ANDERSON, Ind.-September 11, 2013-Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted their 20th season of live Standardbred racing with the annual Hoosier Champions night on Wednesday, September 11.
Eight new Indiana Sire Stakes champions were crowned on the evening that featured a 14-race card boasting record purses over the $1.8 million mark.
The Anderson track played host to four $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes finals for three-year-old trotters and pacers and four $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes finals two-year-old trotters and pacers.
The evening was highlighted by two track record performances, marking sixteen track records that have been re-established over Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval this season.
"Tonight was a celebration for Indiana harness racing," Hoosier Park's vice president and general manager of racing, Rick Moore noted. "We brought the best of the best together to compete for record purses. We continue to be impressed with the quality of horses that are being bred in Indiana and the track records and competitive racing we watched tonight are a direct reflection of that improving quality."
U R It BB became Hoosier Park's newest track record holder with a 1:53 victory in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for two-year-old pacing fillies. With at the lines, U R It BB was able to find late racing room deep in the stretch to track down the bettors' choice, Color's A Virgin and , to win by a nose. Trained by , the freshman filly lowered a 14-year-old track record of 1:53.1 that was previously held by Musical Dreamer and driver Don Irvine
"This filly raced really tough tonight," Miller noted of his mount. "They didn't tell me much about her coming into the race but when we got behind the gate she felt good and it didn't look like anyone was leaving. I was able to get good early position and coming around the last turn, I knew if I could find room, I had enough horse to win. When I asked her for more, she dug in all the way to the wire."
From the second crop of , U R It BB notched her second win from seven seasonal outings and pushed her career bankroll over $120,000 for her connections of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino.
The two-year-old pacing colts did not disappoint and followed suit with a track record performance in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final when Bluehourpower and . found the wire in 1:52. Dismissed at the windows at 14-1, Bluehourpower rallied from well off the pace to notch his third win of the season. Trained and owned by Wilbur Eash, the gelded son of established a new lifetime best mark and lowered the track record by a full second. The previous track record for three-year-old pacing geldings was 1:53, a mark set by Next Thing Smoke'N and in the last leg of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action on September 3, 2013.
"He's been such a nice colt to train all winter," Eash noted in the winner's circle. "He is a real easy going colt that I think races better from off the pace. The trip worked out for him tonight and he was able to find racing room when he needed it, I couldn't be happier with him."
The freshman trotting counterparts opened up the million dollar night and did so in impressive fashion. Andi's Alana and overcame a tough trip to score in 1:57.1 in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Erv Miller, the daughter of became the sport's newest $100,000 earner and notched her sixth win from seven seasonal outings for owners Paymaq Racing, Greg Gillis, and Harvey Eisman.
The two-year-old trotting colts were up next and it was Justice Jet and who pulled a 10-1 to upset to score in 1:57.3. Trained by , the gelded son of battled gamely in the stretch to score his sixth win from eight seasonal outings.
Welch and Hensley teamed up once more to find the winner's circle with Always About Katey scoring in a lifetime best effort of 1:51.3 in the three-year-old filly pacing ranks. An Indiana Sire Stakes champion at two, Always About Katey used a sharp, front running effort to defend her title and notch her fourth win of the season.
Right Touch and also defended their title and scored a second Indiana Sire Stakes championship trophy when they rallied home a winner in the $200,000 final for three-year-old pacing colts in 1:50.1.
The -trained trotting duo of Lady Blitz and Natural Herbie were heavily backed at the windows and did not disappoint as they found the winner's circle in each of their respective finals. Owned, trained, and driven by , Lady Blitz was home a winner in 1:55 in the three-year-old trotting filly final and just two races later, Natural Herbie followed suit in 1:55.2 in the final for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters.
Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, September 12 with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9.
Photos: 1) U R It BB and winning the $200,000 final for two-year-old pacing fillies 2) Bluehourpower and . winning the $200,000 final for two-year-old pacing colts. Photos
Courtesy of Linscott Photography.