)