Day At The Track

Dollys Joy and Widger extend win streak

05:18 AM 26 Jun 2011 NZST
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Dollys Joy and Sam Widger win the
Dollys Joy and Sam Widger win the - division of the $40,000 three-year-old Indiana Sires Stakes
Photo by Linscott Photography

Dollys Joy and harness racing driver Sam Widger continued their winning ways Saturday, June 25, winning a division of the $40,000 three-year-old Indiana Sires Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The duo pulled in an easy victory by four and one-half lengths in a time of 1:54.4.

Widger kept his options open at the start, but moved Dollys Joy to the inside early, getting away fourth in the field of 10. Six Mile Annie and Trace Tetrick established the fractions of the race, posting times of :27.2 and :56.1 before feeling pressure from Endeavor’s Glory and Dan Shetler on the outside.

Widger was able to get Dollys Joy out in the flow of traffic around the final turn and then moved three wide, moving into position for the stretch drive at the three-quarter mile marker in 1:25.2. In the stretch, Widger urged the three-year-old Pilgrims Punch filly forward and effortlessly moved by the leaders, opening up on the field in the final sixteenth of a mile. In the end, Dollys Joy floated across the wire for her third straight win followed by Catch This Kiss and Jason Dillander who closed well for second. Six Mile Annie held on gamely for third.

“I moved three-wide with her (Dollys Joy) because she was ready to go,” said Widger. “She got a soft first half and she was nice and relaxed. But when she’s ready to go, you are better off letting her go. In the stretch, she kicked into another gear. I spoke to her and looked back and saw she had a nice lead, so I thought I’d save her for the final at that point.”

Dollys Joy is owned by Brian and Charles Stephens of Lebanon, Ohio. Brian handles the training duties for the filly which now has 10 wins in 16 lifetime starts. Named for the Stephens’ family’s favorite celebrity Dolly Parton, the filly’s career best time was taken at Hoosier Park in her last race in a time of 1:54.2.

“Brian (Stephens) does a great job keeping her fresh, tight, and happy,” said Widger. “She is pretty handy to drive.”

Dollys Joy moves into the $200,000 final set for closing night Saturday, July 16 tagged as Hoosier Champions. The race will be one of several Indiana Sires Stakes finals in which purses will eclipse the $1 million mark. The evening will also be attached to the national “Back to the Track” promotion, featuring several giveaways and on-track promotions. First post for Hoosier Champions Night is set for 5:30 p.m. EST.

Tammy KNOX

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