May Baby noses out Rock Swan in battle of Indiana stars
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Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino hosted the first stakes event of the 2020 live racing season on Wednesday with the $33,000 Star Destroyer Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies highlighting the evening’s 14-race card.
As the top 2-year-old trotting fillies in the Hoosier state last season, Rock Swan and May Baby picked up right where they left off and renewed their rivalry in the first starts of their 3-year-old campaigns. May Baby, with trainer James Yoder in the bike, utilized a pocket trip to get up in the final strides of the mile and put a nose in front of Rock Swan and Trace Tetrick. The fillies hit the line together in 1:52.3 and just missed the track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Hoosier Park by one fifth of a second.
Leaving from post five in an abbreviated field of five, Tetrick sent Rock Swan to the front and she quickly grabbed command through the opening panel in :27.2. May Baby was content to grab the pocket seat while Shape Shifter and Peter Wrenn were next in line third. Rock Swan clicked off fractions of :56.2 and 1:25 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field.
As the field turned for home, Yoder tipped May Baby out from the pocket and the stage was set for a battle to the wire. The two fillies matched strides down the long Hoosier Park stretch and neither appeared willing to accept defeat. Ultimately, May Baby prevailed in a tight photo and established a new lifetime best in the process. May Baby returned $3.40 to her backers for the victory.
With the win, May Baby pushed her lifetime bankroll to $241,990 and has now won seven of 11 of her lifetime outings. The daughter of Guccio-Free Wheeling is owned by Cheyenne Yoder and was bred by Oakwood Farms. May Baby is expected to make her next start in the opening round of Indiana Sires Stakes action for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Wednesday, July 1.
Live racing action continues at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Thursday, June 24 with a 14-race card featuring the $20,000 Cliff Booth Pacing Series final and the $20,000 Rick Dalton Pacing Series final. The Star Destroyer Stakes will return to Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday, June 25 with two $20,000 divisions for 3-year-old pacing colts and one $30,000 division for 3-year-old pacing fillies on the evening’s 14-race card. (Hoosier Park)