Royal Todd and trainer Rod Lorenzo continued their winning ways in the second leg of The Tubby Trimble series, a late closing event open to Indiana sired three-year-olds and up that are non-winners of $30,000 life, as the three-year-old colt picked up his second win of the harness racing season in 1:56.2.
In a race plagued by miscues, Sam Widger skillfully drove Royal Todd through a field of twelve to stay out of harm’s way in the back of the pack from post twelve. Josh Sutton had the bettor’s second choice, Artychoke, on a mission from post nine as they reached the front just past the first marker :26.3.
Northwesterndreams and Andy Shetler were well placed in second as Stylish Rocket made a costly break moving down the backside. Artychoke and Sutton posted a half mile time of :57.1 before feeling pressure from Ed Hensley and G’s O Pete on the outside. Ricky Macomber Jr. had the bettor’s choice, Wilbur’s Z Tam, perfectly placed second over approaching the final turn.
Artychoke made a break around the last turn and left the race wide open as the field turned for home. Widger was able to get Royal Todd out in the flow of traffic and in perfect striking position for the stretch drive at three quarter mile marker in 1:28.3. In the stretch, Widger urged the son offorward and moved by the leaders to win by a head in the final steps of the mile.
QB Killa sat mid pack for much of the race but found racing room late to get up for the second place finish. Wilbur’s Z Tam held on gamely for third.
“He raced really well tonight,” Lorenzo said of his colt. “He was a nice horse last year too but he got sick and we just quit with him to let him grow up rather than push him. In a twelve horse race, you just got to hope for the best, that’s what we did and it worked out in our favor tonight. Hopefully he will just continue to get better with every start.”
Royal Todd is now two-for-two in his sophomore season and has elevated his career earnings over $30,000 for owners Dobbins Standardbred Inc. and Rod Lorenzo.
Another odds-on favorite was defeated in the second division of the late closing series as A Sweet Ride and Ed Hensley pulled off the 52-1 upset in 1:54.4. Hensley took advantage of a eleven horse field as he sent the three-year-old colt to the front from post seven to stroll through a wind induced :25.3 first quarter.
Ron Burke’s heavily favored, Moveoutofmyway made a quarter pole move to the lead to reach the half mile marker in :56.4. E R Melvin and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. were the first to commit as they pulled first up to put a nose in front of the tiring favorite around the final turn. A Sweet Ride was able to find racing room to get up the rail and power home a winner with a :26.4 final kick.
Skyway Poncho and Tyler Smith closed hard at the end of the mile to get up for second with Mack Straight and Jason Dillander finishing third. The 1-2 favorite, Moveoutofmyway, managed to finish fourth after a taxing trip.
“This colt raced tough tonight,” driver Ed Hensley noted. “I wasn’t sure what kind of trip we were going to get from the outside but it worked out in our favor. He got a little bit of a breather down the backside and when we got racing room in the stretch, he responded.”
A Sweet Ride returned $107.60 to his backers as he posted his second career win in a lifetime best effort. Sired by, A Sweet Ride is owned by Victory Hill Farm Inc. and trained by Bobby Brower. The $20,000 final of The Tubby Trimble Series will be held on Thursday, May 3 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
by Emily GASKIN for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino