Anderson, IN – On Friday (Oct. 16) Harrah’s Hoosier Park hosted its annual Night of Champions. Worth $2.5 million, the power-packed 15-race card featured four $270,00 Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final contests for sophomore and freshmen trotters as well as two $70,000 events for older mares, stallions and geldings of the same gait. The victors were dual Indiana champions Grand Swan and Katkin American as well as newly crowned titleholders Bridge To Success, Swift Swanda, May Baby and Swan In Motion.
Grand Swan (Lewayne Miller), glided to the finish line in front Morairtime (Jack Parker Jr.) and even-money favorite Compelling (Verlin Yoder) in the race for older female trotters. Grand Swan was content to sit in second out of the gate and remain in that position behind leader Morairtime through fractions of :28.1, :56.2 and 1:24.4. As the mares headed to the wire, Grand Swan soared past her rival and hit the wire in 1:53.3.
Trained by her pilot and owned by Never 2 Late Stable, Grand Swan Racing, Bruce Soulsby and Allen Weisenberg the 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All-Queen Mum is Breeders Crown eligible and now sports a career record of 38-21-5-5 and has earned $685,997 lifetime.
Bridge To Success (John DeLong) captured the first $270,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super final event for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings in a lifetime best 1:54.4 for conditioner Roger Welch. The full brother to fellow Indiana champion Bride To Jesse’s defeated Brookview Bolt (Sam Widger) and Swingforthefences (Peter Wrenn).
Bridge To Success settled in sixth position as the wings closed off the gate and stayed in that spot for the first half-mile after favored Brookview Bolt led the field of 10 with fractions of :28.1 and :57.3. The gelding began to advance at the three-quarter pole and was tracking from second entering the stretch. With a final panel of :27.2, Bridge To Success outfinished Brookview Bolt to collect the second win of his debut campaign.
Owned by William De Long, William Patrick De Long and Roger Welch, the gelding, who is sired by Jailhouse Jesse and out of Bridge To Nowhere, is now 7-2-2-1 and has amassed $160,675 in purse money.
Breeders Crown eligible Katkin American (James Yoder) provided his driver, who also serves as his trainer, with one of three triumphs on the evening when he dominated his competition in the division for older male trotters. Bridge To Jesse’s (John DeLong) was a valiant second with Martini Show (Sam Widger) lighting up the toteboard in third at odds of more than 50-1.
Yoder placed Katkin American in third at the start as Breeders Crown winner Fiftydallarbill (Trace Tetrick) led the field of eight through the first quarter-mile in a swift :26.4. The 5-year-old son of Guccio-Katkin decided to take command and after clicking off fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.1, the gelding stopped the clock in a sparkling 1:51.4.
Owned by Brett Boyd Racing Inc., Katkin American appears to be rounding into top form and seeks to add a Breeders Crown trophy to his two pieces of Hoosier hardware. The gelding boosted his bankroll to $311,950 and has a career record of 21-12-8-0.
“This horse had the freshest legs going into this race,” Yoder said. “He is a class act and I can’t say enough good things about him.”
Swift Swanda (Trace Tetrick) defeated Country Girl Charm (LeWayne Miller) by a neck in 1:55.2, a new career mark, to capture the title for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Erv Miller, the daughter of Swan For All-Cheetah Hall was sixth for the first half of the contest as Queen Of All (Robert Taylor) led the field of 10 through the first panel in :27.4. Favored Shirley Goodness (Peter Wrenn) assumed command at the half-mile marker in :57.2. From there on in Swift Swanda steadily advanced with Country Girl Charm on her hooves to surge past Shirley Goodness who held for third.
Owned by Anthony Lombardi and The Kales Company, the filly is now 10-6-1-1 and has banked $228,137. Swift Swanda is Breeders Crown eligible.
“She’s a pretty immature, green filly,” Miller said. “She’s really growing this year and just like Trace said she will make a great 3-year-old. Last week she relaxed a bit more in the turn and went off a bit. In the Kentuckiana (Stallion Management Stake on Sept. 9) she was too far back to get ahead. She’s mainly been babied along because of immaturity.”
May Baby (James Yoder) collected her fourth consecutive victory en route to equaling the track record for her age, sex and gait in an impressive performance against nine sophomore rivals in the $270,000 Super Final for three-year-old trotting fillies. Also conditioned by Yoder, the daughter of Guccio-Free Wheeling bested last year’s Indiana champion Rock Swan (Trace Tetrick) and Pretzel Party (Sam Widger) in 1:52.2.
The filly sat in the garden spot as Rock Swan led the way in :27.2, :56 and 1:24.2. It appeared Rock Swan was going to hold her advantage to the finish line, but Yoder moved his charge to the inside and with an explosive turn of foot, May Baby flew past Rock Swan while easily widening her advantage to the wire.
Owned by Cheyenne Yoder, May Baby was a finalist in last year’s Breeders Crown and will contest that event again this season. She is now 20-13-3-1 and has earned $465,365.
“She’s small but she’s got a big heart,” Yoder said. “I kind of floated her out there to see where she would end up and it was on Rock Swan’s back. She was a little on the right line so I went on the inside and it worked out. She is eligible for the Breeders Crown and if she comes out of this sound she will be there. My dad won the Breeders Crown a couple years ago (Verlin Yoder, Woodside Charm) so I’m hoping to follow in his footsteps.”
Swan In Motion (Ricky Macomber Jr) overcame some traffic trouble to defeat Bluebird Deacon (Tim Tetrick) and Tj’s Top Pick (Andy Miller) to become Indiana’s 3-year-old colt and gelding trotting champion in 1:53.1. Trained by Macomber’s wife, Jamie, the son of Swan For All-Keystone Sadie appeared to be locked in at the three-quarter pole in fifth place. As the field turned for home, Bluebird Deacon assumed the lead from Emma Town Bud after fractions of :27.3, :55.4 and 1:25.1. Emma Town Bud broke while on top and as the youngsters put in their bids to the wire, Swan In Motion proved best.
Owned by M & M Racing and Norbert Maza, Swan In Motion is Breeders Crown eligible. He has a record of 21-8-7-2 and has collected $396,845 in purse money.
“I always have confidence in this colt,” Jamie said. “He has done nothing but make me happy. When he made that break (in the final of the sire stakes on Sept. 10) that was so uncharacteristic. We went above and beyond to get him to the winner’s circle tonight. Ricky loves this colt more than anything, so he didn’t to push him through his last qualifier. I promised him he would not run tonight and that was the most trot he has ever had. If it was up to me I would put him in the Breeders Crown, but I have to check with the owners on that.”
This year’s Breeders Crown will be hosted for the second time in four years by Hoosier Park. The sport’s championship events will commence on Oct. 23 and continue on Oct. 24 with eliminations. The finals for 2-year-olds will be held on Oct. 30 and the remaining finals will be on Oct. 31.
The 2020 live racing season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will feature 111 racing programs and follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the season. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing will be conducted through Nov. 21. For more information on the live racing schedule, please visit http://www.harrahshoosierpark.com
Visit Harrah’s Hoosier Park for Indiana’s world-renowned harness racing. The casino features 2,000 slots, e-tables, classic steaks, racetrack views, and live music at www.harrahshoosierpark.com.