Sophomore trotting favorites deliver in stakes action at Harrah’s Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN — The stakes season continues to roll on in the Hoosier state and saw favorites prevail in Indiana Sires Stakes action on Thursday (Aug. 15) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The night featured two divisions for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings and the betting public was heavily backing last year’s trotting rivals It’s A Herbie in the first division and Swandre The Giant in the second. Both provided strong performances in their respective divisions, each stopping the clock in 1:54.

It’s A Herbie established a new lifetime mark of 1:54 in Indiana Sires Stakes action. Linscott Photography.

Kicking off the stakes action in the $48,000 opener, It’s A Herbie captured his sixth consecutive victory for trainer/driver Verlin Yoder and set a new lifetime mark of 1:54. With the win, It’s A Herbie has captured victories in four of the five legs of stakes action for his division.

Smooth Acceleration and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the quickest off the gate to grab the lead and were followed by Swan On A Mission and John De Long. It’s A Herbie left just enough to grab a spot along the rail in fifth and the field remained in straight formation through opening fractions of :27.2 and :57.1. Just after the field passed the half, It’s A Herbie was on the attack, first-over.

Smooth Acceleration continued to call the shots through the third quarter marker in 1:25.4 but It’s A Herbie had ranged up and was ready to take on the leader. When the field reached the stretch, It’s A Herbie utilized a :27.4 final quarter to take the lead by a length and stopped the clock in 1:54. Swan On A Mission held on for second while Sign Here N Here with Sam Widger staged a late rally for third. As the heavy 2-5 favorite, It’s A Herbie paid $2.80 to win.

“He doesn’t care where he’s at,” Yoder explained after the victory. “Chasing horses down is his best game, though. Honestly, he just loves to win.”

With the win, the son of Here Comes Herbie-Psychic Image has now won nine of 19 lifetime starts. Bred by David Shmucker Jr. and owned by Verlin Yoder, It’s A Herbie now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $365,875.

In the $47,500 second division of stakes action, Swandre The Giant returned to his home state for the second time this season and returned to his winning ways in impressive fashion. Hall of Fame driver David Miller steered Swandre The Giant, who looked every bit the part of a 1-9 favorite, to an open length 1:54 victory.

When the wings of the gate opened, Wow Lester with Trace Tetrick grabbed the front and Swandre The Giant took a pocket seat. The top pair held their positions through the first quarter in :27.2 but approaching the half in :57.3, Swandre The Giant made his move for the lead.

With the third quarter clocked in 1:27.1, Swandre The Giant began to bolster his lead from the pack. Using a :26.4 final panel, Swandre The Giant trotted strong to the wire and finished under a hand drive from Miller 2-1/4 lengths to the good. Martini Show and Sam Widger fought gamely for second while Wow Lester held on for third. Swandre The Giant paid $2.10 across the board.

“He raced very well. He was really strong,” driver David Miller noted in the winner’s circle. “Tonight, felt great. He got off on the right foot, and the fractions were really easy. He was strong all the way to the wire.”

Swandre The Giant, the Ron Burke trainee, now sports a lifetime bankroll of $461,618 for owners Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva Stables and Howard Taylor. The son of Swan For All-Adagio was bred by Dm Stables and has now won 12 of 21 lifetime starts.

Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday (Aug. 16) with a 13-race card featuring two divisions for the 3-year-old pacing colts. Friday’s card will also be highlighted by a $10,000 guaranteed Hoosier High 5 pool in race 13 and the weekly Fantastic Fridays promotions.

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

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