Favorites Dominate Freshman Finals at Hoosier Park
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.