EJ\'s Copperstone, Alexabeth victorious in ISS action
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The heavily-favored EJ’s Copperstone, controlled by Don Irvine Jr., lived up to the hype by finishing three and one-quarter lengths ahead of the small field of five in the three-year-old Indiana Sires Stakes for fillies at Hoosier Park Friday, May 30. She clocked in at 1:55.2 to win the $12,000 purse and stay undefeated in three starts this season.
Savannah’s Love and leading driver Trace Tetrick fired out of the gate first. EJ’s Copperstone took the lead off the quarter-mile mark in :28.2. Savannah’s Love moved into the pocket seat to wait as the pace quickened.
EJ’s Copperstone, comfortable in front, led the rest of the way through middle fractions of :58.2 and 1:27.3. Savannah’s Love challenged in the stretch, but EJ’s Copperstone received a tap from Irvine Jr. and she opened up for a surge to the finish, leaving the rest of the field behind.
“I wasn’t too worried about her (Savanna’s Love) in the stretch,” Irvine Jr. said. “She only got to my wheel and that’s about it.”
Savanna’s Love finished second. Lightning Lil and Ricky Macomber Jr., 2007 leading driver at Hoosier Park, held steady for third.
EJ’s Copperstone remains undefeated going three for three this year. She is owned by L. J. Stone and Phillip M. Hawk of Gaston, Ind. Steve Gray trains.
Charging down the stretch, Alexabeth, guided by Ricky Macomber Jr., won the third leg of the Indiana Sires Stakes in a time of 1:55.2. This year, Alexabeth has finished in the top three in all seven races including three first place finishes.
Out of the gate, Alexabeth took an early lead with Tootin Hanny, driven by Neil Coleman, and LBs Scootin Coffee, managed by Don Irvine Jr., pursuing. At the quarter-mile mark in :28.1, Alexabeth still controlled the top position.
Nearing the halfway mark in a time of :58.0, Alexabeth continued as the leader. Reaching the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.4, Alexabeth held onto the lead, with Our Dear Nicole, controlled by Don Eash, fast approaching.
In the stretch, Our Dear Nicole and Tootin Hanny looked to slide into position to contend for the lead. With the finish in her sight, Alexabeth raced to victory by more than four-lengths between her and the field. Tootin Hanny finished second while Dark Traveler, commanded by Brad Hanners, rounded out the top three.
“When up in front, she (Alexabeth) was relaxed and easy to drive,” Macomber Jr. said. “I felt comfortable with the lead halfway down the lane.”
Owned by Frank D. Baldachino, of Clarksburg, NJ, Alexabeth increased her career earnings to over $40,000. She returned $3.40, $2.20, and $2.10 for her latest performance. She is trained by Mickey Burke.
The fourth leg of the three-year-old Indiana Sires Stakes for filly pacers is set for Friday, June 13. The estimated $100,000 final is scheduled for Saturday, June 28 at Hoosier Park during Hoosier Cup Night. The evening will include the $500,000-est. Hoosier Cup and purses will exceed $1 million. (Hoosier Park)