Indianapolis, IN — After processing more than 530 nominations for 3-year-old and older horses for the 2019 Indiana Sire Stakes season, the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development Program looks forward to yet another exciting year. Past Breeders Crown champions and Dan Patch award winners will return to battle it out at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson for more than $8.5 million in purses.
“The list of past champions and fan favorites is very long this year, which excites us for the 2019 race season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park,” said Jessica Barnes, Director of Racing and Breed Development. “Just reading through the list, these are going to be some fun races.”
Perennial champion sire Always A Virgin leads the nomination list with 23 3-year-olds nominated, including Egomania, the 2018 Sire Stakes champion. The son of Has An Attitude earned $213,100 in 2018 for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and John Fodera.
The 2018 Indiana-sired champion filly Glorious Virgin is also returning after earning $195,250 on the track for breeder and owner Emerald Highlands Farm.
On the trotting side, sire Swan For All is represented with 22 3-year-olds nominated for the 2019 season. Eleven Star Stables’ Kissesforall, earner of $194,300 in 2018, is among the top horses returning. Grand Swan, winner of the Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final at Harrah’s Hoosier Park also looks to return to defend her title.
The older division should be fun to watch later in the year, with previous champions Always Giggling (Always A Virgin–Giggles The Clown) and Always Woggy (Always A Virgin–Soggy Woggy) being nominated again. Three-year-old filly pace champion Voom Or Bang (Always A Virgin–Vavoom Hanover) moves up to the older ranks.
Returning stallion/gelding pacing champions Always A Prince (Always A Virgin–Glorious Princess) moved up to the older ranks and will see competition from 2017 Breeders Crown champion Beckhams Z Tam (Always A Virgin–Saras Lucky Charm), Breeders Crown champion and Indiana favorite Freaky Feet Pete (Rockin Image–Skyway Lori) and 2018 Indiana Older Pacer of the Year Rockin Ron (Real Desire–Im All A Roan).
Two-time Breeders Crown Champion and 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover (Swan For All–High Sobriety) looks to rebound on the track in 2019, and is nominated to take on 2018 Indiana Trotter of the Year Custom Cantab (Mr Cantab–Custom Model) and former Indiana Sire Stakes champion Churita (Airzoom Lindy–Stonebridge Volare).
Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill (Swan For All-CR Dixie Chick) and 2018 Indiana Sire Stakes champion Katkin American (Guccio–Katkin) are moving up to older competition in the stallion/gelding trot to take on 2018 Breeders Crown champion, Dan Patch Older Trotting Horse and world record holder Homicide Hunter (Mr Cantab–Evening Prayer).
The 2019 race season will also debut the new format for the Indiana Sire Stakes. Three-year-olds will have eight legs with the $250,000 Super Final, while the 2-year-olds will have six legs with a $250,000 Super Final.
The revamped Sire Stakes program is estimated to pay out $8.5 million in purses during 2019, in comparison to $7.8 million distributed during 2018. When combined with additional opportunities for Indiana Sired and/or Bred horses, such as Late Closers, Indiana Sired Overnights, Fair Stakes and the Mini Series, the 2019 Standardbred Breed Development Program will offer more than $13.6 million in purses and incentives for program participants.
The deadline for 2-year-old nominations is April 15. The official Sire Stakes season starts May 29, with the first leg of the 3-year-old filly trot, with the Super Finals slated for Oct. 11.