Day At The Track

Homicide Hunter may "knock off" rivals Saturday

04:42 AM 07 Nov 2015 NZDT
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Homicide Hunter, harness racing
Homicide Hunter looking good heading into America-National
Michael Burns Photo
Despite the fact he tasted defeat for the first time as a three-year-old Dr. Patrick Graham’s Homicide Hunter and his trainer Curt Grummel are coming into Saturday’s American National for 3yo trotting colts at Balmoral Park brimming with confidence as they return to their “home base”. 
After stepping into “open” company and finishing a close up second behind Crazy Wow in last week’s Carl Erskine at Hoosier Park the Indiana bred son of Mr. Cantab renewed his camp’s enthusiasm in their Indiana bred champion.
“We were extremely happy with the way he raced against some of the best trotters in the country in the Erskine,” said conditioner Curt Grummel. “It cost us $20,000 to supplement to that race and we wound up earning around $68,000 so we figured we’d roll the dice right back and supplement him to the American National.” 
So another check was cut, this time for $21,000, to make him eligible to the richest race on the Saturday night card at Balmoral.
“Even though we felt he had a bit of a home field edge at Hoosier because he had raced there so much and he put together those 16 straight wins this year on that track he may have an even bigger advantage here at Balmoral,” chuckled Grummel. “This is where he’s been based at, this is where he trained down at to get ready for this year and this is where he qualified at so really this is home for him.” 
Up until tasting defeat for the first time in last week’s battle there had been 75 trotters in North America who had won 10 races or more in 2015, but only Homicide Hunter was still toting around a perfect record.
Despite that win streak coming to an end his conditioner was still in good spirits heading into Saturday’s American National. 
“That win streak was not that big of a deal to me,” Grummel said. “He ranks but when you have to go up against the horses he faced last week and the one’s he’ll be up against on Saturday night it’s an entirely different world.”
Grummel said Graham did not hesitate to put up another large sum of money to make Homicide Hunter eligible to Saturday night’s battle. 
“He came out of the Hoosier race in very good shape so we’re going to hope to get our supplement money back and then some,”Grummel laughed. “He’s been unbelievably sound and healthy his entire career and we are not hard on him at all. He 
basically gets no training between starts, only his usual light jogging and he seems to enjoy the routine we’ve got him on.” 
The first foal out of the mare Evening Prayer, Homicide Hunter enters Saturday’s American National with and an eye catching record of 19-3-3 in 27 lifetime starts with earnings of nearly $540,000.
by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park
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