ANDERSON, Ind.-June 26, 2015 - Natural Herbie extended his win streak to two at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as he captured the featured harness racing event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Trot, on Friday, June 26. Natural Herbie responded to a bump in class to score in 1:55.1 over a sloppy rated track after scoring last week in a condition trot. Opting for a trip off the pace, Natural Herbie was eased off the gate from post six while Penn, driven by Darrell Wright, used his gate speed to grab the early lead. Penn dictated first half fractions of :27.3 and :58.3 before being joined on the outside by Lady Blitz and James Yoder. While the top pair were matching strides approaching the final turn, Trace Tetrick had Martz Time well placed second over with Natural Herbie in tow. Penn continued to call the shots through the third station in 1:27.2 but Lady Blitz was not going away. Lady Blitz was able to wear down the tiring leader to secure the lead turning for home as the rest of the field was closing in. Yoder tipped Natural Herbie around tiring cover and the five-year-old gelding found another gear. Using a :26.4 final quarter, Natural Herbie bested his stablemate by a neck to get the win. Lady Blitz was a game second while Penn held on for third place honors. Sent off as the bettors' choice, Natural Herbie returned $4.80 to the window. With the win, Natural Herbie notched his second victory from eight seasonal starts while bankrolling $31,650 in 2015 for owner, trainer, driver Verlin Yoder. Sporting a career bankroll of $781,491, the Here Comes Herbie gelding has hit the board in 41 of 53 lifetime outings. Saturday's 14-race card also hosted six eliminations of the Indiana Sires Stakes for the Hoosier state's three-year-old pacers. With three divisions of three-year-old pacing colts, Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick delivered the fastest elimination of the evening with a 1:50.2 romp. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored the second victory of his sophomore campaign and established a new lifetime best in the process. Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander were the fastest through three divisions in the three-year-old filly ranks as they scored a near gate to wire victory in 1:52. It was the second consecutive win for the Marlin Fry trainee and fifth seasonal victory from 12 starts. Each of the winners from the six Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations tonight earned a spot in the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals slated for Friday, July 3 at Hoosier Park. Live racing returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 27 with a 14-race card. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.-June 12, 2015 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino hosted a 14-race card on Friday, June 12 that was highlighted by the $21,000 Invitational Trot and $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares. Both of the featured harness racing events saw familiar faces in the winner's circle as Penn and Montenegro scored decisively in their respective divisions. Penn, with Darrell Wright in the bike, rebounded from a second place finish in his last outing at Hoosier Park to score his fourth win of the season in the top trot with a final time of 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Penn used his quick gate speed to fire from the wings from post eight. The Bobby Brower trainee dictated fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. made a strong bid at the leader late in the lane but Penn was too strong on the front. Using a :28.3 final quarter, Penn held off a late charge by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder to win by a length. Rose Run Parker rounded out the trifecta. Penn returned $4.20 to his backers at the window. With the victory, Penn scored his fourth seasonal victory from seven starts. The five-year-old gelded son of Master Glide-Photo Queen scored his 23rd career victory and has now earned $165,934 for owner, Barkley Counts. In the featured pace for fillies and mares, it was Montenegro and Jason Dillander who came out on top scoring their fourth victory of the season at Hoosier Park, this time in 1:53.2. Montenegro, who also finished second in her last outing at Hoosier Park, rallied late in the lane to get up in the final strides of the mile. Lease Ness Monster and Peter Wrenn fired away from the gate through the opening quarter in :27.1 but their lead was short lived as Just A Bee and Mike Micallef were on a mission to the front. Just A Bee continued to call the shots through splits of :55.4 and 1:24.1 before Tyler Smith and Miss Kilo would apply pressure first-over. As the field turned for home the race appeared to be wide open with horses fanning out across the track. Dillander tipped Montenegro off tiring cover and she responded with a :28.2 final quarter to get the win over Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler. Miss Kilo finished third. As the bettors' choice, Montenegro returned $5.60 at the betting windows. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $71,385 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $566,914. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 30 with a 14-race card. Saturday's program will feature the $21,000 Invitational Pace and two divisions of the "Tubby Trimble Series". With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.-April 25, 2015 - Penn turned in a sharp, front-running effort to pull off the 24-1 upset in the featured harness racing event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Trot, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. With Darrell Wright at the lines, Penn wired the field in 1:55.2 to earn his first victory of the season over a track rated good. In a talented group of ten, the Bobby Brower trainee wasted no time as he fired off the gate from post three to reach the first quarter in a soft :28. Escuela and Jason Dillander protected their rail position to find a spot along the pylons in second with last week's winner, Lady Blitz and James Yoder, parked to the outside in third. Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder, sent off as the 4/5 favorite, were fourth along the rail for much of the mile. Penn carved out fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.2 while Lady Blitz continued to apply pressure to his outside. Natural Herbie tabbed the cover and was well placed second over as the field turned for home but would have his work cut out for him as Penn looked strong on the lead. Wright asked Penn for more and the five-year-old gelding used a :29 final panel to hold off a late charge from Boffin and Tyler Smith. Allie Labrook and Dan Shetler rallied late in the lane but had to settle for third place honors. Penn returned $51.60 at the windows. "Tonight, that was the plan," Brower noted after the victory. "We didn't want to have any trouble so we went right to the front. He's a really nice horse. My wife (Debbie Brower) and Skip White do great job taking care of him in the barn. They keep him happy and he's just a great horse to have around. I look forward to racing him here all summer." With the victory, Penn scored his first seasonal victory from just two starts. The five-year-old gelded son of Master Glide-Photo Queen scored his 20th career victory and has now earned $123,934 for owner, Barkley Counts. Live Racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, April 28 with a 13-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.-July 23, 2014-Special JJ kept her flawless freshman record intact using a perfectly timed rally late in the stretch to score in the featured attraction, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 23. With a final time of 1:57, it was a lifetime best performance and third victory of the season for Special JJ. Leaving from post two in the field of ten, Special JJ and driver Trent Stohler were away a worrisome seventh while the heavily favored Crunchess Finale and Darrell Wright made their customary move to the front. Crunchess Finale made an uncharacteristic break through the opening panel in :27.2 leaving Diamond Dagger and Thomas Russell to inherit the lead. Peter Wrenn sent Sloane Elise to the front through the half-mile time in :58.2 but would quickly yield the top spot to Churita and Trace Tetrick. Churita continued to call the shots as the field approached the final turn but was feeling pressure from Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners on the outside. As the field hit the third station in 1:28.1, the top pair was stride for stride turning for home. Churita was able to put away Golden Big Stick halfway down the stretch but her biggest threat was still behind her. Just as Stohler found late racing room, Special JJ found another gear. Using a :28 final panel, Special JJ powered home to get the win by a head. Churita made a costly break just before the wire and was placed third leaving Golden Big Stick to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed by the betting public at 5-1, Special JJ returned $13.60 at the betting window. "She's done everything we've asked of her so far," Stohler noted after the victory. "We've taken our time getting her ready. She's still learning and figuring things out but does know how to win." Trained by Trent Stohler, who also co-owns the filly with The Kales Company, Special JJ now sports a lifetime bankroll of $52,100 for her connections. The daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Rhonda T was also victorious in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination just last week at Hoosier Park. With the win, Special JJ also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing colt division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. by Emily Gaskin,for Hoosier Park
Eight Michigan Sires Stakes (MISS) finals were held on the Monday, Sept. 2, Labor Day afternoon card at Hazel Park, with four going being the gate as non-wagering affairs prior to the regular program. Although for the most part the races consisted of short fields, eight different stallions were represented in the winner's circle. The quartet of races on the betting card got underway with the $35,172 MISS final for 2-year-old male pacers. The Brad Kramer-driven Beastly was fourth at the three-quarters but the gelded son of Stampede Hanover-Todd's Affair rushed past the competition in the final turn to draw clear by 10 1/2 lengths as the 1- 9 favorite in 2:02.2. Man The Torpedo (Skip DeMull) was a distant second, with Chasing Jake (Jason Merriman) third. Kelly Goodwin owns and trains Beastly, who won for the third time in six starts. Kramer sent Lady Laker to the lead from post 7 in the $39,377 MISS final for 3-year-old filly trotters, and by the :58.1 half she had a three-length lead, expanding the margin to seven lengths at the 1:27 three-quarters. The 1-9 favorite then cruised to the wire 15 lengths in front in 1:58. Defending MISS champion Kendall Marie (Peter Otten) finished second, with Crazy Sherry (Carl Putnam Jr.) third. A daughter of Lockkeeper-Hyercass, Lady Laker is trained by Al Tomlinson for owner David Vanderhyde. She was undefeated in four starts in 2012, and in 2013 her four wins also include the Hanover in mid-July at Balmoral Park. Her earnings went past the $100,000 mark with her MISS win on Monday. Ovewhelming favorite That'll Be The Rei successfully defended his MISS title as Mike Micallef directed the son of Cheyenne Rei-Unspeakable Joy gelding to a wire-to-wire, 1:55.1 victory in the $37,827 MISS final for sophomore male pacers. That'll Be The Rei defeated runner-up Lexington Avenue (Kody Massey) by five lengths, with Sharp Cheeser (Darrell Wright) third. Micallef also trains That'll Be The Rei for owner Dan Courtemanche. The win was his ninth in 14 starts this year and 18th overall in 24 career starts. That'll Be The Rei increased his earnings to more than $120,000 with the victory. Haberdashery busted the favorite brigade wide open in the last of the four betting races with a 50-1 upset in the $40,077 MISS final for 3-year-old male trotters. The 1-2 favorite Zeplin, driven by Goodwin, appeared on his way to victory but when he broke stride in the stretch, it paved the way for Haberdashery and driver Jeff Sweeney to go on to the 2:02.4 victory. Zeplin recovered to finish second, with Winwood Scout and driver DeMull third. A gelded son of Keystone Nordic-Ready Elegance, Haberdashery won for the first time in six career starts. The winner is trained and owned by Chris Allen. All four early races were won in relatively easy fashion. Lady Windsor started things off with a 2:00.1 victory for trainer-driver Wright in the five-horse, $35,272 MISS final for 2-year-old filly trotters. Keep It Sweet (Larry Lee Smith) was 13 lengths back in second, with Best Friend Always (Todd Buter) another 18 lengths behind in third. E.J. Underwood III owns Lady Windsor, a daughter of Coventry-Rhonda T. The career-best win was her sixth straight in seven career starts. Scrappy Alex and trainer-driver Putnam led wire to wire in the $35,222 MISS final for 2-year-old male trotters to score in 2:09.3. SS RC CR (Rex Putnam) finished 2 3/4 lengths behind in second, with Just A Kid (Tim Roach) third. A gelded son of Scrappy Robert-Classic Enterprise, Scrappy Alex is owned by Sam Heron. The win was his fourth in nine starts. Kramer and Kayla Grace romped to a 15 1/4-length win in 1:58 in the $34,372 MISS final for 2-year-old filly pacers. Sue's Your Daddy (Jeff Sweeney), TC Country (Otten) and Winwood Elle (DeMull) finished second, third and fourth, respectively, as the short field crossed the wire in post-position order. A daughter of He's All That-A Maze Of Grace, Kayla Grace remained undefeated in nine starts. She is trained by Marie "Ginny" St. Charles, who shares ownership withEd and Cheryl Sayfie's ECS Racing. Super Soph, whose nine-for-nine freshman season in 2012 included the MISS final, successfully defended that title with a career-best 1:53.2 score in the $34,627 contest for 3-year-old filly pacers. Jason Merriman was in the sulky as Super Soph led gate to wire to defeat Don't Stare (Keith Crawford) by 2 1/2 lengths, with Reiwatch (Kramer) third. A full sister to Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Admirals Express, Super Soph is a daughter of Admirals Galley-Platinum Card. Greg West trains Super Soph for owners Ryan Morefield, Brian Campbell and Mark Wamp. Her earnings now stand at more than $128,000. Submitted by Hazel Park Publicity Department
The $100,000 William C. Connors Memorial Trot for 3-year-olds was raced on a steamy night at Hazel Park Raceway in suburban Detroit. A field of six faced starter Adam Brownlee, including the new harness racing track record holder and favorite, Turtle Express.