It's A Herbie edges Swandre The Giant in INSS
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Sophomore trotting colts and geldings took to the track in Indiana Sires Stakes action on Thursday at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. In the sixth leg two $46,500 divisions brought heart-charging performances from lukewarm favorites Martini Show and It’s A Herbie.
The first division brought a gate-to-wire victory from three-way favorite Martini Show with Sam Widger. The duo stopped the clock in 1:54.3 to take home his first Indiana Sires Stakes win of the season.
From the start of the race, Martini Show took the lead from the outside post six, while Sign Here N Here with Brandon Bates trailed closely behind. The horses recorded opening fractions of :28.2 and :58.2, with the leaders unchallenged and Dg’s Caviar with Andy Shetler sitting in third.
Just after the third quarter in 1:27, the field began to open up. Martini Show began moved toward the grandstand side, seeming to open up the race for the now fast-charging Sign Here N Here. In a tight finish, Martini Show reached the wire first with Sign Here N Here finishing second while Dg’s Caviar held on for third. Martini Show paid $6 to win for his backers at the betting windows.
“He’s good gaited and is a good size,” driver Widger noted in the winner’s circle. “He likes when he gets his way, but it doesn’t really matter to him. He can race fast fractions or slow fractions.”
Martini Show, a son of Swan For All-Barmaid, was bred by Steven Mast and has now won five of 24 lifetime starts. He now sports a lifetime bankroll of $160,890 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher. Cullipher also trains Martini Show.
The second division placed 2018 Indiana Sires Stakes Super final winner It’s A Herbie with Verlin Yoder in the spotlight. The previous year’s rivalry between It’s A Herbie and Swandre The Giant was put to the test, but it was It’s A Herbie that came out ahead again in 1:54.1.
The betting public was backing Swandre The Giant with Ricky Macomber Jr., so it was no surprise that he went straight to the front when the wings of the gate opened. Swan On A Mission with John De Long followed in second while Lite Years Away with Rick Plano took the third spot. The colts remained in straight formation through the first quarter in :28, with the leaders unchallenged through the half in :57.2.
The field opened up a bit just after the third quarter in 1:26.2 when Swan On A Mission made a costly break and It’s A Herbie made his move for the lead. With a final quarter of :27, It’s A Herbie dug in gamely and launched himself ahead of Swandre The Giant, leaving his rival in second by a head. Wow Lester with Trace Tetrick rallied for third. It’s A Herbie paid $4.
“There isn’t really a way he races best,” said owner/driver/trainer Yoder. “He just loves to fight and win a race.”
It’s A Herbie is the son of Here Comes Herbie-Psychic Image and was bred by David Schmucker. He has won 10 of 20 lifetime starts and boasts a lifetime bankroll of $389,125. (Hoosier Park)