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Indiana stars aim for Super Finals, then Breeders Crown

October 14, 2020
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Odds On Osiris will try to repeat as an Indiana Sires Stakes champion Friday at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, where success could propel him to the Breeders Crown a week later when the event returns to Hoosier for the second time in four years.

A multiple Grand Circuit stakes winner in his career, Odds On Osiris topped this season’s Indiana Sires Stakes standings for 3-year-old male pacers thanks to three wins and two seconds in the series. He heads to the final off back-to-back ISS victories, including a career-best 1:49.3 score last week at Hoosier. It was his first race since Sept. 18.

“I thought he felt pretty good,” driver Peter Wrenn said. “He handled that pretty easily. But it’s racing and (Friday) is not going to be easy. Hopefully, the end result is good. He’s a very nice horse. If everything goes right, he’s got this week and if he comes out of it all right, we’ve got the Breeders Crown.

“The only problem is I don’t have enough of them (like him),” he added, laughing. “Other than that, everything is perfect.”

Odds On Osiris has won four of eight races this year and earned $249,780. He won the Carl Milstein Memorial in August and has been off the board only once, when started in the second tier and was fourth in the North America Cup final despite a :26.3 final quarter that was at least four-fifths of a second faster than the horses that finished ahead of him.

“I thought he raced really well up there,” said Wrenn, who watched Sylvain Filion drive the gelding in Canada because of international travel restrictions related to the covid-19 pandemic. “He was charging at the end. That’s just part of racing.”

For his career, Odds On Osiris has won 11 of 18 races and $593,675. He is trained by Wrenn’s wife, Melanie.

“It’s quite a transition from (age) 2 to 3 and not all horses step up to the plate,” Peter Wrenn said. “He did. I couldn’t be any happier with him.”

Another horse looking to repeat as an Indiana Sires Stakes champion is 3-year-old female trotter Rock Swan. The Erv Miller-trained filly has won five of 10 races this season and hit the board in every start despite battling foot issues. She competed in all seven preliminary legs of the sire stakes, posting four victories and three seconds.

For her career, she has won 14 of 21 races and been worse than second only once.

“We’ve been playing with her shoes to get her a little better and hopefully she’ll be on key,” Miller said. “She trained really nice (Tuesday) morning. Hopefully, she’ll be good to go on Friday night and then move on to the Breeders Crown. She’s got May Baby to beat and she hasn’t beaten her in their last couple starts. Hopefully, she’ll be a little better Friday.”

May Baby, a Breeders Crown finalist in 2019 after finishing second to Rock Swan in the Indiana championship, has won six of nine races this year and brings a three-race win streak to Friday’s start. She equaled the Hoosier Park track record for a 3-year-old trotting filly, 1:52.2, in her most recent triumph.

“She’s in top form,” said James Yoder, who trains and drives the filly. “Hopefully, she will stay like that for the next several weeks. Three more weeks like that would be OK with me.

“I’ve been pretty happy with her year. We had some foot issues (in August) and it took a few weeks to figure it out. It’s been smooth sailing since then.”

Yoder also hopes to send Katkin American, an Indiana Sires Stakes finalist in the event for older male trotters, to the Breeders Crown. The 5-year-old gelding, a Hoosier track-record-setter at 3 who missed his entire 4-year-old season, has been lightly raced due to injuries. He has 11 wins and eight seconds in 20 career starts.

“We’ve been aiming him for October,” Yoder said. “We’ve been aiming for it all year.”

Miller, too, has additional Breeders Crown hopefuls, including Swift Swanda. She has won five of nine races this year and topped the ISS standings for 2-year-old filly trotters.

“She’s a big, strong filly,” Miller said. “She’s just a little immature still this year. She just needs to mature. I think she’ll make a great 3-year-old.”

Other Indiana Sires Stakes finalists eligible to the Breeders Crown include 2-year-old male pacers JK Going West, Brookview Bullet, and Virgo; 2-year-old filly pacer Somethingbeautiful; 2-year-old male trotter Brookview Bolt; 3-year-old filly pacer Priceless; 3-year-old male trotters Swan In Motion and Emma Town Bud; older mare trotters Compelling, Custom Cantab, and Grand Swan; older mare pacer Rockin Nola; older male trotters Bridge To Jesse’s, Fiftydallarbill, and It’s A Herbie; and older male pacer Little Rocket Man.

Fiftydallarbill was a Breeders Crown champion at age 2, in 2017 at Hoosier Park. He was one of three Indiana stars, with Hannelore Hanover and Beckhams Z Tam, to win a Breeders Crown that year at Hoosier.

This year’s Breeders Crown eliminations will be Oct. 23 and Oct. 24. The finals for 2 year olds will be Oct. 30 and the remaining finals will be Oct. 31.

“I think there will be a lot more local trainers enter this year than the first time (the Breeders Crown) was here,” Yoder said. “I think a lot of them noticed how good the Indiana-breds did the first time and I think a lot more nominated into it this year knowing it was going to be at Hoosier again.” (Ken Weingartner/USTA)

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