Anderson, IN — The older contenders took the stage on Friday (Oct. 4) in Indiana Sire Stakes action at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. While all eyes have been on the 2- and 3-year-olds prepping for the upcoming $250,000 Super finals on Friday (Oct. 11), the older competitors squared off in their eliminations to compete for a spot behind the gate in their respective $50,000 Sire Stakes finals. Favorites mainly dominated with wins from Rockin N Runnin, Tookadiveoffdipper and Shnitzledosomethin but Voom Or Bang offered a price for his win. The aged trotting divisions did not require eliminations.
The stakes action kicked off with the pacing mares and it was Rockin N Runnin who turned a pocket trip into a victory and overcame a heavy favorite at the wire. Stopping the clock in 1:51:1, Rockin N Runnin made her sixth consecutive trip to the winner’s circle and was guided by trainer/driver Ross Leonard.
When the wings of the gate opened, heavy favorite Golden Paradise with Trace Tetrick went straight to the lead. Rockin N Runnin opted for a pocket trip while Indiana Sires Stakes champion Seventimesavirgin with John De Long followed intently in third. The order remained unchanged and Golden Paradise went uncontested through fractions of :27:1, :56:3 and 1:25. As the horses turned for home, Golden Paradise’s lead shortened and Rockin N Runnin was looming large in the pocket. The mares matched strides but Rockin N Runnin reached the wire first by a head, paying $5.00 to win. Golden Paradise held on for second and Seventimesavirgin secured her spot in third.
“What makes her so good is that she’s so versatile,” said Leonard. “We purchased her in 2017 and we’ve had no expectations with her. We’ve taken our time and let her tell us what she can handle. I have to give the credit to my family for getting her back to the races. She is one of the toughest race horses we have ever had.”
After being unraced last season due to injury, Rockin N Runnin has rewarded her connections this season for their patience. With the win, she has now won 10 of 15 starts this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $130,474 for owners Dandy Farms Racing, Gregory Samples and Rachel Leonard. Rockin N Runnin is a 5-year-old daughter of Rockin Image-Mysterious Dragon and was bred by Merlin Van Otterloo.
In the first division for the pacing stallions and geldings, Tookadiveoffdipper with De Long properly played the role of post-time favorite and turned in a decisive gate-to-wire performance to get the win. Utilizing a final quarter of :26, Tookadiveoffdipper dug in gamely late in the lane to stop the timer 1:50:0.
Tookadiveoffdipper grabbed the lead from the start and rattled off fractions of :26:3, :55:3 and 1:24 while Incredible Shark and Sam Widger benefitted from a pocket trip. Turning for home, Tookadiveoffdipper appeared strong on the front. Incredible Shark pulled from the pocket but Tookadiveoffdipper found another gear to get the win, paying $3.80 at the betting windows. Incredible Shark’s effort paid off in a second place finish and Rockin Speed and Jared Seekman were third.
Tookadiveoffdipper, the son of Always A Virgin-Onceinabluemoon, has now won 28 of 73 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $277,006 for owners Jane Cross and Mark Cross. He was bred by Van Oterloo Stables.
The second pacing mare elimination brought a price to the winner’s circle, along with back-to-back wins for trainer Roger Welch. Sent off at 13-1, Voom Or Bang with De Long grabbed the victory and the mare paid $28.80 to win.
When the wings of the gate opened, Rockin Serena with Peter Wrenn took the lead and guided the field through fractions of :26:1, :55:2 and 1:24:2. When the field turned for home, Voom Or Bang saved her best for last and surged past her rivals late in the lane to get the win in 1:52:0. Rockin Serena held on for second and Letme Fly Low with LeWayne Miller staged a late rally for third.
Voom Or Bang, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Vavoom Hanover, has now recorded 13 of 52 lifetime wins and has amassed $411,932 in lifetime purse earnings for owners William De Long, Patrick De Long, Jesse De Long and John De Long. The mare was bred by Cottonwood Farms.
The final event was the second division for the pacing stallions and geldings. Sent off as the heavy post time favorite, Shnitzledosomethin returned to Harrah’s Hoosier Park for the first time this season and went gate-to-wire in 1:50:4 with Peter Wrenn in the bike. The Dylan Davis trainee has been racing on the East Coast, but is no stranger to the Hoosier Park oval and will be looking to secure his first Indiana Sires Stakes title next week.
Shnitzledosomethin grabbed the lead as soon as the gate opened, followed gamely by Granite with Todd Warren. Shnitzledosomethin clicked off fractions :26:3, :55:3 and 1:24:1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Turning for home, the pocket-sitting Granite and Todd Warren made a bid at the leader but Shnitzledosomethin was too determined and charged to the wire finishing almost two lengths ahead of the second-place Granite. Dave And Dennis with Joey Putnam rounded out the trifecta. Shniztledosomethin paid $2.40 to win at the betting windows.
Now in his 4-year-old season, the son of Fred And Ginger-Summer N Sand has won five of 15 starts in 2019. Shnitzledosomethin has now won 14 of 48 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $695,862 for owners Bfj Stable, Thomas Lazzaro, Edwin Gold and Abraham Basen.
The 2019 Indiana Sires Stakes season will come to a close at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday (Oct. 11) with the annual Hoosier Champions Night. With purses in excess of $2 million, the evening’s racing action will feature the $250,000 Super Finals for the 2- and 3-year-old competitors and the $50,000 finals for the older competitors. The evening will also feature free hats to the first 500 guests to Trackside Caesars Rewards, a Hoosier Champions Pick’em kiosk game, winner’s circle giveaways and the $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 in Race 14.
With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, 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 www.harrahshoosierpark.com.