ANDERSON, Ind.-March 28, 2014- American Girl andmade their seasonal debut a winning one at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as they captured the featured event, a $22,000 Invitational pace for fillies and mares, on Friday, March 28. After winning an epic stretch duel, the-five-year-old mare bested her rivals with a final time of 1:55.2 in front of a packed house that turned out for the opening night of the season.
Leaving from post six, American Girl was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fifth as the rest of the field fought for position.and Pacific Date were the first to get a call and reached the first quarter mark in :28.4. Nutmegs Yankee and Ross Leonard opted for a pocket trip while No Respect and followed intently in third. Pacific Date and were left uncontested on the front and leisurely strolled to a :59.2 second panel.
Feeling the pressure of the slow fractions,tipped No Respect from the rail and began a powerful first-over bid with Blissful Romance and . in tow. No Respect was able to clear to front through the three-quarter clocking in 1:27.2 but was quickly joined by Blissful Romance on the outside.
As the field turned for home, Blissful Romance was able to put away No Respect but still had her work cut out for her as American Girl came charging from behind. Using a :27.3 final panel, American Girl turned in a gritty performance to get the victory.
"What a race," winning drivernoted in winner's circle. "I didn't know if we would be able to make up enough ground off the slow fractions, but she wanted to win tonight. She did all the work."
As the heavy betting favorite, American Girl returned $3.60 to her backers for the win. Blissful Romance was a hard fought second while Igottafeelinfran androunded out the trifecta.
Trained by, American Girl notched her 15th win from 56 career stars while amassing $381,658 in purse earnings. The five-year-old daughter of Art's Chip-L Dees Lourdes is owned by Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt.
Live harness racing will return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, March 28 with a 13-race card that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. For more information on the live racing season and the upcoming events at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.