Day At The Track

Grace Rocks extends winning streak

11:23 AM 12 Sep 2019 NZST
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Grand Swan, harness racing Grace Rocks, harness racing
Grand Swan equals her lifetime mark
Linscott Photo
Grace Rocks and driver Sam Widger
Linscott Photo

ANDERSON, Ind.--September 11, 2019-- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to Indiana Sires Stakes harness racing action on Wednesday, September 11 as the evening's 13-race card featured one $92,000 division for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $64,000 divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies.

It was the freshman pacing filly Grace Rocks who stole the show as she continued her divisional dominance in the two-year-old pacing filly ranks and scored her sixth straight victory. With driver Sam Widger in the sulky, Grace Rocks made her game winning move down the backside en route to a decisive 1:52.4 score.

Unhurried from the gate, Grace Rocks settled along the rail in fifth while Atoritotell and Dale Hiteman carved out fractions of :27.3 and :56.2. Widger gave Grace Rocks the green light down the backside and the filly ranged up and cleared to the lead just before the three-quarters in 1:25.

As the field turned for home, Grace Rocks looked strong on the front and used a :27.4 closing quarter to get the win by nearly two lengths over Odds On Melanie and Peter Wrenn. Seventimesacharm and John DeLong rallied late in the lane to get up for third. As the 3-5 favorite, Grace Rocks returned $2.80 to her backers at the betting windows.

"She's just a sweetheart," Widger said after the victory. "She does everything right. You can race her any way you want. She's just a nice filly in every aspect."

Trained by Ronnie Roberts, Grace Rocks recorded her sixth straight lifetime victory from seven outings and fourth straight Indiana Sires Stakes victory. Owned by Howard Taylor, the daughter of Rockin Image-Cosmic Grace became the sport's newest $100,000 winner with the win. Grace Rocks was bred by Victory Hill Farm.

In the second division of the stakes action for two-year-old pacing fillies, Foxy Rigger rebounded gamely with a 1:51.1 score. After suffering the first loss of her young career in the last round of stakes action, Foxy Rigger finished nearly four lengths in front of her competition and established a new lifetime best in the process.

Driven by Trace Tetrick, Foxy Rigger left alertly to grab a spot in third through the opening panel in :26.1. Flirtinwithtrouble and Sam Widger grabbed command but yielded the lead to Foxy Rigger just before the half in :54.4. Foxy Rigger led the field to the three-quarters in 1:23.3 before sprinting to the wire to finish nearly four lengths in front of a fast-closing Somebodyslilly and Mike Oosting. Rocksann and John DeLong utilized a ground-saving trip to get up for third. As the betting publics' second choice, Foxy Rigger returned $6.80 at the betting windows.

"There was a lot of movement early but I wanted to get good position," Tetrick noted after the win. "She's maturing a lot. We've made some equipment changes in her last few starts and it has seemed to really help her."

With the win, The Brian Brown trainee recorded her sixth victory from seven lifetime outings. Owned in partnership by Country Club Acres, L&H Mgmt Services & Lombardo, Green Racing & T. Lane, Foxy Rigger now sports a lifetime bankroll of $122,875. The daughter of Riggins-Foxy Angel was bred by Wilker Family Farms.

In the lone $92,000 division of the stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies, Grand Swan turned in an impressive performance of her own to score and make amends after an uncharacteristic break in stakes action last week. Driven and also trained by Lewayne Miller, Grand Swan was able to overcome a first-over trip and track down the heavily favored Measuredperfection late in the lane to score and equal her established best of 1:53.1.

Leaving from post position eight, Grand Swan left just enough to get a spot along the rail in fourth through the opening quarter in :27.3. Miller waited patiently while Measuredperfection and Trace Tetrick clicked off middle fractions of :56 and 1:24.2.

When the field turned for home, Grand Swan was matching strides with the leader from first-over. Using a :28.3 final panel, Grand Swan was able to wear down Measuredperfection and hold off a late surge from Haylie Ivy and Ricky Macomber Jr. to get the win by a length. As the 2-1 second choice, Grand Swan returned $6.40 at the betting windows.

"I changed her shoes last week and I don't think she liked it too well," Miller noted after the win. "I changed her back, qualified her and she was back to normal. She actually likes that trip--she likes to chase horses so it worked out for us."

With the win, Grand Swan recorded her sixth win from eight seasonal outings and sports a lifetime record of 20-14-4-0. The daughter of Swan For All-Queen Mum is owned in partnership by Grand Swan Racing, Go Fast Stable and Never 2 Late Stable and has amassed $360,250 in lifetime purse earnings. Grand Swan was bred by Larry E. Miller Jr.

The Indiana Sires Stakes action will roll on at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Thursday, September 12 with two $68,000 divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The evening's 12-race card will also feature a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 sequence in Races 3-6 and a $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 in Race 12.

With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing action 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 at Harrah's Hoosier Park, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.

by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

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