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Dover, DE - Morairtime, the lone harness racing mare in the field, was able to beat the boys in the Open Trot at Dover Downs on Tuesday night. Driver Jack Parker Jr. took advantage of the shortened field by sending Morairtime to the top. Northern Express accepted the pocket, and the race appeared to be a carbon copy of last week’s Open. Morairtime set uncontested fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.2. Race favorite, Northern Express and Russell Foster pulled the pocket past the three quarters but made an untimely break and could not recover. Morairtime won by four and a half lengths in a blistering 1:52.3. The victory was the second in a row in the Open Trot.  She paid $5.20 to win. Morairtime is sired by Airzoom Lindy and is a half sister to NF Happenstance. She along with NF Happenstance are owned by James D Moore III. Moore and Parker Jr were classmates at Lake Forest high school in Delaware. Carol Jamieson-Parker, Jack’s wife, is the trainer. Bluebird Jesse,  who benefitted from Northern Express’s unfortunate break, saved ground on the rail, and was a non-threatening  second.  Jim King Jr. trained and Tim Tetrick drove. Need Luck N finished third for trainer Jason Johnson.  Kim Vincent picked up the catch drive. Dover Downs will again offer a $5,000 pick 5 wager on Thursday night. The wager is a fifty cent minimum bet with a 15 percent take out.  The wager begins on the 10th race. Victor Kirby won three races on the betting card. Racing resumes on Wednesday at Dover Downs.  Post Time is 4:30 pm. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs    

CHESTER, PA - The Airzoom Lindy mare Morairtime opened a big lead fairly early in the $14,400 featured trot Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, then held on to virtually all of that lead through the wire while taking a lifetime mark of 1:52.3. Jack Parker Jr., driving for trainer Carol Jamieson-Parker and owner James Moore III, zoomed away from the gate with Morairtime, putting up fractions of :27.1, :55.4, and 1:23.3, with pocketsitter Home'N Dry not able to stay tight and other contenders having to hustle from far back. The sulky style of Parker and his father Jack Sr., seen many a time in Delaware Valley racing over the last half-century, was shown both in the frontwheeling tactics and in the "high-rein" urging to the wire, as Morairtime beat the two-holer home by 3½ lengths. The Andover Hall gelding Grapple Hanover, a candidate for "Most Improved Trotter" in the early meet at Philly, was given a fine drive by David Miller and won the $13,600 co-featured trot in 1:54.4. Miller got away third in a :27.3 opener as Captain Krupnik went up to take the lead from Macmorris Hanover, then maintained his position to the :57 half as Crossfit came out to provide cover for favored Strip It Down AS. The chalk made a break going down the backstretch, however, and Miller steered his charge out to the second-over spot by the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Captain Krupnik and Macmorris Hanover had tired themselves with their early battle, so Crossfit proved the major danger to the winner, but "Grapple"'s strong closing kick put him 2½ lengths clear of that one in 1:54.4. Trained by Bucky Angle for owners Howard and Joshua Kauffman, Grapple Hanover had been a steady performer at the Pennsylvania fairs at two and three and a useful overnight horse at four, but this year he has added extra speed to his former forte of consistency, and may be headed to higher company soon. George Napolitano Jr. had four wins on the Thursday card, one ahead of David Miller and Tim Tetrick. From the  PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

LEBANON, OH. - For the second straight week, a harness racing mare beat the 'boys' in the $22,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley Raceway. This time it was Churita (Kayne Kauffman), a 5-year-old daughter of Airzoom Lindy, who captured the Tuesday (April 25) feature over Dnieper (Brady Galliers) and Atlas Peak (Sandy Beatty) in 1:54.2. Trainer Matt Rheinheimer reports that Churita, who also captured Hoosier Park's Invitational Trot a week ago, will be back at Miami Valley "if all goes well" on Sunday, May 7 for the $100,000 (est.) Miami Valley Distaff Grand Circuit stake for the sport's best older female trotters. Churita was the 2-year-old Indiana Sires Stakes champion, chased the great Hannelore Hanover at age 3, and has now won 22 races and earned $644,692 in just 48 career starts. Kauffman set sail immediately with Churita, but other horses to her inside had similar aspirations, and it took a parked-out :27.1 opening quarter before she could cross over to the front. After getting a breather to the :57.2 half, Kauffman was forced to put the pedal back to the metal during the back half-mile, tripping the three-quarter station timing beam in 1:25.3 and then closing in :28.4 while holding off Dnieper by a half-length. As the odds-on favorite, Churita returned $3.60 to win, but keyed a generous $104.40 exacta due to Dnieper's 55-1 closing odds. Miami Valley is pleased to announce that the Budweiser Clydesdales will be on their track this Friday evening (April 28) from approximately 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The majestic steeds will make several laps before the 6:05 post time for the night's regular race card, then will make additional one-lap rounds following the first two races. Photo opportunities will be available to patrons near the winner's circle during the Clydesdales appearance.   Gregg Keidel

For the second consecutive week, the track record for three-year-old trotting fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was re-established as Churita lowered her own mark once again in Indiana Sires Stakes action at the harness racing meeting on Wednesday, July 22. With a 1:53.4 final time, Churita and Trace Tetrick captured the co-featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies, in a lifetime best effort to remain undefeated in 2015. Churita established her previous track record of 1:54 on July 15 in Indiana Sires Stakes elimination action, breaking a 1:54.2 mark set by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder in 2013. Churita's 1:53.4 victory marks the third track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval in 2015. Leaving from post five in a field of nine, Churita was sent away from the gate firing to dictate first half fractions of :27.3 :56.1. Mark O'Mara and Diamond Dagger were unable to find a spot along the rail and pressed on to the lead approaching the half. Diamond Dagger had reached the leader's wheel at the three-quarter clocking in 1:25.1 but began to retreat as the taxing trip had taken its toll. Even after being pressed for much of the mile, Churita continued to call the shots and looked strong on the front as the field turned for home. Using a :28.3 final clip, Churita dug in gamely to hold off a hard charging Hannelore Hanover and Ricky Macomber Jr. late in the lane. Golden Big Stick and Tyler Smith also rallied nicely in the homestretch but were forced to settle for third place honors. As the heaving betting favorite, Churita returned $2.10 to her backers. Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won all seven of her seasonal outings, 15 of 17 lifetime starts, and sports a career bankroll of $412,050. The daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare was crowned Indiana's two-year-old trotting filly of the year and is owned by Jackie Porter. In the two-year-old trotting colt ranks, Bridge to Jesse's and Ed Hensley were victorious in the other $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final on the evening. Fresh off a win in the Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations last week, Bridge To Jesse's surged late in the lane to trot home a winner in 1:58. Trained by Roger Welch, Bridge To Jesse's has now won three of four lifetime outings while earning $61,600. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Thursday, July 23 featuring the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old colt trotters and two-year-old colt pacers. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. Emily Gaskin

Hoosier Park Harness Racing & Casino played host to a stakes filled card on Wednesday, July 15 with three divisions of three-year-old trotting fillies and three divisions of two-year-old trotting colts battling it out in Indiana Sires Stakes elimination action. It was the second round of the elimination rounds for the two-year-old competitors and the third round for the sophomores. After the dust settled on the evening's 14-race card, the track record for three-year-old trotting fillies was re-established. Churita, with regular pilot Trace Tetrick at the lines, became Hoosier Park's newest track record holder when she powered home a winner in 1:54 in the opening division of Indiana Sires Stakes elimination action for three-year-old trotting fillies. Churita used a determined gate to wire effort to score her sixth win of the season and remain undefeated in 2015. The previous track record of 1:54.2 was established by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder in August of 2013. Leaving from post five in a field of nine, Churita dictated fractions of :26.4, :57.1 and 1:25.4 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Hannelore Hanover and Ricky Macomber Jr. made a bid at the leader late in the lane but Churita was too strong on the front. Using a :28.1, Churita cruised home to a two length victory. Hannelore Hanover finished second with Diamond Dagger and Mark O'Mara rounding out the trifecta. Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won 13 of 15 lifetime starts and sports a career bankroll of $364,550. The daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare was crowned Indiana's two-year-old trotting filly of the year and is owned by Jackie Porter. Tyler Smith captured the other two divisions of the stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies winning first with Golden Big Stick in 1:57.1. Golden Big Stick used a perfectly timed rally late in the lane to score her second win of the season in a lifetime best effort. Trained by Mike Hollenback, the daughter of Big Stick Lindy-Golda Plumsted has now won 5 of 18 lifetime outings for her owners, Mike Hollenback and William Cantrell. Smith came back in the very next division to pull a slight upset with Hermosa scoring in 1:56. Using a :27.0 last quarter, the daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Vals Little Wench scored her maiden breaking victory . Owned by Rags to Riches of Pa LLC, Hermosa has now earned $33,183 lifetime. All of the evening's elimination winners successfully earned a spot in the next round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final slated for July 22 at Hoosier Park. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 16 with three divisions of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and three divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday live racing schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 2, 2015 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, in its' 22nd season of harness racing, will kick start the Independence Day weekend with a mix of 'family fun' promotions, free fireworks presentations, entertainment, and live harness racing on Friday, July 3. The 2015 harness racing season will be highlighted on Friday as Indiana's finest trotters and pacers convene on Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for Hoosier Champions Night, a round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. A total of 14 races have been carded and the evening will feature eight $75,000 finals for the two and three-year-old competitors. Friday's 14-race card is set to get underway at 5:15 p.m. Revamped last 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 2015 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 10 at Hoosier Park. The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old competitors will be headlined by Indiana Sires Stakes champions Freaky Feet Pete and Churita. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete has been enlisted as the 1-5 morning line choice in the $75,000 final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings and will look to score his third win of the season from the rail in race 13. Churita will look to keep her four-race win streak in-tact and remain undefeated this season from post nine in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, the daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare has been installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite with driver Trace Tetrick. In addition to the racing program that boasts lofty purses for the Indiana stakes program, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer racing fans a four-day celebration starting Thursday that will include a carnival, nightly fireworks shows, a beer garden and live entertainment as part of the Hoosierfest Carnival. "We always talk about Hoosier Park Racing & Casino being the place to be for racing, gaming, dining and entertainment. That statement will never hold truer than this coming weekend," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "Hoosier Park will indeed be the place to be as we get ready to celebrate the 4th of July Weekend in grandiose fashion with outstanding racing, the best in fireworks display, and a carnival for the entire family to enjoy." The carnival features main-attraction midway rides, fair food, a $5,000 Cash Cakewalk and fireworks every night, all outdoors at Hoosier Park. The carnival hours will be 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the carnival is free and unlimited ride tickets start at $25. Chairs and picnic tables will be available throughout the venue for convenience. Guests are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets for the fireworks presentations for additional comfort. Family-friendly entrances are available through the racetrack main entrances as well as multiple dining options. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 30, 2015 - On a night where Indiana's brightest harness racing stars were out in full force, Wiggle It Jiggleit was the brightest of them all as he paced to a 1:49.3 victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, May 30 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino over a sloppy rated track. Mother Nature was uncooperative as Hoosier Park played host to the first round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old competitors on Saturday's 14-race card. The rain didn't seem to inconvenience Wiggle It Jiggleit as he posted his tenth consecutive win and second consecutive Hoosier Park victory to remain undefeated in ten career starts. Leaving from post seven in a talented group of ten, Wiggle It Jiggleit was sent away from the gate firing by driver Montrell Teague to grab the lead through the opening panel in :26. As heavy rain continued to fall, the rest of the field sorted out early position with Rockin Ron and Rick Plano grabbing a pocket seat behind the overwhelming favorite. Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to dictate fractions of :54.2 and 1:21.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were the first to pose a threat as they were unable to find a spot along the rail and pressed on to the front after being parked for the much of the mile. Freaky Feet Pete would finally find the rail as he was able to tuck in behind the leader rounding the final turn but would have his work cut out for him with Wiggle It Jiggleit inching away with every stride. With Freaky Feet Pete now on his back, Teague asked Wiggle It Jiggleit for more and the colt responded with a :28 final quarter to coast home a winner by a length. Freaky Feet Pete turned in his own impressive performance to grind out a second place finish after a very taxing mile. Harfo Hanover and Tony Hall rounded out the trifecta. "The weather didn't bother me; you've got to race in all kinds of weather," owner George Teague Jr. noted in the winner's circle. "Good horses you don't have to make excuses for and we didn't have to for him tonight, he was able to overcome it." "He's had two great races now and did everything we wanted him to," he continued. "Now, he can go on to those other races and hopefully earn some respect against the other horses. He seems to travel well and be easy on himself so we'll head to the North America Cup and see how it goes up there." Trained by Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $142, 242 with the victory. Wiggle It Jiggleit is a gelded son of Mr. Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover. Wiggle It Jiggleit  The action-paced night opened with the first $75,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies and Churita looked every bit the part of a 1-2 favorite as she overcame the outside post nine to score in 1:55. Driven by regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Churita dictated fractions of :28.1, :57.3, and 1:26 before cruising to a five length victory. The 1:55 victory was a new lifetime mark for the daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare and her second consecutive victory in 2015. Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won 10 of 12 lifetime outings. Owned by Jackie Porter, Churita has amassed $310,725 lifetime. Fresh of a decisive win in the Indiana Sires Stakes elimination last week, Nora Rockwell and Jason Dillander turned in a gate-to-wire performance to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Scoring in a lifetime best of 1:52.2, Nora Rockwell outlasted all challenges from the rest of the field to score her third victory of the season. "She has matured quite a bit from last year and tonight she was all business," owner, trainer Marlin Fry noted after the win. "She is doing now what I thought she might always be capable of. Jason (Dillander) has done a great job with her." Nora Rockwell is a homebred daughter of Palone Ranger-Norma Rockwell. She has now won seven of 22 lifetime outings while earning $81,072. While the stakes action switched gears, the weather did not. Rain continued to fall on the Hoosier Park surface but Homicide Hunter and John Delong seemed unbothered as they scored a decisive victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts. The 1:55.1 was a lifetime best performance and the second consecutive win from two seasonal outings for the Curt Grummel trainee. Uninvolved in the early stages of the race, Homicide Hunter was able to avoid traffic trouble and early breakers to put away all challengers in the final eighth of the mile. Using a :27 final quarter, Homicide Hunter held off the heavily favored, Bluebird Reverend and Rick Farrington, late in the lane to win by four lengths. "It wasn't exactly how I thought the race would play out but the trip worked out for us," Delong noted after the race. "We made a couple of adjustments after last week and tonight he was awesome. He's a perfect gentleman to drive and he does everything you ask of him. He really raced great tonight." Homicide Hunter sent his career earnings over the $100,000 mark with the victory. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, the son of Mr Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won five of 12 lifetime starts. Each of the four stakes winners from tonight's program have now earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals. The 2015 Indiana Sires 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 10 at Hoosier Park. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, June 2 with a 14-race card. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 20, 2015 - The opening round of Indiana Sires Stakes action highlighted the Wednesday, May 20th harness racing program at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and featured four divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. Each filly was aiming to earn a spot in the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals slated for May 30 at Hoosier Park. Indiana's two-year-old trotting filly of the year, Churita, looked every the bit the part of a 2-5 favorite as she used a gate to wire effort to score her first victory of the season in 1:56.3. Driven by her regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Churita left aggressively from post 9 to dictate fractions of :27.4, :58, and 1:27.1 before cruising home to a three length victory. Trained by Matt Rheinheimer, Churita has now won 9 of 11 lifetime starts and sports a career bankroll of $273,225. The daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare captured the first seasonal outing of her sophomore campaign for owner, Jackie Porter. In the opening round of the stakes action, Swan's Grace and Ed Hensley pulled a slight 7-1 upset to score in 1:57.3. The victory was the first of the season for Swan's Grace and a lifetime best performance for the daughter of Swan For All-Red Rose Kosmos. Swan's Grace was uninvolved in the early stages of the race while Herbies Wildflower and After All battled for early position through first half fractions of :27.4 and :58. Reigningblackswan and LeWayne Miller were parked for much of the mile but reached the leader's wheel at the three-quarter clocking in 1:28.3. With much of the damage being done on the front, Hensley gave Swan's Grace the green light and the filly used a :28.2 final quarter to hold off a hard-charging Big Wheel and Tom Luther. Trained by Bobby Brower, Swan's Grace has now earned $38,756 lifetime for her owners and breeders, Jerry Graham and Mystical Marker Farms. Dirty Secret and Jay Cross followed suit in the next split of the stakes action to score in 1:56.3 at odds of 7-1. Recording a new lifetime mark, it was the third consecutive victory at Hoosier Park for the daughter of Justice Hall-Classic Fight. Leaving from post three, Dirty Secret settled along the rail in fifth while Hannelore Hanover and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.4. Charlie Conrad had La Guida Pleasure pointed to the front and the duo took command just past the half in :58.1. J-S Maple and Sam Widger, sent off as the 1-2 favorite, were grinding it out first over and were engaging the leaders approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, the race appeared to be wide open but Dirty Secret was just beginning to find her best strides. Using a :28.4 final quarter, Dirty Secret dug in gamely to finish a head in front of Hannelore Hanover. Trained by Susan Askren, the three-year-old filly notched her third victory from four seasonal outings. Dirty Secret has now earned $35,589 lifetime for owners Susan Askren and Richard Keaton. In the final division, Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners rallied gamely to score in 1:57.4. It was the first win of the season for the daughter of Big Stick Lindy-Golda Plumsted as she also recorded a new lifetime mark. Using her customary late-charging tactics, Golden Big Stick sat patiently along the rail in seventh as Townline Momma and Sam Widger led through intervals of :27.4, :59, and 1:28.3. As the field turned for home, Golden Big Stick had her work cut out for her but she dug in gamely to reach the wire first in the final strides of the mile. Trained by Mike Hollenback, who co-owns the filly with William Cantrell, Golden Big Stick has now won four of 13 outings in her career while bankrolling $182,120 lifetime. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, May 21 with four divisions of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday live racing schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. Emily Gaskin

Louisville, KY --- From Oct. 10 to Oct. 18, heading into the night of the Indiana Sire Stakes Championships, Matt Rheinheimer and Jackie Porter were darn lucky they didn’t have to seek professional help. “Everyone kept asking me if I had heard from Matt and if she was okay,” said Porter, who has owned horses for more than two decades. “I kept telling them I didn’t want to hear from him. On the morning of the race I almost thought I would have to have someone drive me to Hoosier Park. And then when I got there Matt was so concerned about her. He would be working on his other horses and always go check on her. She was like, ‘Why do you keep putting your hand in here? Really? You are bothering me.’” The she Porter is referring to is his 2-year-old Indiana champion Churita. The daughter of Airzoom Lindy and the Yankee Paco mare Stonebridge Volare compiled a record of 10-8-1-1, earned $263,225 and established her lifetime mark of 1:56s in her 11-1/4 length romp in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Championship for her age, gait and gender on Oct. 18 at Hoosier Park. That facility’s leading driver for the 2014 meet and her regular pilot, Trace Tetrick, held the lines. Churita was not even on Rheinheimer or Porter’s list when they selected yearlings. Porter became addicted to racing through a co-worker that brought him to the track and then was introduced to the barns shortly thereafter through a colleague of his brother's. He started hauling water buckets, mucking stalls and walking horses. It was official. He had the bug. “I’ve never had anything like her,” he said. “I always had cheap claimers and fair horses. I love the fairs. You can take the kids right up to see the horses and the atmosphere is great. I’ve always had horses for fun and that kind of experience, but I guess you could say lightning struck with this filly. “The other horses we were looking at went for over $20,000 and I couldn’t spend that much. Even if I did, then it would put pressure on Matt, who has been training for me for five or six years, to make them a good horse and sometimes they just aren’t. I’m not in the business for that. “She is the first horse I’ve ever had in a sire stakes race like that. And that was not the plan for her because right after we bought her, Matt came back to me and said, ‘I have bad news. She is not eligible for the fairs.’ So there really was luck involved when it came to her. We weren’t planning on the Indiana sire stakes for her.” After the other horses Rheinheimer and Porter had their eye on went to other purchasers, Paul Webb from Ivy Lane Farm notified Rheinheimer regarding Churita’s availability. “She had only been at the farm for three weeks,” he said. “She was a short, fat, little thing but had plenty of room to grow. I knew if she had some grain and some tender loving care, she could be brought along. I never thought she would do this at two though. I was thinking she could be competitive in overnights when she was three.” Churita was not impressive training down and always had to jog with other horses because she would stop at the half. She just wanted to go back to the barn and her comfort zone, so Rheinheimer debated about turning her out, biding his time for a sophomore campaign. He figured he would toss her in a qualifier and she would tell him. “She broke,” he said. “And that’s when I found out she popped a splint. I took care of that and when she was like that in the second qualifier, well, that’s when I hunted Trace down.” With Tetrick at the lines, the only time this lass has not posed for a photograph was a second placed third finish for breaking in the stretch in an Indiana Sire Stakes final on July 23. As Churita’s season progressed, so did she. The filly only became stronger and more businesslike with each mile. The girl was transitioning to a woman. “She just transformed from an easygoing horse into a professional,” Rheinheimer said. “Once she started picking up how to race and she started liking it, she started to get sassy after her last couple starts. “She has always been very nice to be around. In her last start she ran the girls out of the paddock because she was in the test barn too long. She knew what she had to do but she was ready to go back to her stall. She was aggravated.” And then there was the growth spurt. “I only was able to see her race three or four times,” Porter said. “There was one point I had not seen her for five weeks and when I went back to visit, I wasn’t sure it was her. The only way I recognized her was she was next to Matt’s other horse, so it had to be her. I couldn’t believe she was the same horse.” Currently, Churita is enjoying an extended vacation and will return to training around the first of the New Year. “We haven’t really talked about what will happen next year,” Rheinheimer said. “We are still enjoying and letting it sink in what she did in this one. We talked about staking her outside of Indiana. Everyone always wants to race in other places, but Indiana is a good place to be. “We’ll see how she comes back, but I’ll tell you I was just as nervous her first start as I was her last. I have had a lot of horses that showed promise and had year after year of being let down. You think something is good and then it doesn’t turn out that way. “She was just an ordinary horse. I never thought she would do this. So I was walking on pins and needles all year thinking something was going to go wrong. When it doesn’t you sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve chased a lot of horses, but it’s not any easier on the other end when everyone is chasing you.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent   

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