Wisdom Tree returned to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and continued her winning ways in the $142,000 Nadia Lobell Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Friday. With Sam Widger in the bike, Wisdom Tree turned in a sharp, front-running effort to stop the timer in 1:49.4 and establish a new track record for sophomore pacing fillies in the process.
The previous record of 1:50.1 was established in 2016 by Rockalina and driver Mike Peterson.
Widger had the heavy 3-5 favorite firing away with the wings of the gate but Ricky Macomber Jr. and Strong Opinion were a step quicker and grabbed the early lead through the opening panel in a snappy :25.3. Wisdom Tree was second but not for long. Widger gave her the green light as the field approached the half and she quickly grabbed command before the second station in :53.3. Michael Oosting and Double A Mint were next in line third and would begin the long, first-over attack just before the three-quarters in 1:21.4. The blazing speed continued but Wisdom Tree appeared strong on the front.
Double A Mint was matching strides with the leader but Wisdom Tree wasn’t going down without a fight. Utilizing a :28 final panel, Wisdom Tree was able to put away Double A Mint to finish 1-1/2 lengths to the good. Reign On Me and LeWayne Miller utilized a ground saving trip to rally for third place honors. Wisdom Tree returned $3.40 to her backers at the betting windows.
"It was a little fast to the half," Widger noted in the winner’s circle. "Looking at the program, I thought we were the best in the race and she has always been strong on the front. She’s a really nice filly who knows her work. She just goes out there and does her job."
Trained by Jeff Cullipher, who co-owns with Thomas Pollack, Wisdom Tree scored her third consecutive victory and seventh seasonal win from nine outings. The 1:49.4 clocking was a new lifetime best as the daughter of Betterthancheddar-Wisdom pushed her career bankroll to $241,660.
Wisdom Tree will likely be pointed to the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands for her next stakes engagement.
The stakes action continued a little later on in the evening with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for 3-year old trotting and pacing colts.
Katkin American and James Yoder followed suit to deliver as the heavy betting favorite in the $75,000 final for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Stopping the timer in 1:53, Katkin American made his game winning move down the backside to finish 10 lengths in front of his next closest competitor. After a track record performance in his elimination last week, Katkin American recorded his third consecutive Hoosier Park victory for trainer Verlin Yoder and owner/breeder Brett Boyd. Katkin American has won his last three outings by a combined 27 lengths.
"We are so thankful to so many folks that helped get this horse here," Boyd said of his prodigy in the winner’s circle. "It takes a lot of people to get one here and we are so thankful to everyone who helped us along the way. I trained his mother and he reminds me a lot of her. We love this colt and the Yoders have done such a great job with him."
Unraced at two, the son of Guccio-Katkin has now won three of five lifetime starts. With the win, Katkin American nearly doubled his lifetime purse earnings to push his career bankroll to $62,000.
On the pacing side of things, Rockinbeach and Ricky Macomber Jr. converted a pocket trip into a 1:49.4 score in the $75,000 final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Employing a :25.4 final quarter, Rockinbeach exploded to the wire to finish six lengths in front of Jeopardy and John DeLong.
Trained by Jamie Macomber, Rockinbeach notched his fourth win from nine seasonal starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. The homebred son of Rockin Image-Miss Sandy Beach is owned by Wilbur Eash and has now amassed $168,940 in lifetime purse earnings. (Hoosier Park)