River Otter upsets at 11-1 in $75k Indiana final
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River Otter used a strong stretch rally to pull the 11-1 upset in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 15. Skillfully driven by Robert Taylor, who also does the training duties, River Otter avoided early traffic issues to stop the timer in 1:58.1 and record a new lifetime best in the process.
Ricky Macomber Jr. sent Starlit Senditback away with the wings of the gate to grab the early lead in :27.1 with Uncle Leo and Doug Rideout grabbing the pocket seat. Taylor had River Otter well placed along the rail in fifth while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Brandon Bates had Mr Quaker up to engage the leader at the half mile mark in :58.2 and the top duo was matching strides through the three-quarter clocking in 1:28.3.
With the field beginning to tighten, Taylor had River Otter in perfect striking position second-over as they turned for home. Starlit Senditback began to tire on the front and Taylor tipped River Otter to the outside. Utilizing a :29 final quarter, River Otter trotted strongly on to the wire and held off a late charge from the heavy betting favorite, Skyway Torpedo and Peter Wrenn.
After experiencing traffic issues for much of the mile, Skyway Torpedo rallied gamely late in the lane but had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and was forced to settle for second place honors. Uncle Leo utilized a ground saving trip to round out the trifecta. Slightly dismissed at the betting windows, River Otter returned $25.20 to his backers.
"He’s been a nice colt from day one," Taylor noted after the victory. "He was a little sick last week in his elimination and he also got a little aggressive so we had to re-rig him going into this week. He responded well to the equipment changes and was really sharp tonight."
The rookie son of Mr Cantab-Cq Yankee recorded his second victory from three lifetime outings. With the win, River Otter has now earned $44,100 in lifetime purse earnings for owners Taylor Racing Stables, K. Schenk, and Bumkum Valley Stables. (Hoosier)