Anderson, IN — Grand Circuit racing action was back in the spotlight at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Nov. 1), as some of the sport’s brightest stars ventured to Hoosier Park for the final night of Grand Circuit racing this season. The evening’s 12-race card was highlighted by the $120,000 Crossroads of America for three-year-old filly trotters, The $120,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for three-year-old pacing fillies, The $220,000 Carl Erskine Memorial for three-year-old colt trotters, and The $225,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts.
After making a costly break in the $500,000 Breeders Crown three-year-old colt trot last week, Don’t Let‘em was out for redemption and rebounded with authority in the $220,000 Carl Erskine Trot for three-year-old colts and geldings. The cold temperatures didn’t seem to deter Don’t Let‘em and Yannick Gingras as they stopped the timer in 1:51.4 to re-establish the track record for three-year-old colt trotters. The previous mark of 1:52.1 was set by What The Hill in Breeders Crown action in 2017.
Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Don’t Let ‘em left alertly from post two but Mass Fortune K (Matt Kakaley) were a step quicker through the opening quarter in :27.4. Gingras moved Don’t Let ‘Em to the front just before the half in :55.1 and was immediately joined on the outside by Pilot Discretion (Andrew McCarthy).
Don’t Let ‘Em was able to turn back Pilot Discretion through the three-quarters in 1:23.2 and was on top with a two-length lead turning for home. Using a :28.2 final quarter, Don’t Let ‘em stayed on task and trotted strong to the wire finishing five lengths in front of late-closing Chin Chin Hall (Peter Wrenn). Pilot Discretion held on for third.
“He’s going to drive me crazy,” trainer Nancy Johansson noted with a smile after the victory. “It’s just whatever horse shows up. He obviously has tremendous speed. He has tremendous speed and the talent, he just needs to behave. I never know what horse is going to show up but when he is on his game, he’s incredible. ”
With the win, the son of Muscle Hill-Passageway recorded his fourth win from 13 outs this season and sports a 23-8-5-0 lifetime record. Owned by Brittany Farms, C. Takter, J. Fielding, and H. Liverman, Don’t Let‘em has amassed $569,967 in lifetime purse earnings. Don’t Let‘em was bred by Brittany Farms, LLC.
One of the biggest upsets of the night came in the very next race on the program as De Los Cielos Deo (Matt Kakaley) got up in the final strides of the mile to upset the heavily favored Hickfromfrenchlick in the $225,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. De Los Cielos Deo stopped the timer in 1:49.2.
With an eight race-win streak on the line, Hickfromfrenchlick (Trace Tetrick) went to the front from post eight to dictate fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. De Los Cielos Deo sat patiently in third for much of the mile but was in perfect striking position turning for home. Kakaley tipped De Los Cielos Deo and he found a :26.3 closing kick to track down Hickfromfrenchlick late in the lane. Dealer’s Table and Sam Widger utilized a ground-saving trip to round out the trifecta. De Los Cielos Deo returned $10.40 to his backers at the betting windows.
“I was confident coming into tonight,” Kakaley said in the winner’s circle. “He was good last week in the Breeders Crown. He’s been pretty inconsistent but I knew if he showed up tonight he’d be good. I’ve only driven him a couple times but he’s got the speed. The way the trip worked out for him tonight was beautiful.”
With the win, De Los Cielos Deo recorded his second win from 17 outs this season for trainer Ron Burke. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lisjune has now earned $425,080 in lifetime purse earnings and is owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. De Los Cielos Deo was bred by Louis Willinger and Deo Volente Farms.
Trainer Nancy Johannsson teamed up with Yannick Gingras for two winner’s on the evening’s program as the duo first found the winner’s circle with The Ice Dutchess in the $120,000 Crossroads of America. After finishing third in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park last week, Gingras guided the post-time favorite to a 1:53 victory over Pure Chance and Trace Tetrick.
Utilizing a final quarter of :27:0, The Ice Dutchess was able to overcome a first-over trip and dug in gamely late in the lane to cross the wire four lengths to the good. The Ice Dutchess returned $4.20 to win for her backers at the betting windows.
The Ice Dutchess has now won 11 of 27-lifetime starts and boasts a lifetime bankroll of $774,029 for owners Coyote Wynd Farms. The daughter of Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen was bred by Stephen Dey and David Reid.
Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly Sunny Dee made her Harrah’s Hoosier Park debut a winning one after she went gate to wire in The $100,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial. The Canadian homebred bested her competition in 1:52 with driver Tim Tetrick in the bike for trainer Robert McIntosh.
Sunny Dee made her game-winning move down the backside and was able to hold off a hard charging JK American Beauty and Brett Miller late in the lane to get the win and deliver as the post-time favorite. Fully A Virgin and Michael Oosting also rallied well late for third.
With the win, the daughter of Sunshine Beach-West of LA, now sports a lifetime bankroll of $436,595 having won 13 of 22 starts. The filly is owned by and was bred by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh holdings.
Live racing action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, November 2 with a 10-race card with an adjusted post time of 7:10 p.m. Live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9.