Day At The Track

Proud Yankee glides to victory in Open Trot

02:19 AM 09 Jun 2011 NZST
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Proud Yankee and Hugh “Sandy” Beatty
Proud Yankee and Hugh “Sandy” Beatty - win the top prize in the $20,000 Open Trot at Hoosier Park
Photo by Linscott Photography

Patience has proven to be the best friend for Proud Yankee. The five-year-old trotter is currently in his second year of harness racing action and is already back in the winner's circle, taking home the top prize in the $20,000 Open Trot at Hoosier Park Wednesday, June 8.

Guided by Hugh “Sandy” Beatty from post five, Proud Yankee got away mid pack as Sundowner Bob and Ricky Macomber scooted to the front, leading the way through fractions of :29.0 and :58.0. Approaching the halfway marker, Beatty was able to place Proud Yankee right at the back of Master Solutions and Jason Dillander, hoping for a second over journey. However, just before the halfway point, Master Solutions went off stride, leaving Proud Yankee first over.

“I wasn’t too concerned off that soft first quarter because he (Proud Yankee) can brush really well,” said Beatty. “I started to follow Jason (Dillander), but he made a break and that left us out there.”

Beatty sat patiently on the outside with Proud Yankee and eased his way forward, gaining slowly but surely on Sundowner Bob. At the head of the stretch, the son of Muscles Yankee was matching Sundowner Bob stride for stride, eventually taking over and moving out to a two-length lead.

Halfway through the stretch, it was evident that no one would catch Proud Yankee as he coasted under the wire for the win in a time of 1:56.4, two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Sundowner Bob. Dakota Dancer and Marlin Fry charged late in the stretch to move into third.

“Last year, they had him covered up, but this year, he has an open bridle,” said Beatty. “It will be interesting to see what he does when he sees a horse come up beside him.”

The entire journey to the track has been an interesting one for Proud Yankee. He was not broke until the fall of his three-year-old year at Colonial Downs due to health issues of his owner, Billy T. Hobbs. Hobbs, a longtime owner and horsemen, has successfully campaigned several top horses, including Michael’s Fortune, Keystone Amarillo, and Lumbering Mel. Hobbs passed away this past winter, leaving Ron Hobbs to oversee the horses.

Owned by Hobbs’ widow, Margaret, of Mullins, SC, Proud Yankee now has 12 wins in 20 career starts, 18 of which were recorded last season. His career mark still stands as 1:55.0 taken at Indiana Downs last year.

Beatty drove the horse in the first 14 starts of his career last year until he left for Colonial Downs last fall. Peter Wrenn then stepped in for the final four races of the year before Proud Yankee was given a break this winter. Under the care of trainer Danny Collins, Proud Yankee was based at Scioto Downs all winter where he prepared for the 2011 season.

“It looks like he (Proud Yankee) is going to be right where he left off last fall,” said Beatty. “He is a joy to drive. He’s just like driving a Cadillac. His qualifiers at Scioto Downs this spring were just okay. But, last week during his first start of the year, he got out late and had a lot of trot. I felt a lot better about him off that start last week.”

Tammy KNOX

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