Day At The Track

Priceless, Grace Rocks best in Indiana Sires Stakes

12:20 AM 31 Aug 2019 NZST
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Priceless, harness racing Grace Rocks, harness racing
Priceless and trainer/driver Brandon Bates
Linscott Photo
Grace Rocks and driver Sam Widger
Linscott Photo

ANDERSON, Ind.--August 29, 2019-- A pair of Indiana Sires Stakes harness racing divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies were showcased at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Thursday, August 29 and brought forth impressive performances from the freshman fillies. Priceless and Grace Rocks each won their respective $69,500 divisions and did so with authority to deliver as the favorites.

After suffering the first loss of her young career in stakes action last week, Priceless rebounded gamely and was the fastest divisional winner with a 1:51.4 open length score. With driver, trainer Brandon Bates at the lines, Priceless converted a pocket trip into a three and half-length victory to establish a new lifetime best.

Leaving from post two in the competitive field of 11, Bates sent Priceless away from the gate and would win the early tussle for position to grab the lead in :26.4. John DeLong was offensive minded with Seventimesacharm and she would grab command just before the half in a snappy :54.3.

Seventimesacharm hit the third station in 1:23.4 and when the field turned for home, Trace Tetrick had the slight post time favorite Foxy Rigger applying pressure from first-over. With an undefeated streak on the line, Foxy Rigger appeared to be up to the task but Priceless was looming large in the pocket.

Utilizing the passing lane and a :27.3 final brush, Priceless powered home to finish in front of Foxy Rigger. Sombodyslilly and Mike Oosting got up for third place honors as one of the longest shots on the board. Sent off at odds of 9-5, Priceless returned $5.80 to her backers at the betting windows.

"She scoped sick last week," Bates noted in the winner's circle. "We took care of that and scoped her yesterday and she was perfect. Tonight was the best trip she's had in a while; she loves to race off a helmet and loves to chase horses."

With the win, the daughter of Rockin Image-Btwnyurheartnmine recorded her fourth win from five lifetime outings. Priceless pushed her lifetime bankroll to $88,662 for owners Kevin Miller and Bert Hochsprung.

In the second division of the stakes action, Grace Rocks continued her winning ways and turned in another dominant performance to score in 1:53.2. With Sam Widger in the sulky, Grace Rocks switched up her tactics and opted for a trip off the pace to deliver as the heavy 1-9 favorite.

Unhurried from the gate, Grace Rocks eased off the gate to find a spot along the rail in fifth while a host of others left aggressively. Bluebird Love and Todd Warren were the first to get a call through the opening quarter in :26.3 before yielding the lead to Flirtinwithtrouble and Brandon Bates just before the half in :55.2.

Kickin Up My Heels and Trace Tetrick were the first to commit to the outer flow and Widger quickly grabbed the cover with Grace Rocks. As the field reached the three-quarters in 1:24.3, Kickin Up My Heels was able to put away Flirtinwithtrouble and the rest of the field was also closing in quickly. Widger tipped Grace Rocks and the filly appeared to cruise to the wire with ease finishing two lengths in front of Kickin Up My Heels. Flirtinwithtrouble held on for third. Grace Rocks returned $2.20 to her backers at the betting windows.

"She just does everything that she's asked," trainer Ronnie Roberts noted of his filly. "She's a sweetheart. Not only is she a pleasure to train, but she's a pleasure to be around as well."

With the win, Grace recorded her fifth straight victory and third straight Indiana Sires Stakes victory. The daughter of Rockin Image-Cosmic Grace has five wins and one second from six starts this season. Owned by Howard Taylor, Grace Rocks now sports a lifetime bankroll of $90,250.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 30 with two $68,000 divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts and two $50,000 divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts. The evening's 13-race card will also feature a $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 pool on the last race of the program. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, 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

by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

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