Anderson, IN — It was a winning night for trainer Shane Bowermaster on Saturday (Aug. 17) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as fillies from his stable swept both $49,000 divisions of the fifth leg of Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies. With wins from Fully A Virgin and Pansy’s Image, both fillies provided upsets over the heavy favorites in their respective divisions.
The first upset came when Fully A Virgin (Michael Oosting) surged past the field to cross the wire first and pay $16 to win. Stopping the time in 1:50.2, the sophomore filly used a valiant stretch rally to get up in the final strides of the mile and established a new lifetime mark with the win.
Leaving from post eight in the talented field of nine, Fully A Virgin was unhurried from the gate and found a spot along the rail in eighth. The heavy favorite Rockin Nola (Joey Putnam) and Tellitsassymae (Sam Widger) battled for the early lead. When the field reached the first quarter in :26:3, Tellitsassymae claimed the front with Rockin Nola following closely from the pocket. The field continued in straight formation through the half in :54:4 before Rockin Nola was on the attack, first-over.
Tellitsassymae and Rockin Nola were matching strides past the third quarter in 1:22:3 and when the field turned for home, the race appeared to be wide open. Oosting had Fully A Virgin well placed second over and when he tipped her to the outside, she dug in gamely and surged past her competitors to get the win by two lengths. She was followed by another Shane Bowermaster trainee, Glorious Virgin (Trace Tetrick), who utilized a ground-saving trip for second while This Peach Rocks (Ross Leonard) got up for third.
“She’s been easy to handle since day one,” Bowermaster noted in the winner’s circle. “She’s really easy on herself. It helps that she’s filled out since last year—she’s built like a tank. We took a headpole off tonight which seemed to help, that and having them out in the field last week—it really freshened her up.”
Fully A Virgin, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Of Gold, has now won seven of 23-lifetime starts and brought her lifetime bankroll to $168,555. Fully A Virgin is owned by the Emerald Highlands Farms, who also bred her.
Bowermaster’s second win of the night came when Pansy’s Image (Sam Widger) utilized a pocket trip to pull the 8-1 upset in the second division of stakes action. Following the trend from her stablemate earlier in the night, Pansy’s Image also established a new lifetime mark with tonight’s win, stopping the clock in 1:51:2.
When the wings of the gate opened the post-time favorite Play For Pay (Brandon Bates) grabbed the early lead but Widger also had Pansy’s Image forwardly placed from post seven. At the first quarter in :26:1, Pansy’s Image had reached the front but relinquished the lead to Play For Pay just before the half in :55.
At the third quarter in 1:23:4, Queen Lagertha (John De Long) moved first-over into second and began to engage Play For Pay for the lead. With the wire in sight, the top three were matching strides and pacing hard to the wire. Pansy’s Image found late racing room up the inside and utilized a :27.1 final panel to get the win, crossing the wire three lengths to the good. Play For Pay held on for second and Queen Lagertha fought for third. Pansy’s Image paid $19.20 to win.
“She’s really easy on herself too,” Bowermaster revealed after the win. “I didn’t really tell Sam what to do, but I knew if she was covered up she’d still be right there. I think fresher is better with these fillies, so we’re planning on giving them a week off between stakes legs and make sure they are ready to go for these last few legs of the sires stakes.”
Pansy’s Image is also owned and was bred by the Emerald Highlands Farms and has won five of 20-lifetime starts. She now sports a lifetime bankroll of $119,680, surpassing the $100,000 mark with tonight’s victory.
Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Tuesday, August 21 with an 11-race card featuring two divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Tuesday’s card will also feature a $10,000 guaranteed Hoosier High 5 in race 11. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.