Anderson, IN — Always A Prince and driver Trace Tetrick turned in a dominant performance to deliver as the heavy favorite in the featured event of the evening, the $20,000 Open Pace, at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (May 17).
Stopping the timer in 1:48.1, Always A Prince established a new lifetime best in just the third start of his 4-year-old campaign and equaled the track record for older pacing geldings at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in the process. It was also the fastest mile of the 2019 season through the first 33 nights of racing.
The 1:48.1 clocking equaled the mark previously established by Split The House and Brett Miller in the $421,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace at Hoosier Park in October 2017. Always A Prince also holds the track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings with a 1:48.3 score in stakes action last season.
In a race marred by scratches, Always A Prince coasted off the gate from post four while a host of others left aggressively for the front. Docdor Friskie (Brandon Bates) won the early battle for position and led the field to the first quarter in a snappy :26.3, with Endeavor (Mike Oosting) opting for a pocket trip. Tetrick wouldn’t wait long and gave Always A Prince his marching orders as the field straightened away down the backside. Always A Prince quickly took command just before the half in :54.2 and never looked back.
Hitting the three-quarters in 1:22, Always A Prince was on top by two and his lead was ever increasing. Fan of Terror (John DeLong), who won the Open Pace last week, were the first to take aim but were no match for the leader. Utilizing a :26.1 final panel, Always A Prince powered home to finish three lengths to the good and was well in hand at the finish. Fan of Terror rallied gamely to finish second, while Docdor Friskie held on for third. As the heavy favorite, Always A Prince returned $3.00 to his backers at the betting windows.
“I can’t say that I am surprised, but I was not expecting a 1:48 mile tonight,” trainer Tyler George noted after the victory. “He has that kind of speed and that was a nice field of horses, but I didn’t think he would have to go that much tonight. He’s a great horse and does what he has to do.”
Unraced as a 2-year-old, Always A Prince made up for lost time last season — bankrolling $492,875 in purse earnings and securing Indiana’s 2018 Pacer of the Year title. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley, the gelded son of Always A Virgin and Glorious Princess recorded his 20th lifetime win from 25 trips behind the gate.
“We haven’t figured out where we are going next,” George continued. “We will probably try to get another start here. He’s got the Battle of Lake Erie, but we’ll see how it goes.”
The win with Always A Prince was one of three winners on the card for Hoosier Park’s leading driver Trace Tetrick. Tetrick also scored with fan favorite and world champion Freaky Feet Pete in the last race on the program. Staging his customary late rally in the lane, Freaky Feet Pete surged past his rivals to stop the timer in 1:49.4 and record his second consecutive victory.
Indiana Sire Stakes champions were out in full force on the evening’s 14-race card, as Indiana’s 2018 champion 2-year-old pacing colt, Egomania, also found the winner’s circle in the first start of his 3-year-old campaign. Driven by John DeLong and trained by Brian Brown, Egomania came storming home to stop the timer in 1:50.3 and establish a new lifetime best.
Live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday (May 18) with an 11-race card and begin at an adjusted post time of 7:10 pm. Live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday-through-Saturday schedule and be conducted through Nov. 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.