Indiana-sired 2-year-old trotters were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday as the evening's 14-race card was highlighted by a pair of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the freshman trotters.
Swandre The Giant and driver, trainer Brandon Bates continued their winning ways in the second round of stakes action as they scored their fifth consecutive victory, this time in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. After scoring handily in his elimination last week, Swandre The Giant was another open length winner scoring in a new lifetime best of 1:54.2 over a track rated good.
Sent off as the 1-9 favorite, Swandre The Giant left alertly from post six but would grab a pocket seat behind Lite Years Away and LeWayne Miller. Lite Years Away dictated first half fractions of :27.1 and :56.2 while Swandre The Giant waited patiently in the pocket.
Lite Years Away continued to call the shots reaching the third station in 1:26.3 but Bates gave Swandre The Giant the green light and he ranged up and was matching strides with the leader turning for home. Utilizing a :27.3 final panel, Swandre The Giant was able to track down Lite Years Away and hold off a late surge from It's a Herbie and Verlin Yoder to get the win by nearly two lengths.
"That's kind of what expected as far as the trip is concerned," Bates noted after the victory. "That other horse showed early speed and he (Swandre The Giant) trains off a helmet at home. He just has unbelievable manners, he will let you do anything you want with him—he's a professional in every sense of the word."
With the win, Swandre The Giant remains undefeated in five starts this season. Owned by Panic Stable, T. Ehardt, B.Hochman, R. Barone, the son of Swan For All-Adagio has now amassed an even $100,000 in lifetime purse earnings.
Grand Swan and LeWayne Miller followed suit and continued their winning ways in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for 2-year-old trotting fillies, scoring in 1:55.4. With the win, Grand Swan made a clean sweep of the second round of the stakes action and recorded fourth consecutive victory.
Leaving from the trailing position, post ten, Grand Swan was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in sixth. Ricky Macomber Jr. had the post time favorite, Measuredperfection, pointed to the front and she quickly grabbed command from post nine.
Measuredperfection clicked off fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:27.2 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Savannah's Lucy and Andy Shetler were the first to commit to the outer flow with Grand Swan in tow.
As the field turned for home, Miller tipped Grand Swan out from behind cover but Measuredperfection appeared to be up to the task. Grand Swan dug in gamely late in the mile and took advantage of a costly break by Measuredperfection to coast on to the wire six lengths in front of Tatiana Romanova and John DeLong. As the betting publics' second choice, Grand Swan returned $5.40 to her backers at the betting windows.
"The race didn't work out exactly like I thought so we had to go to plan b," trainer, driver LeWayne Miller noted in the winner's circle. "I thought we had too much ground to make up turning for home but as soon as I asked her she found another gear."
With the win, the daughter of Swan For All-Queen Mum recorded her fourth seasonal win from six lifetime outings. The 1:55.4 clocking established a new lifetime best for Grand Swan as she pushed her career earnings to $97,625 for owners Grand Swan Racing, Go Fast Stable, and Leslie G. Cahn. (Hoosier Park)