Day At The Track

Busy night of stakes action at Hoosier

09:42 PM 26 Jul 2019 NZST
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Swan On A Mission, harness racing
Swan On A Mission upsets the field in Indiana Sires Stakes action, pays $25.20 to win.
Linscott Photography

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 25, 2019 - The evening's 14-race harness racing card provided an action-packed evening of Indiana Sires Stakes action at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 25. Both the three-year-old trotting colts & geldings and the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings took to the track, with the three-year-old competitors in their fourth round of stakes action and the two-year-olds in their second round.

With a variety of favorites and prices, the night saw victories from Swan On A Mission and It's A Herbie for the three-year-old colt trotters and Always And Again, High Impression and General Doug A for the two-year-old colt pacers.

Kicking off the stakes action, Swan On A Mission with John De Long found the winner's circle in the first $47,500 division, pulling the 11-1 upset in the field of 3-year-old trotters. The race began with Smooth Acceleration and Ricky Macomber Jr. reaching the lead through an opening fraction of :27:3, while Swan On A Mission followed in second. Morning line and post time favorite Wow Lester with Trace Tetrick sat patiently in third before reaching the lead at the half in :57:1.

Wow Lester held the lead through the third quarter in 1:26:0 while Smooth Acceleration and Swan On A Mission followed close behind. The battle began when the horses hit the stretch. The race appeared to belong to Wow Lester, but Swan On A Mission came charging on the outside and trotted strong to the wire to get the victory. With a final time of 1:54:2, Swan On A Mission paid $25.20 in the upset to win.

"We made a few changes on him and now he's moving forward," trainer Roger Welch mentioned after the victory. "He never really filled out, but he makes up for it by being a good, solid trotter on the track. He can be a little wild and crazy colt off the track so he makes my job challenging. Tonight, he got a good spot early and finished strong."

Swan On A Mission, the son of Swan For All-Lisa Mission, brought his lifetime earnings to $106,307 for owners William De Long, Patrick De Long and David Heniger in his third lifetime win. The 1:54.2 clocking also established a new lifetime best by nearly three seconds for the sophomore trotter.

In the second division for the three-year-old colt trotters, Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final champion It's A Herbie padded his lifetime bankroll with another victory for owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder. The betting public's second choice, Martini Show with Sam Widger, went to the front once the wings of the gate opened, followed by Rockyroad Aldo with Trace Tetrick through the first quarter in :28:3.

The field remained in straight formation through the half in :58:2, which was when It's A Herbie moved to the outside. By the time the trotters hit the third quarter in 1:27:3, Martini Show held onto the lead with Rockyroad Aldo in second, but It's A Herbie was on the attack. In a heart-charging stretch battle that was almost too close to call, It's A Herbie was able to track down Martini Show by just a neck in 1:56:0. He was followed by Martini Show in second and Curry Palm with Dale Hiteman in third.

"It doesn't really make a difference where he's at," driver, trainer Verlin Yoder noted after the win. "Sam got out first and I stayed back because I didn't want to get into a bad situation. He knows his job and he does okay; We'll take it race by race and hope for the best."

It's A Herbie returned $2.20 for his betting backers and brought his lifetime earnings to $341,875 with eight lifetime wins. Verlin Yoder owns the son of Here Comes Herbie-Psychic Image who also recorded his fifth straight Hoosier Park victory.

It was a good night for trainer Ernie Gaskin as he took home two of the three stakes wins for the two-year-old colt pacers. The victories began with the first $46,000 division when Always And Again with Trace Tetrick in the bike found the winner's circle. Stopping the timer in 1:52.4, the freshman pacing colt recorded a new lifetime best.

When the race began, My House with John De Long took the lead and were followed by Candys Image Rocks with Michael Oosting. The leaders remained in straight formation through the first fraction in :28:0. When the field hit the half in :56:1, post-time favorite Nassau Desire with Ricky Macomber Jr., who were looking for back-to-back stakes wins, took the lead.

Nassau Desire continued to call the shots through the third quarter in 1:25:4, but Always And Again was winding up to strike. Tetrick urged Always And Again and he took the lead in the stretch, powering home in 26:4 to get the win by a head. My House was second and Leon David with Peter Wrenn rallied strong in the lane for third. Always And Again paid $7.00 to win.

"After last week's break, we changed just about everything," trainer Ernie Gaskin stated in the winner's circle. "I was hopeful he would behave but you just never know with young colts. He's been a nice colt from the start and is coming along very well."

The son of Always A Virgin-Kiss Me Once Again, who is owned by Andrew Berg and In The Red LLC, now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $28,000. Always And Again has now won two of three lifetime starts.

Gaskin's second victory came after High Impression with Sam Widger found the winner's circle in the second division of stakes action for the two-year-old pacing colts. High Impression rallied from off the pace and dug in gamely late in the lane to get the victory.

Skyway Artimus with Todd Warren went right to the front once the wings of the gate opened, followed by Clever Character with Dale Hiteman and High Impression through the opening fraction in :28:1.

Just before the half in :57:3, Cache All The Way and Michael Oosting moved to the front, but their lead was short lived as Clever Character wanted the front by the third quarter in 1:26:4. At the three quarter pole, High Impression began to make his move for the lead, and engaged Clever Character in a battle for the victory down the stretch. Noses apart, it was High Impression who crossed the wire in front in 1:54:1 followed by Clever Character and Life Is A Highway with Trace Tetrick in third. High Impression paid $5.80 for his backers at the betting windows.

"He was strong last week and came out of the race great, so I didn't need to make any adjustments," trainer Ernie Gaskin noted after the victory. "I leave the driving to Sam. I just make sure the horse is the best he possibly can be and let Sam do the rest."

With the win, the son of Rockin Image-Happy Becky is now three for three in his young career. High Impression now holds a lifetime bankroll of $46,250 for owners Robert Rubin, Warren Emery, Ronald Krodel and Riparian Retreat.

High Impression

In the final division of Indiana Sires Stakes action for the night, General Doug A went gate-to-wire and recorded the fastest stakes time of the night for two-year-old pacing colts in a maiden-breaking win for driver, trainer Dale Hiteman. General Doug A took the lead as soon as the race started, followed by Power Of Tell with Todd Warren and Sawyer's Desire with Ricky Macomber Jr. The order remained unchanged through fractions of :28:1 and :57:2.

At the third quarter in 1:26:1, Sawyer's Desire was advancing well and began to challenge General Doug A. While the top pair was matching strides down the lane, General Doug A fended off all challengers to finish two lengths to the good in 1:53:3. Beachmaster Two with LeWayne Miller charged home to finish second and The Candyman Can with Sam Widger also rallied well late for third. Dismissed at odds of 11-1, General Doug A paid $25.80 to win.

"He made a break last time out but he was dealing with some issues here and there," driver, trainer Dale Hiteman explained after the victory. "The time in between stakes races helped to give him some rest and freshen him up. I didn't expect any kind of breaks tonight so I was able to be aggressive with him."

The homebred son of Tellitlikeitis-In The Red is owned by Ada Jean Ackerman. With three lifetime starts, General Doug A has now acquired a lifetime bankroll of $25,750.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Friday, July 26 with two $50,500 divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts & geldings. With an adjusted post time of 4:30 pm, Friday's 12-race card will also feature a $20,000 Open Pace and a $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 in race 12. At the conclusion of live racing, Diana Ross will perform as part of the 2019 Summer Concert Series at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.

Rose Flood | Race Marketing & Operations Admin

 

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