Day At The Track

Allie Labrook repeats in featured Trot

05:32 PM 30 May 2015 NZST
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Allie Labrook Montenegro and Jason Dillander scored a 1:51.3 victory
Allie Labrook dug in gamely to track down the leaders
Linscott Photography
Montenegro and Jason Dillander scored a 1:51.3 victory
Linscott Photography

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 29, 2015 - Allie Labrook and harness racing driver, trainer Dan Shetler found the winner's circle for the second consecutive time at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino after turning in a sharp effort to capture the $21,000 Invitational Trot on Friday, May 29. Using her customary late-surging tactics, Allie Labrook rallied gamely in the stretch to stop the timer in 1:52.3. The 1:52.3 clocking was just a few ticks off the overall trotting track record at Hoosier Park, a 1:52 mark she established in her last outing.

Leaving from post seven, Allie Labrook was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in seventh while Darrell Wright sent last week's winner, Penn, away from the gate firing. Penn reached the front through a brisk opening quarter in :27.3 but was quickly joined on the outside by Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder who were unable to find a spot along the rail.

The vigorous pace continued as Penn reluctantly yielded the lead to Natural Herbie at the second station in :55.3. Unable to wait any longer, Shetler tipped Allie Labrook to the outside to begin their first-over journey approaching the final turn.

Natural Herbie continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking in 1:24 and looked strong on the front as the field turned for home. Natural Herbie was able to fend off the pocket-sitting Penn but Allie Labrook was looming large in the background.

Using a :28 final quarter, Allie Labrook dug in gamely to track down the leaders and finish two lengths in front of Penn. Natural Herbie held on for the third place finish. Sent off as the public's third choice, Allie Labrook returned $6.60 at the betting window.

"She gives 100% every time she's on the track," Shetler noted after the victory. "She's getting better with every start and I still think there is some room for improvement with her. She's staked all over the country and we'll take it race by race to decide her schedule. She's just the nicest mare to drive and to be around."

The five-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Allie Jane was making just her fourth start of the season after a stellar campaign in 2014 where she bankrolled $119, 157 and won 13 of 17 starts. Owned by Sawgrass Farms, Allie Labrook has now won 18 of 28 outings while amassing $165,984 lifetime.

Allie Labrook has been staked outside of Indiana for her five-year-old campaign and will be pointed to the Miss Versatility Series for her next stakes engagement.

On the pacing side of things, Montenegro and Jason Dillander used a front-running effort to score a decisive 1:51.2 victory in the Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace. Montenegro was able to hold off the heavy betting favorite, Color's A Virgin and Trace Tetrick, late in the lane to score her third win of the season.

Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings and established a new seasonal mark with the win. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $55,635 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $551,164.

Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 30 with a stakes filled 14-race card. Saturday's program will feature the first round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old competitors. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14.

Emily Gaskin

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