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The top state-bred pacers in the Prairie State had the chance to strut their stuff on Saturday, August 22nd at Balmoral Park as a pair stake events shared top billing on a very strong Saturday night harness racing program   First on the docket were the state's top older pacers as a very evenly matched field of eight squared off in the $29,600 Big Tom Stake.   When the smoke cleared after a heated stretch drive it was Megan Rogers Racing Stable Inc.'s Unlocked who once again returned to the local scene in a big way, as he prevailed by a hard fought half-length in 1:49.4 for driver Lewayne Miller.   Given a perfect steer by Miller the four-year-old son of Duneside Perch used his inside post to save ground in third while the speedy Ice Scraper (Brian Carpenter) ripped through splits of 26.0, 54.0 & 1:21.1.   Engaging the pace setter with a first over bid as the field hit the top of the stretch these two prolific pacers battled tooth and nail through the lane before Unlocked finally forged to the front in the closing strides to notch his fourth win of the season. Ice Scraper was hard fought second while 66-1 outsider Cole Heat (Dale Hiteman) rallied to be third.   The win was the 16th in 45 career starts for the Erv Miller trainee who returned $4.40, $2.60 & $2.80 while upping his career bankroll to $310,692.   An overflow field of 11 distaffers, 3yo old and up, closed out the night's stake action as they lined up behind the gate for the $30,200 Parklane Powerful Stake.   Using an aggressive steer and a little "racing luck" to their advantage driver Robert Smolin hustled Jesse Ferge and Ron Phillips Fox Valley Aubry to the front and the speedy three-year-old made every call a winning one, hanging on gamely to score by a head in 1:53.2.   Sprinting away from post seven in the big field the daughter of Yankee Skyscaper--Assailed made the top without too much trouble leading the ladies through opening splits of 27.4 & 57.1.   That's when disaster struck for most of the field as a first over Joyful Game made a nasty break, taking herself out of the race and severely impeding seven of the trailing horses in this battle.   With things all her own way on the front end Fox Valley Aubry cruised by the three-quarter-mile mark with a two-length lead in 1:24.3.   Through the lane the Bob Phillips trained miss continued to show the way while bracing for the challenge of the pocket sitting Just By Design (Dale Hiteman). With the lead starting to evaporate in the final sixteenth of a mile, Fox Valley Aubry dug in gamely keeping Just By Design at bay just long enough to record her third victory of the year. Just By Design was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role on this night while Financial Effort (Casey Leonard) turned a ground saving trip into the show dough.   The third choice in the wagering Fox Valley Aubry returned $10.80, $6.20 & $4.20 while running her lifetime record to 14-5-5 in 32 starts with earnings of $67,714.   Live racing continues on Sunday, August 23rd at Balmoral Park. Once again all the action gets underway at 7:10pm on Sunday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 (races 7-10) features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The 10-cent Hi Five (race 10) also features a guaranteed pool of $15,000 while the highly successful trifecta guarantee on race nine will give fans the chance to play into a $25,000 guaranteed pool. Tom Kelley

It was typical Thursday evening at  the harness racing meeting at Hoosier Park with a series of Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations, but the crowd, horsemen and employees alike awaited the 11th race with bated breath for there was a particular black colt they had waited for nearly 10 months to see. He had not been in Anderson since his second place finish in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for his age, sex and gender last October, but Airman Batten swiftly dispelled the drama and resoundingly responded to any inquiries about his current form. Last year's state champion assumed command at the three-quarter pole and promptly returned to where he belongs: the winners' circle. "Obviously we were disappointed we could not start with him a little earlier in the year," said Erv Miller, the colt's conditioner. "Towards the end of last year he had a knee that was bothering him and then we found a suspensory problem behind." "It was not a tear, but he had some problems with the fibers." "We just gave him the time off and we took it really slow, but he came back great." "He's actually bigger and stronger than he was last year and we are looking forward to the rest of the year with him." A son of Swan For All and the Yankee Glide mare Ladylike Volo, Airman Batten is owned by Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and Greg Gillis. At age two, he compiled a record of 14-10-2-2, earned $296,760 and trotted in 1:55.4s. Although he competed primarily at Hoosier Park, the colt did take his show on the road by competing in the Kindergarten series at The Red Mile and Vernon Downs, where he came home third in the $240,500 final. On Friday (August 14) Airman Batten is targeting his 16th career triumph and his second Indiana crown when he leaves from post position seven in his $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final. Despite the long lay-off, he is 7-2 second selection on the morning line behind only Homicide Hunter (3-5), who is a perfect nine for nine this year, and his regular driver, LeWayne Miller, will be in the bike. The race is the ninth on the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes card with the field scheduled to be sent from the gate at 8:25 p.m. "He has such a nice mind and excellent manners," (Erv) Miller said. "He's also beautifully gaited and has never been a problem since his first day in the barn." "The only thing we ever had to do with him is give him time, but good horses are always worth that kind of wait and with the season he had last year, he deserved anything we could do for him." So just how talented is this handsome young man? Well, he's pretty close to being undefeated as all four of his losses can be accounted for. His first loss was in his second pari-mutuel contest, coincidentally in a $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake Final, on July 5, 2014. He broke stride prior to the start and got away ninth. In a display of sheer ability, Airman Batten immediately recovered, steadfastly trotted home and finished a strong third after the miscue. He did not taste defeat again, as he won seven straight, before finishing an outstanding second to Whataworkout in $10,000 Kindergarten leg at The Red Mile on September 18, 2014. The winner paid a whopping $99.60 and the reason Airman Batten did not have his picture taken was due to interference from a breaking horse in the first quarter mile. The next occasion he failed to visit the winners' circle was on October 18, 2014, when he was a close second to Quiet Hall in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Final and his final loss, a third place finish, was in the aforementioned Kindergarten Final. "He was really running out hard on the left line that night in Indiana," Miller said. "After he raced at Vernon Downs is when we found out he was sore in that knee, so that's when we shut him down and pointed him towards this year." After Airman Batten competes in this upcoming engagement, he will likely remain in Anderson for the remainder of 2015, much to the chagrin of his respective rivals. "He is eligible to the Gault and several other local stakes in the Midwest," Miller said. "The money right here in Indiana is so good though, there really is no reason to take him anywhere else." " He can stay home and make a nice living." "We have confidence in him and although the late start was not ideal, we are excited to race him the rest of the year." Airman Batten's $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final will be part of the star studded card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday that features the 2015 installment of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes. The entire racing card will be part of a special weekend tagged as the "Dan Patch Festival Weekend" and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The thrill-themed weekend will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. First post is 5:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.hoosierpark.com.  Kimberly French

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's 2015 Champion Driver Series highlighted the harness racing card on Saturday, July 25 and it was Trace Tetrick who took home top honors and won his share of the $5,000 round 1 prize. In its' second year, the 2015 Champion Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park against one another in a five-race challenge with the ten coveted spots being based upon wins during the 2015 season. Tetrick, a 28-year-old, Illinois native earned one win, one second, one third and two off the board finishes during the five-race competition for a total of 39 points to secure the win. LeWayne Miller, last year's Champion Driver Series winner, finished second with 38 points followed by Sam Widger finishing third with 36 points. Tetrick kicked things off with a win in the first leg of the challenge behind Pipecreek Yankee for trainer Walter Haynes Jr., earning 15 points . He finished sixth in the next race but was able to guide Humble Hero to a second place finish to earn nine points in the third leg of the challenge. After the fourth race of the series and just one race left to go, Tetrick was tied for first with LeWayne Miller at 31 points. Dillander moved into second place after a win with Endeavors Lady Luck while Ed Hensley had accumulated 29 points for third. Tetrick was able to clinch the trophy and the lion's share of the $5,000 prize in the final race by steering Jagger Blue Chip to a third place finish, earning eight points. LeWayne Miller secured second place after a fourth place finish with Steviescooter while Sam Widger moved into third place after a decisive win with Major Starlight. "I was feeling pretty good about the horses I picked coming into tonight," Tetrick noted after the win. "Luckily, the trips worked out and the horses showed up." "A couple of my horses raced really well, a few of the others didn't, but it all worked out." Tetrick currently leads all drivers for the 2015 season at Hoosier Park with 159 victories and over $1.5 million in purse earnings through the first 85 days of live racing. Tetrick recorded his first win at Hoosier Park in 2006 and has been a mainstay atop Hoosier Park's leader board ever since. In 2008, Tetrick became the youngest driver or jockey to ever win a title at Hoosier Park after garnering 117 victories that season. Tetrick took home the leading driver title in 2014 and also earned a spot in Hoosier Park's record books once again as he re-established the record for most wins in one season, a record that was previously held by Tony Morgan during the 1998 season with 262 victories. "This was a lot of fun," he continued. "We're always a competitive group and we always have fun with each other but when you have a challenge like this, it really brings out the competitiveness in all of us." "I know it's something we've been looking forward to all week." Tetrick will look to defend his title in Round 2 of the Champion Driver Series slated for October 17 at Hoosier Park. While the second go-round will be conducted in the same manner as the first, the winner of the final challenge will be awarded a Hawaiian vacation for four, valued at $15,000. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, July 28 with a 14-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 14. Emily Gaskin

Pompano Beach, FL...February 9, 2015...With mares in the Pompano Park spotlight Monday night, Just A Bee and Little Bitty Lies took top honors in their respective events for the harness racing distaffers.   Just A Bee, competing in the $12,000 Open Pace for the Mares, conquered five rivals and a racetrack deluged with rain just minutes before to score a 1:52.4 win for Mike Micallef -- her margin a half length over a very stubborn Senorita Santanna, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. De Vins Girl was third for Jason Dillander while Always Dee One and Arodasi also picked up minor awards in the field of six.   Just A Bee, a seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, was away in good order from her outside post six to settle into the third spot around the opening turn behind Senorita Santanna and De Vins Girl. Just a couple of strides later, "Queen Bee" was out again and driving for the lead, which she assumed shortly after an opening panel of :27.1.   With no pressure down the opening straightaway, Just A Bee lolly-gagged through a second quarter in :29.4, reaching the half in a "soft" :57. Once they straightened away on the backside, Just A Bee discouraged any impending threats with a :28 third quarter in the slop and then sealed the deal with a :27.4 closer, holding off a very game Senorita Santanna by a half length.   In a post race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, Once I got a taste of that mud in my mouth, I decided to try and make the top spot to minimize any additional 'mud pudding' thrown my way. Actually, we got a nice breather during the second quarter and, when we reached the half cheap (:57), I thought she could carry it all the way home. George's mare (Senorita Santanna) went a big mile--she's tough as nails--but my mare is tough, as well...and actually had a bit easier of a trip than last week, when she had to go first up on the backside and finished second."   Owned by Anita Micallef, along with John Mc Goff and Greg Heath, Just A Bee now has a 3-1-0 scorecard in five starts this young season, good for $22,500. She's earned $172,166 lifetime.   As the 3 to 5 favorite, Just A Bee returned $3.40 to win.   Little Bitty Lies, a five year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, used a bold rush on the backside to take command prior to the final turn and romp home an easy winner--two lengths--for Lewayne Miller in 1:56.4 over the track still labeled sloppy in the $13,000 companion Open Trot for Mares.   Trot Fudge Sundae, handled by Dave Ingraham, used a backside brush of her own to get second while Blushing Hanover, prominent early but backed up after getting "briefly stuck in traffic" rallied for Mickey McNichol to finish third.   Barbies Korvett and Black Swan also earned checks in the septet.   Third early on through opening panels of :28.1 and :57.4, Little Bitty Lies blitzed her opposition with a strong backside brush to assume command--comfortably--past the third station in 1:26.4.   From there, the issue was never in doubt.   Owned by the consortium of the Erv Miller Stable, Wind Gap, MIchelon and Paymaq Racing, Little Bitty Lies won for the initial time in 2015 in just two starts this season--9th win lifetime--to send her career bankroll to $158,788.   Finally, though the even money favorite in the Super Hi-5 was disqualified and placed out of the top five, the event still had multiple winners with the carryover going over to Tuesday night's card exceeding $120,000.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   John Berry for Pompano Park      

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 10, 2014 - It was a night ruled by favorites as Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a 14-race card on Friday, October 11 featuring the fifth and final round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the two-year-old divisions. Four Indiana Sires Stakes champions were crowned as the publics' choice delivered in each of the four divisions. The action-packed night opened with the first $75,000 final for two-year-old trotting colts and Airman Batten looked every bit the part of a 1-5 favorite as he overcame a tough, first-over bid to score in 1:57.1. Driven by regular pilot Lewayne Miller, Airman Batten was uninvolved in the early stages of the race but quickly made up for lost time just past the half. As the field turned for home, Airman Batten began to put his talent on display and trotted on to the wire to win by three-lengths. The victory was the tenth win of the season and fourth Indiana Sires Stakes final win for the son of Swan For All-Ladylike Volo. "I was happy with the trip," Miller noted after the win. "I just wanted to make sure I didn't get away too far back because I knew he would do his part. When we turned for home I was pretty comfortable because I could tell he still had plenty left. He's just a professional in everything he does." Trained by Erv Miller, Airman Batten has now won ten of 12 lifetime starts and sports a career bankroll of $217,900. Owned by Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman, and Greg Gillis, Airman Batten will now be pointed toward the $200,000 Indiana Super Final slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park. Fresh off a decisive win in the Indiana Sires Stakes elimination last week, Churita and Trace Tetrick turned in another dominant performance to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Scoring in a lifetime best of 1:56.4, Churita took the lead just past the half and remained uncontested before trotting home to a five length victory. "She was really sharp tonight," Tetrick noted. "She has matured quite a bit from the beginning of the year and tonight she was all business. The trip worked out for us and she showed a lot of class tonight." Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita kept her seven race win streak in-tact as she scored her third Indiana Sires Stakes final win and seventh career victory from nine lifetime outings. From the first crop of Airzoom Lindy, the freshman filly has now amassed $163,225 for her owner Jackie Porter. As the stakes action switched gears, Rockin Good and Jared Finn kept the favorite trend alive for the night as they prevailed in a tight photo for win in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies. Using a sharp, front running effort, Rockin Good held off a late charge from Feetonthedashboard and Dale Hiteman to score in a lifetime best effort of 1:53.2. Trained by Jared Finn, who also co-owns the filly with Mark Finn, Rockin Good scored the biggest win of her freshman career from ten seasonal starts. From the first crop of Rockin Image, Rockin Good has now earned $81,250 for her connections. The two-year-old pacing colts completed the stakes action on the evening's card and it was Freaky Feet Pete who continued his winning ways to score his fifth consecutive win in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final. Out nearly every step of the mile, Freaky Feet Pete put away all challengers in the final eighth of the mile to score in 1:52.1. The victory was also the third win of the night for Hoosier Park's leading driver, Trace Tetrick. "When I looked at the sheet I thought there was going to be a lot of early speed in the race," Tetrick noted after the win. "I wanted to come from off the pace and it ended up working out because we got cover." "Tonight was the first time he's had to come from off a helmet and he did everything I asked," Tetrick continued. "He is just a great colt that loves his job. The Rheinheimers have done a great job with both of their two-year-olds this year they have been a lot of fun to drive." Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete scored his third Indiana Sires Stakes final win and eighth career victory from nine lifetime outings. The son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has now earned $161,950 for his owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer. Freaky Feet Pete currently holds Hoosier Park's track record for two-year-old pacing colts with his 1:50.3 time in stakes action earlier in the season. The 2014 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 18 at Hoosier Park. With purses leaning toward the $2 million mark, the 14-race card slated for October 18 will be one of the richest nights offered in the Indiana Sires Stakes program. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 11 with a 13-race card featuring the fifth and final round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals for the three-year-old competitors. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the 2014 live racing season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will be conducted through November 15. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 27, 2014 - The second and final round of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's 2014 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race card on Saturday, September 27 and it was Lewayne Miller who stole the show. After taking home top honors in the opening round of Hoosier Park's inaugural Champion Driver Series earlier in the season, Lewayne Miller accumulated a total of 83 points in the final round to win the grand prize, a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. In its' inaugural edition, the 2014 Champion Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another, not once, but twice in a five-race challenge throughout the season. Miller, a 27-year-old Indiana native, accumulated a total of 47 points after the five races and was crowned the winner, walking away with the $5,000 prize of the first challenge. With the points from round one carrying over to round two, Miller led the group of ten drivers into the final round and earned one win, one second, one third, and two ninth place finishes in the five races of the challenge to take make a clean sweep of both rounds in the Champion Driver Series. "I was nervous all day," Miller, seemingly still in shock, noted in the winner's circle. "I tried to forget about it and keep my nerves down. I felt good about my horses coming into tonight so I knew if I had a little luck I had a good shot but I tried not to think about it. I showed up tonight and just tried to do the best I could." After a ninth and a third place finish in the first two races of the challenge respectively, Miller found the winner's circle in the third race of the challenge and scored 15 points with Starven Darven at 7-1. Using the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage, Miller found late racing room and Starven Darven used a :27.2 final quarter to coast home a winner in 1:52.4. With a ninth place finish behind The Flight Rose in the fourth race of the challenge, Miller accumulated two more points but still held the lead by a narrow margin with 74 points heading into the final race. Ross Leonard was a close second with 67 points and Sam Widger just behind him in third with 62 points. Heading into the final race of the challenge, it appeared to be anyone's game. Miller secured the keys to the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with a second place finish in the final race, earning nine more points, behind VC Scooter for trainer Grant Wilfong. Dismissed at odds of 10-1, VC Scooter rallied late in the lane to get up for second place honors behind Rocknroll Special and Ricky Macomber Jr. "That is definitely the happiest I've ever been to finish second," Miller noted after the race. "After talking with the trainer before the race, I knew he (VC Scooter) would be good, I didn't want to get buried or locked in so I made sure I had him out when we turned for home." After the dust settled, Miller led all drivers with 83 points, Leonard finished second with 73 while Sam Widger and Brad Hanners tied for third place with 65 points. "This is a really big deal," Miller continued. "A few years ago I was just a fan watching all these guys drive. To win this challenge against this group of drivers and here at Hoosier Park is a really big deal for me. This was my first driver's challenge I've ever been in and to win a car like this, it's a really big deal." As the youngest driver in the group of ten, Miller is now a proud new owner of a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. In just his second full season as a driver, Miller has recorded 335 career victories and is on track to record his best season to date in the bike in 2014. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, September 30 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing will be conducted through November 15. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 26, 2014 - After taking home top honors in the opening round of Hoosier Park's inaugural Champion Driver Series earlier in the season, Lewayne Miller is set to defend his title on Saturday, September 27 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino during the second and final round of the 2014 Champion Driver Series. Miller, a 27-year-old Indiana native, accumulated a total of 47 points after the five races of the opening challenge and was crowned the winner, walking away with the $5,000 prize. Now, he will lead the talented group of ten drivers into Saturday night's card and has his sights set on the grand prize. The first of its kind, the 2014 Champion Driver Series will pit the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge with the champion driver cruising away in the grand prize, a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. "I feel good about my chances going into it," Miller said modestly. "Like always, I am going to need some luck and my horses to race well but I am looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun. Winning the first round was awesome, but winning the second round and the car would really be something." With their points from the first challenge round carrying over to the final challenge round, Lewayne Miller will lead the top eight finishers from round one into round two followed closely by Sam Widger and Andy Shetler. Peter Wrenn and Ricky Macomber Jr. rounded out the final two positions as determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of the live racing card that was held on Saturday, September 20. The drivers, listed by position in the standings of the challenge, are as follows: Lewayne Miller (47 points), Sam Widger (38), Andy Shetler (37.5), Brad Hanners (34), Ross Leonard (33), Trace Tetrick (26.5), Mike Peterson (25), Ed Hensley (24) Ricky Macomber Jr. (22) and Peter Wrenn (0). The challenge races will be five consecutive races (races 6-10) and compliment the 14-race card slated for Saturday, September 27. After the dust settles and the points have been tallied from each of the five races, one driver will be driving away in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. "It would be great, I've never driven something that nice," Miller said with a smile. "It's a convertible too so if I do win it, I will definitely be taking a trip to Florida." As an added bonus, racing fans will also have an opportunity to win big as part of the 2014 Champion Driver Series with $10,000 up for grabs. Guests can enter at any rewards kiosk at Hoosier Park from 10 a.m. to 9:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 to enter the contest. At approximately 10:15 p.m., one winner will take home $5,000 cash and five lucky guests will win $1,000 each. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 24, 2014 - Ten of the top drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take center stage on Saturday, September 27 as they compete in a five-race challenge for the ultimate prize, a one year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, in the inaugural 2014 Champion Driver Series. The first of its kind, the 2014 Champion Driver Series will pit the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge with the champion driver driving away in a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Eight of the ten coveted spots in the second round of the series were based upon points earned in the first round of the challenge that was held at Hoosier Park on Saturday, July 19. With a total of 47 points, Lewayne Miller was crowned the winner and walked away with his share of the $5,000 prize after the first round. With their points from the first challenge round carrying over to the final challenge round, Lewayne Miller will lead the top eight finishers from round one into round two followed closely by Sam Widger and Andy Shetler. Peter Wrenn and Ricky Macomber Jr. will round out the final two positions as determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of the live racing card that was held on Saturday, September 20. The drivers, listed by position in the standings of the challenge, are as follows: Lewayne Miller (47 points), Sam Widger (38), Andy Shetler (37.5), Brad Hanners (34), Ross Leonard (33), Trace Tetrick (26.5), Mike Peterson (25), Ed Hensley (24) Ricky Macomber Jr. (22) and Peter Wrenn (0). As in round one, the drivers will be picking the horses they will drive via a draft system for all five of the races in the challenge at a community luncheon to be held at Hoosier Park on Thursday, September 25. In the first race of the challenge, the top rated driver based upon wins at Hoosier Park, Trace Tetrick, will get first pick of the horse he wants to drive. Next the No. 2 ranked driver, Peter Wrenn, will pick and then continue through all 10 drivers. For the second race of the challenge, the selection order will be reversed and the No. 10 driver, Mike Peterson, will pick first. This alternating selection process will continue through all five races of the challenge. Points will be awarded in each of the five races ranging from 15 points for the winners down to 1 point for the 10th-place finisher. The challenge races will be five consecutive races (races 6-10) and compliment the 14-race card slated for Saturday, September 27. After the dust settles and the points have been tallied from each of the five races, one driver will be driving away in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. As an added bonus, racing fans will also have an opportunity to win big as part of the 2014 Champion Driver Series with $10,000 up for grabs. Guests can enter at any rewards kiosk at Hoosier Park from 10 a.m. to 9:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 to enter the contest. At approximately 10:15 p.m., one winner will take home $5,000 cash and five lucky guests will win $1,000 each. The 14-race card slated for Saturday, September 27 will begin at its' regularly scheduled post time of 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park's 'Family Fun Days' return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the Standardbred meet. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, live entertainment, games and winner's circle giveaways. For more information on the 2014 Champion Driver Series, please visit Hoosier Park's website or click here. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

Crete, IL --- A pair of American-Nationals for 2-year-old trotting colts and fillies will be contested Wednesday night (Sept. 17) at Balmoral Park. In the $57,200 Am-Nat for fillies, trainer Homer Hochstetler will harness a pair of contestants, while in the $73,000 colt division, two youngsters will carry the colors of conditioner Erv Miller. Fresh off a trio of championship victories on Illinois Super Night (Sept. 13) at the Crete, Ill., one-miler, Miller sends out two lightly-raced freshmen: the gelding Jake Quaider and the colt SS Poseidon. This pair will face off against seven rivals in the one mile test, slated as the fifth race on the program. The latter is a son of Muscle Hill-Silverstar Volo who has earned $56,460 to date for the partnership of Paymaq Racing and Shim Racing LLC. Most recently he finished third, beaten only two lengths, in a $10,000 Kindergarten leg at The Red Mile on Sept. 11, clocked in 1:57.2 for driver LeWayne Miller. “They got away with cheap fractions early at Lexington and he was too far back and really didn’t get into the race until late,” Erv Miller said. “His best race was definitely the Reynolds at Tioga (Downs).” In the Reynolds on Sept. 4, Miller’s son Marcus steered SS Poseidon to a 1:57.1 lifetime best in wire-to-wire fashion, utilizing a :28.3 final brush to secure his first career triumph. “This colt is a homebred that Mike (Anderson of Paymaq Racing) and the Shim partners bred,” Miller offered. “They own the mare. He’s been a real easy colt all along to deal with. He does his work right and has a super attitude.” In just seven career starts SS Poseidon also has a trio of second-place finishes and one third to his credit, and has never missed getting a purse check for these connections. He also had two fifth-place finishes in his first two pari-mutuel starts at the Meadowlands, in a $20,000 Peter Haughton Memorial elimination and the $355,500 Haughton final. SS Poseidon is the first foal out of the unraced Andover Hall mare Silverstar Volo. Miller’s other youngster, the Photo Color-Grace Elizabeth gelding Jake Quaider, is owned by Quaid Racing LLC and has amassed $11,780 in three starts. He won his Balmoral debut on Aug. 31 in 1:57.4 by 2-1/2 lengths for driver Casey Leonard, and also has one second and one third-place finish to his credit. “The owners bought him as a weanling right off the farm from Kevin Miller,” Erv explained. “A few years ago they owned his sister, Maevey Gravy, who was a very nice 3-year-old. This colt was small and immature and we’ve been waiting on him a little bit. (Trainer) Mike (Arnold) got some jog miles into him over the winter and he’s just now learning how to trot. I think he’s got speed, but he just needs some more time to mature.” Jake Quaider is the fifth of six foals out of the Credit Winner mare Grace Elizabeth 2,2:09.2h ($19,503), and is a half-sister to Maevey Gravy (by Northern Kid) 3,1:55 ($190,110) and Graceful Spirit (by Psychic Spirit) 3,1:58.3 ($29,981). To date Miller has conditioned 4,541 winners to $66,845,174 in career earnings. Most recently he added an additional three Super Night Championships to his tally, bringing his crown total to 25, more than any other trainer in Illinois history. Trainer Homer Hochsteter sends out two fillies in the seven-horse distaff division, slated as race four. Fox Valley Harrah, owned by the Hunter family’s South Of The Track Racing, Inc. is a daughter of Pizzazzed-Hallie Rose who has earned $13,930 to date and will be looking for her first career triumph from the rail in the seven-horse field. Purchased for $5,700 from the 2013 Walker Standardbred Sale, Fox Valley Harrah has one second and one third in six lifetime trips postward. “Dr. Hunter and his son looked at her at the sale and she was not expensive, so we bought her,” Homer explained. “She’s been alright to work with and has had a few issues but overall she’s been okay. Her strong suit is racing off a helmet and she’s able to finish her miles very well. She’s not big on leading the parade but she’ll follow all day long. Her best race so far was at Springfield.” At the Illinois State Fair at Springfield on Aug. 14, Fox Valley Harrah trotted to a strong, second-place finish in rein to Matt Krueger, clocked in 1:58.1, with a :28 final brush. This filly is out of the unraced Sir Taurus mare Hallie Rose, and is a full sister to Fox Valley Hosana 2,1:59.2 ($52,530) and has half-siblings in Demeter (byCredit Winner) 2,1:59.2 ($75,346) and Fox Valley Helena 2,1:59.2 ($58,385). Hochstetler’s other charge is a homebred daughter of Powerful Emotion-Black N Bluegenes that the trainer and co-owner Robert Buddig christened Persuasive Look. A winner of $36,630 from just six starts, Persuasive Look has been on the board every time, with one win, two seconds and a trio of thirds. “She’s been sound all year,” Homer offered. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of her yet. She’s just been ultra-consistent and steady and you can do about anything with her. At this point she’s probably better tagging along rather than leading, but she’s a very nice trotting filly.” Persuasive Look’s lone but impressive win came on July 27 at Balmoral, when she captured the $44,000 Fox Valley Flan Stake in 1:58.2 for driver Casey Leonard. She used a :28.1 final brush to nudge between a pair of rivals, including Fox Valley Yoko, who is also in this event, to prevail by a length. Persuasive Look is the third foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Black N Bluegenes, and is a half-sister to the mare American Empress (by American Native) 4,1:58.2f ($57,171). Hochstetler, 62, of Crete, Ill., has conditioned 1,663 winners to $18,919,443 in his career. He’s also driven 1,407 winners to $11,695,279 in career earnings and is recognized as one of the top trotting trainers in the Prairie State. by Kimbery Rinker, for Balmoral Park

LEXINGTON, KY— A trio of Kindergarten divisions highlighted the latter part of the Thursday night card at The Red Mile, with round three of the freshmen trotting series attracting 29 colts.   Indiana-native Airman Batten bested series-leader French Laundry as the 1-2 favorite in 1:57.1.   Driver Lewayne Miller protected the pylons with Airman Batten as French Laundry was in pursuit of the front. After tucking into the pocket, Airman Batten passed the quarter in :30. Slowing the tempo to the half, Boots N Chains brushed to the lead from sixth. Airman Batten yielded to the 22-1 shot in 1:01.2 (:31.2).   Airman Batten was patient around the far turn, pulling out of the pocket once passed three-quarters, which was timed in 1:30.2 (:29). Airman Batten slowly made his way passed Boots N Chains, who was drifting far off the pylons. French Laundry attempted to close at the inside, but settled for third as Airman Batten was a length winner over Boots N Chains in 1:57.1 (:26.4).   A colt by Swan For All, out of the mare Ladylike Volo by Yankee Glide, Airman Batten is owned by Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and Greg Gillis and is trained by Erv Miller. He paid $3.00 to win.   Wicker Hanover sat patiently in the mid-pack and swept by his competition in the stretch to win in 1:57.   P Mac Attack took command, with True Blue Stride tucking into the pocket and Ferragamo progressing first over. Past a quarter in :28.2, Ferragamo went on to take control. P Mac Attack sat behind as Ferragamo passed the half in :57.4 (:29.2).   Into the far turn, True Blue Stride broke from third as P Mac Attack angled to the outside with Wicker Hanover on his tail. Ferragamo was starting to lose his stride at three-quarters in 1:27.3 (:29.4).   P Mac Attack inherited the front upon Ferragamo’s break in the stretch. Wicker Hanover fanned three wide and trotted by for driver Andrew McCarthy and won by 2 lengths at the finish over Cinnabar Hall, Ss Poseidon, and P Mac Attack in 1:57 (:29.2).   Wicker Hanover is by Explosive Matter, out of the Conway Hall mare Won An Done. Owned by Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable Inc. and trained by Noel Daley, he paid $9.40 to win. This was the first win of his career.   In the final division, Musical Rhythm sat at the pylons for the whole mile and found room in the final eighth to score in 1:56.4.   First-time starter Iron showed speed, with Bighandsbiggloves getting away second and Musical Rhythm in third. Iron passed the quarter in :28.4. He was uncontested up to the half, timed in :59 (:30.1).   Suit And Tie pulled first over from fourth around the far turn and was stride-for-stride with Iron heading to three-quarters. Iron had a slight advantage through three-quarters in 1:28.4 (:29.4).   Suit And Tie had a nose in front at the top of the lane, while Iron fought on towards the inside. Musical Rhythm slowly eased his way up the inside and took control approaching the finish. He won by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:56.4 (:28) over Suit And Tie, Iron and Bighandsbiggloves.   Musical Rhythm is by Cantab Hall, out of the Valley Victory mare Musical Victory. Owned by Mystical Marker Farms, In The Gym Parnters, Joe Sbrocco and T. Massey, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, he paid $13.80 to win. The 1:56.4 mile is a lifetime mark for Musical Rhythm.   French Laundry remains on top of the standings with 112 points, while Wheels Ah Smokin maintains second at 58 points and P Mac Attack is third with 55 points. Airman Batten, making his Kindergarten debut, is tied for fifth between Suit And Tie and Habitat at 50 points. Four divisions for filly trotters Round three of the Kindergarten series was contested on Thursday, September 11 at The Red Mile, with four divisions, compiled of forty freshmen filly trotters in all, carded for the weeknight action.   The opening division was taken by 30-1 shot Bee The Queen, doing so in a career best 1:56 over a good track.   Leaving the gate, Bee The Queen secured forward position as Sweet Thing, from post 7, began to make a move to the front. Clearing past a quarter of :28.3, public-choice Allerage Star then made her move towards the front, taking control at three-eighths.   Bee The Queen was shuffled to third and sat 2 ¾ lengths off the leader, Allerage Star, through a :57.4 (:29.1) half-mile.   Into the far turn, driver James Stiltner II pulled Bee The Queen first over and began to pursuit the lead. Past three-quarters in 1:27.4 (:30), she was up to the throat of Allerage Star. As Sweet Thing faltered behind them, Bee The Queen powered by the 3/5 favorite to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:56 (:28.1) over Allerage Star, Sarcy and Murderers Row.   A filly by Donato Hanover, out of the mare Bee Line by Self Possessed, Bee The Queen paid $62.00 to win, with the exacta returning $127.20 on a $2 investment. She is owned by Alfred Ross and trained by George Ducharme.   The second division saw another long shot, Waiting Room, foil the public choice at odds of 41-1 in 1:56.1.   Waiting Room was among a trio of leavers, with favored Lilu Hanover and Bright Baby Blues, from post 10, also heading to the front. Lilu Hanover was the pacesetter through a quarter in :28.3.   While Waiting Room remained in the pocket, Lady Clarabella traveled first over, with Josie’s Joy drafting behind her. That duo parked as Lilu Hanover remained in control through a :58.3 (:30) half.   Heading to three-quarters, Lilu Hanover was 1 ¾ lengths clear of pocket-sitter Waiting Room as they passed that station in 1:28.1 (:29.3). Encouraged for trot, Lilu Hanover did not respond in the stretch while Waiting Room popped out of the pocket, as well as Bright Baby Blues from third. Waiting Room gained control while Bright Baby Blues stalled to her outside. Waiting Room remained in front at the finish, winning by a half-length over Bright Baby Blues, Lilu Hanover and Bright Eyes in a lifetime-best 1:56.1 (:27.3).   Paying $85.60 to win, Waiting Room is by Credit Winner, out of the mare Wedding Dress by Muscles Yankee. She is owned by Andy Miller Stables Inc., Little E LLC, and Lawrence Dumain, trained by Julie Miller and was driven by Charlie Norris.   Gold Cora ironically defied the odds, winning the third division as the 3/5 favorite in 1:57.   Gold Cora secured command at the inside, but Aarena Hanover brushed by to take the lead heading to the quarter. Classical Annie tucked into third and Morcredit Bluechip was fourth through a :28.4 quarter.   Driver Mike Lachance sent Gold Cora back to the front and cleared the lead with ease approaching the half. He was uncontested through a :58.3 (:29.4) half-mile.   Into the far turn, Morcredit Bluechip took to the outside, but stalled as Gold Cora maintained a 1 ¾ lengths lead passed three-quarters in 1:28.2 (:29.4). Aarena Hanover attempted to slingshot out of the pocket, while Classical Annie was gradually gaining ground three wide. Aarena Hanover dropped out of the battle from in between horses and Gold Cora, despite getting a little rough-gaited in the stretch, held off the bid of Classical Annie to win by 1 length in 1:57 (:28.3).    Rob Key owns the filly by Encore Encore, out of the mare Striking Gold K by Striking Sahbra. Trained by Rich Gillock, she paid $3.20 to win.   With the break of 4/5 favorite Saturday Mornings, Rules Of The Road sat a perfect trip to slide by race leader Pad Princess to win at 19-1 in 1:57.   Rules Of The Road and Pad Princess left the gate well and battled for control through a :29.3 quarter. Approaching three-eighths, Pad Princess cleared the lead while Rules Of The Road drafted in second. Pad Princess led past the half in :57.4 (:28.1).   Wordie Hanover was flushed first over entering the far turn and gradually made his way to Pad Princess. The two were neck-and-neck through a 1:28 (:30.1) third-quarter.   Wordie Hanover stalled first over and Pad Princess began to drift off the pylons, leaving room for Rules Of The Road to squeeze through and win by 1 length in 1:57 over Pad Princess, What Ru Going Todo, and Meadowbranch Lulu.   Owned by Arden Homestead Stable and trainer Janice Connor and driven by Chuck Connor Jr., the daughter of Muscle Hill, out of the mare Right On Renee by Andover Hall, paid $41.00 to win.   Bee The Queen currently leads in the standings with 108 points, while Lady Clarabella sits second with 100 points and Allerage Star is tied for third with 75 points to Josie’s Joy.   The fourth preliminary of the Kindergarten series has been moved from Friday, September 19 to Thursday, September 18. Declaration time is at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, September 15.    by Ray Cotolo, for the Red Mile  

The current point leader in both the filly and colt standings for the Kindergarten series will be racing over the Kentucky clay at The Red Mile on Thursday night as no fewer than seven divisions will be contested, each for a $10,000 purse. Forty fillies made for a nice even four divisions of ten and the colts line up as a nine and two tens in the Grand Circuit event. Lady Clarabella sits atop the filly roster with 100 points as a result of her two-for-two record in the series. She won her division of leg two at Tioga in 1:57.2 and rewarded her backers handsomely with a $45 mutuel payoff. She begins from post 9 in the fourth race on Thursday at a generous 6-1 morning line. Andy McCarthy is aboard for Randy Beeckman who trains the Lear Jetta filly for breeder Paul Kinnear and his partner Dreamland Farms. Another homebred filly with a promising future is Allerage Star who will open the series action as the 3-1 pick in race two. She's won three of five this season, including a Kindergarten leg at The Meadowlands, Tompkins-Geers and most recently Reynolds Grand Circuit stakes for owner/breeder Jeff Gural's Little E, LLC and partners Jason Settlemoir, Dave Stolz and Art Geiger. She'll have the services of Scott Zeron in the sulky for conditioner Howie Okusko, Jr. on Thursday. The colt divisions are later in the card and series leader French Laundry looks to continue his perfect Kindergarten record for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter in race ten. French Laundry was a winner in the Champlain stakes at Mohawk in his last, a mere five days after a series success at Tioga. The nicely bred colt has now recover over $95,000 of his $115, 000 yearling purchase price for Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. He will encounter an interesting new shooter for the series in Indiana champ Airman Batten. This Swan For All colt has won seven of eight starts including three INSS finals and $161,500 for owners Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and Greg Gillis. Erv Miller is the trainer and regular pilot Lewayne Miller is in for the drive. Those with Kindergarten eligibles are reminded that next week's leg has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 18 and entries are due for that one on Monday morning. Check the condition sheet for details. The fun starts at 7:00pm in Lexington on Thursday. From the press box at the Red Mile  

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 5, 2014 - Lucky Jet, guided by Lewayne Miller, pulled a stunning 27-1 upset to take home top honors in the featured event of the evening, the $22,000 Rosie Harness Memorial Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 5. With a final time of 1:50.2, Lucky Jet took advantage of a pocket trip to score his fourth win of the season. Leaving from post three, Lucky Jet left just enough to protect his position as Ricky Macomber Jr. sent Sweet Talkin Satin away from the gate firing. Sweet Talkin Satin reached the front through the opening panel in :26.3 and remained uncontested down the backside, hitting the half in :55.2. Some Kinda Beach and Ed Hensley began the long, first-over journey as the field approached the final turn with the heavily favored, Night Pro and Peter Wrenn in tow. Sweet Talkin Satin continued to call the shots around the third station in 1:23.2 and was able to fight off Some Kinda Beach turning for home. While the top pair battled it out on the front, Lucky Jet was looming large In The Pocket. Miller was able to find late racing room up the rail and Lucky Jet found another gear. Using a :26.3 final quarter, Lucky Jet exploded from the pocket to finish three lengths in front of Night Pro who closed hard for second. Sweet Talkin Satin held on gamely to round out the trifecta. As the longest shot on the board at odds of 27-1, Lucky Jet returned $56.00 to his backers at the window. Trained by Tom Harmer, the son of Jereme's Jet-My Metallica has now won four of 23 outings in 2014 while earning $62,560. Lucky Jet pushed his career bankroll to $286,995 for owners Ciara Stable and Edward Kollross. The race was held in honor of the late Rosie Harness, who tragically passed away on Friday, August 30. A long time member of the horse racing community, Rosie trained a stable of horses with her husband Carl "Olin" Harness that raced at Hoosier Park and throughout the state of Indiana. Friends and family members of Rosie gathered on the track after the race to remember their special friend. Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park on Saturday, September 6 with a stakes filled card as "Hoosier Champions Night" returns. The 14-race card will feature the fourth round of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 5, 2014 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will highlight the 2014 harness racing season on Saturday, September 6 with Indiana's finest trotters and pacers convening on Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for the annual Hoosier Champions Night, the fourth of five rounds of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. A total of 14 races have been established and after the dust settles, eight new Indiana Sires Stakes champions will be crowned. The first race will line up behind the starting gate at 5:15 p.m. Revamped for the 2014 season, the Indiana Sires Stakes program features five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses return to compete in a final and consolation. The 2014 stakes season will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on October 18 at Hoosier Park. "Our Hoosier Champions Night has become a much-anticipated event among horseman and racing fans alike," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "The 2014 season has already exceeded my expectations and I am excited to offer racing fans another stellar night of racing. To have horses of this quality racing at Hoosier Park speaks volumes to where our racing program has come and where it is going." In its' 21st season of live harness racing, Hoosier Park is in the midst of one of its' fastest season to date. Sweet Lou recently lowered the overall track record to 1:47.2 in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park on August 8. Of the eight respective Indiana Sires Stakes divisions, five of the eight have produced track record breaking or equaling miles this season. Freaky Feet Pete not only holds the Hoosier Park track record for two-year-old pacing colts but was also a national season's record holder with his 1:50.4 score in Indiana Sires Stakes action earlier in the season. Guided by Trace Tetrick, Freaky Feet Pete will look to score his second $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts from the trailing post ten on Saturday. Always B Miki recently shattered the track record for three-year-old pacing colts with a 1:48.4 score in the last $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final and followed that up with a win in his most recent elimination. Trained by Joe Holloway, Always B Miki will look to score his second Indiana Sires Stakes final win with driver Peter Wrenn in the sulky from post eight. In the three-year-old trotting colt ranks, Rose Run Parker returned to his winning ways and re-established his own track record with a 1:54 score in the elimination round of stakes action last week at Hoosier Park. Trained by Ron Burke, Rose Run Parker will start from post three in the $75,000 final for Hoosier Park's all-time leading driver, Ricky Macomber Jr. Following suit, Airman Batten also re-established his own track record in the two-year-old trotting colt ranks with a 1:55.4 score in his elimination. Driven by Lewayne Miller, Airman Batten will look to keep his five-race winning streak in-tact from post four in the field of ten for trainer Erv Miller. The Erv Miller Stable will also send out Andi's Alana who will put her eight-race win streak on the line in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies. Undefeated in eight starts this season, Andi's Alana will start from post seven with her regular pilot Lewayne Miller in the sulky. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet will offer an extended stakes schedule and be conducted through November 15. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 25, 2014 - While she may have played the bridesmaid in her first start against stakes company, Im The Real Lady found the winner's circle when it mattered most as she shined in the featured event, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 25. With driver Peter Wrenn at the lines, Im The Real Lady was able to overcome a tough, first-over trip to score the second win of her career in a lifetime best performance of 1:54.3. Leaving from the coveted rail position, Im The Real Lady was eased off the gate to settle along the rail in fifth while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Trace Tetrick had Flight Cancelled dialed in as he sent her to the front through an opening panel in :28.4. Shady Linds and Ed Hensley were well placed In The Pocket while Aristobrat Hanover and Tyler Smith found good, early position third along the rail from post nine. Flight Cancelled dictated fractions of :58.1 and 1:26.4 before ever feeling pressure from the rest of the field. Unable to wait any longer, Wrenn gave Im The Real Lady the green light heading into the final turn and they began their long first-over journey to the front with Ashok Ace and Lewayne Miller in tow. The field began to tighten as they rounded the final turn and it was a cavalry charge to the wire. With the even money favorite Feetonthedashboard and Dale Hiteman making a costly break around the final turn, the race appeared to be wide open. Im The Real Lady had reached the leader's wheel half-way down the stretch and dug in gamely to put a nose in front at the wire. Flight Cancelled held on for the second place honors while Aristobrat Hanover took advantage of a ground saving trip to round out the trifecta. Sent off at odds of 4-1, Im The Real Lady returned $10.00 at the betting window. "The trip wasn't perfect but she was on her game tonight," Wrenn noted after the win. "She's a pretty handy little filly that is just starting to learn how to race and come into her own." Trained and Owned by Perry Smith, the daughter of Real Desire-Hysterical Lady has now won two of three career starts while amassing $47,100 in career earnings. Im The Real Lady won her career debut at Hoosier Park and followed that performance up with a second place finish in her elimination round of the Indiana Sires Stakes action last week. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, July 26 with a 14-race card highlighted by the $22,000 Invitational Pace. 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. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 24, 2014 - Freshman pacing colts were in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 in the second round of Indiana Sires Stakes action but the night belonged to trainer Jeff Cullipher and driver Sam Widger. The Cullipher-Widger duo teamed up to score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts with Toni's Affection in 1:51.4 and then just a few races later in the $25,000 consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3. Cullipher sent out three of the ten entries in the $75,000 final from his stable and in the end it was Toni's Affection prevailing in a hard fought battle to the wire. Stablemates Harfo Hanover and Mr. Julian finished second and fifth, respectively. Leaving from post two, Widger sent Toni's Affection away from the gate just enough to secure an early position along the rail in second. Camturo Rock and Dave Magee would get the first call through the opening panel in :26.3 but quickly yielded the lead to the post time favorite, Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick. Freaky Feet Pete carved out fractions of :55 and 1:23.3 before feeling a threat by Skyway Dante and Peter Wrenn who were On The Attack first-over. As the field turned for home, Freaky Feet Pete began to labor on the front with the rest of the field closing in. Camturo Rock surged from the pocket to take a short lead but was unable to hold off the hard charging Toni's Affection. Toni's Affection utilized a :27.4 final quarter to win by a head in a lifetime best effort. Camturo Rocked finished second but was placed third after a judge's disqualification in the stretch leaving Harfo Hanover and Tyler Smith to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed at the betting window, Toni's Affection returned $18.40 to his backers. "This is the toughest group of Indiana-bred two-year-old pacing colts that I've ever seen," Cullipher noted after the victory. "I've always had faith in this colt though, he has been the perfect horse to train all winter and I had a lot of confidence in him tonight." "This is just amazing," he continued. "His namesake was here tonight and everything worked out for us. He is a nice, nice colt." Toni's Affection was a $19,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase and was later re-named after co-owner David Lewis Linker's wife. Linker co-owns the son of Always A Virgin-Yankee Affection with Thomas Pollack. Toni's Affection has now amassed $71,250 from four lifetime starts for his connections. Pollack and Linker would find the winner's circle once more with the Cullipher-Widger duo this time in the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3 who is owned in tandem by the partnership of Randall Bendis, David Linker and Thomas Pollack. In much the same fashion, Widger had Ima Full Time Job forwardly place through hot opening fractions of :26.1 and :55.1 set by the heavily favored Kelly D and Trace Tetrick. When the field hit the three quarter mark in 1:24.4, Kelly D was clinging to the lead while the rest of the field closed in. Widger was able to find the late racing room he needed in the stretch and Ima Full Time Job did the rest. Using a :27.3 final quarter, Ima Full Time Job coasted home a winner to finish a length in front of Rockin Jimmy and Lewayne Miller. Much like his stablemate a few races earlier, Ima Full Time Job was slightly dismissed at the betting window and returned $17.20 for the win. "This colt may be the sleeper," Cullipher noted after the race. "He's had some bad racing luck with post positions and trips earlier in the season but take nothing away from him, he's a nice colt." It was a maiden breaking victory for the son of I Scoot Hanover-Mother Alberta in just his fourth career start. The freshman colt has now earned $50,350 for his connections. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 25 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing filly 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  

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 22, 2014 - Freshman trotting colts were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals on Tuesday, July 22. After a costly break in the first $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final at Hoosier Park, Airman Batten and Lewayne Miller rebounded nicely to score in 1:57 and make a clean sweep of the second round of the stakes action. Last week, Airman Batten made quick work of his $20,000 elimination to score in 2:00.3 and secure his spot in the $75,000 final. In a field ruled by miscues, Airman Batten was eased off the gate this week from post six to settle along the rail in fifth while the field sorted out early positions. Summit City Nate and Sam Widger were the quickest off the gate and dictated early fractions of :27.4 and :58.3. Victory Blitz and Andy Shetler were well placed In The Pocket while Homicide Hunter and John DeLong followed intently in third. Summit City Nate continued to call the shots down the backside but yielded the lead to Homicide Hunter at third station in 1:28.1. With most of the field breaking stride, it was a four horse race to the finish with Homicide Hunter leading the charge. Using a :28.2 final quarter, Airman Batten saved his best for last as he staged a big rally late in the lane to wear down the tiring leader. Homicide Hunter trotted evenly to finish second while Summit City Nate held on gamely to round out the trifecta. As the 6-5 favorite, Airman Batten returned $4.60 to his backers at the window. Trained by Erv Miller, the son of Swan For All-Ladylike Volo has now won three of four career starts. Airman Batten set a lifetime record with the 1:57 score and has now amassed $66,500 for his connections of Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman, and Greg Gillis. With the win, Airman Batten 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 Wednesday, July 23 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old trotting filly 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  

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