May Baby sets track mark in stakes action at Harrah’s Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN — Freshman trotters of both sexes made their last grab for points in Indiana Sires Stakes action on Tuesday (Oct. 1) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The evening’s card was highlighted by two divisions for the fillies and two divisions for the colts and geldings.

While the evening saw impressive performances all around, May Baby stole the show by lowering the freshman trotting filly track record in the first stakes race of the night. Also finding the winner’s circle were Rock Swan, TJ’s Top Pick and Emma Town Bud as the freshman completed their eighth and final round of the stakes action. The $250,000 season culminating Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals are slated for Oct. 11 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

May Baby set a new track standard for 2-year-old trotting fillies of 1:53.2. Linscott Photography.

In the $63,500 opening division, May Baby triumphed in a track record-setting performance for trainer/driver James Yoder. In an impressive gate-to-wire show, May Baby stopped the clock in 1:53.2, lowering the previous track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies set by Phaetosive during the Breeders Crown eliminations in 2017.

May Baby grabbed the lead once the wings of the gate opened, followed closely by La Nancio with Jared Finn and then Pretzel Party with Trace Tetrick. May Baby led the field through opening fractions of :27.4 and :57.1 as the trotters remained in straight formation.

After the third quarter in 1:26.1, May Baby began to bolster her lead on her competition. With a lead of sixth lengths, May Baby trotted strong to the wire. When she crossed the wire in track record-time, she was 11-1/4 lengths to the good. Pretzel Party staged a late rally to get up for second, while La Nancio held on for third. May Baby paid $2.10 across the board at the betting windows.

“It really has been a long season, but this is what we’ve been training for all year,” Yoder noted in the winner’s circle. “The preparation for next week won’t change — she’ll be doing what she’s been doing, sticking to her normal schedule.”

May Baby is the daughter of Guccio-Free Wheeling and was bred by Oakwood Farms. She has now won six of seven lifetime starts and boasts a lifetime bankroll of $154,990 for owner Cheyenne Yoder.

The $64,000 division for the fillies brought fellow heavy favorite Rock Swan to the winner’s circle for her fourth straight Indiana Sires Stakes win. With Trace Tetrick in the bike, the filly gamely rebounded from the Kentuckiana Stallion Management two weeks prior and returned to her winning ways in 1:55.4.

It was Rjz First Lady with LeWayne Miller who took the lead from the start and through an opening quarter of :28.3 while J-S Miss Carly with Alex Udell sat in second and Rock Swan waited patiently in third. Just before the half in :58.3, Tetrick moved Rock Swan into the front position, remaining unchallenged as the horses turned for home, clocking a third quarter of 1:27.3.

Rock Swan looked to be maintaining a two-length lead, but a fast-charging Rjz First Lady dug in on the inside. Rock Swan held her ground, crossing the wire first and leaving Rjz First Lady in second with J-S Miss Carly in third. Rock Swan paid $2.60 for her betting backers.

Rock Swan, the daughter of Swan For All-Jolly Jessica, now sports a lifetime bankroll of $229,481 for owners S&R Racing Stables and Anthony Lombardi. The Erv Miller trainee was bred by Bobby Brower and Debra Garland and has now won seven of nine lifetime starts.

Favorites continued to shine once the colts and geldings took to the track when Trace Tetrick drove TJ’s Top Pick to victory for trainer Jeff Cullipher in a $64,000 division. The track record holder surged past the leading Brigotto in the final strides, making this win seven of eight for the gelding.

When the gate opened, Osprey Hanover with Deshawn Minor took the front position and held it through the first quarter in :28.2. Not long after that first fraction, Sam Widger urged Brigotto, who sat in second, out to attack and claim the top spot just in time to record a half of :57.0. Brigotto held his lead through the third quarter in 1:27.

When Brigotto reached the stretch, Tetrick urged TJ’s Top Pick to dig in and rally for the win. While Brigotto appeared strong on the front, it was TJ’s Top Pick who rushed up the grandstand side, crossing the wire first in 1:55. Brigotto held on for second and R Fromoutacherry staged a late rally for third. TJ’s Top Pick paid $2.40 to win.

“I liked everything in his video, but I didn’t think we’d buy him,” co-owner Tom Pollack revealed in the winner’s circle. “Jeff really liked him, but I had my eye on another trotter. We ended up getting him, though, since he was Jeff’s top pick.”

TJ’s Top Pick is the son of Swan For All-J A’s Ayd and was bred by Freeman Jay Bontrager. He now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $177,871 for owners Pollack Racing, Jeff Cullipher and Trace Tetrick.

The betting public’s second choice took a win in the fourth and final stakes race of the evening when Emma Town Bud with Michael Oosting provided a slight upset over Swan In Motion with Ricky Macomber Jr. in their $64,000 split. The Byron Hooley trainee grabbed back-to-back stakes wins and established a new lifetime best of 1:54.4.

Hungry for another stakes win, Emma Town Bud went straight for the lead when the gate opened and carried it through the opening quarter in :27.3. Katkin Morgan with James Yoder took the lead while the field went nose to tail through the half in :56.3 and the three-quarters in 1:26.1.

As the field turned for home, Emma Town Bud and Swan In Motion began to match strides in a stretch battle, but it was Emma Town Bud who ultimately prevailed and crossed the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of his competitor. Swan In Motion accepted the second spot while J-S Jasper dug in for third. Emma Town Bud paid $7.00 to win at the betting windows.

Emma Town Bud, the son of Big Stick Lindy-Centerfold Lady was bred by Mervin Lehman. With this being the third win of 10 lifetime starts, the gelding now sports a lifetime bankroll of $110,045 for owner Summit Pacing Acres.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Wednesday (Oct. 2) with two divisions for the 2-year-old pacing fillies and two divisions for the 3-year-old trotting fillies. The evening’s live racing card will be highlighted by the $20,000 guaranteed trifecta in race 10.

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 Nov. 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit

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