Anderson, IN — Kildare King may not hold the star status several of his rivals possess in the fifth edition of the $220,000 Caesar’s Trotting Classic on Friday (Sept. 23) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, but one thing is certain: it will be all systems go for the gelding to take center stage.
“He has an engine on him,” said trainer Chris Beaver. “He can really trot all day long and he deserves the opportunity.”
Drawing post position nine in a field of 10, Kildare King will have leading dash-winning driver Aaron Merriman holding the lines. The duo is 10-1 on the morning line and must face Cuatro De Julio (post position one, Yannick Gingras, 2-1), 2019 Hambletonian victor Forbidden Trade (post position six, Bob McClure, 6-1) and Breeders Crown winner Jujubee (post position seven, Andrew McCarthy, 5-1). There is also the champion mare Bella Bellini (post position 10, Dexter Dun, 7-2).
Kildare King, however, will make the most of his spot behind the starter. Especially since he established a new track standard of 1:51.4 in his last performance at Eldorado Scioto Downs on Sept. 10.
Kildare King was placed in the New Jersey and Kentucky Sire Stakes programs as a 3-year-old where he never quite put it all together. As a freshman and sophomore, Kildare King compiled a record of 22-2-3-2 and banked $68,475. But as a 4-year-old the gelding has blossomed.
Kildare King has been victorious in 10 of his 15 trips to the post this season with one second and one third. He has earned $226,730 and won six of his last eight races.
“He really is a nice horse and is very competitive,” Beaver said. “He earned his chance to show he belongs.”
The gelding competes for his breeder, Robert Goodman.
Beaver also harnesses Ohio champion Winning Ticket (post position five, driver Todd McCarthy, 20-1). The 4-year-old son of Triumphant Caviar-Lotto Winner has not visited the winner’s circle this season in two starts but his only loss last season from 12 pari-mutuel starts was a third in the $479,135 Canadian Trotting Classic.
Winning Ticket has banked $517,260 with a record of 22-15-0-1 for his trainer, Steven Zeehandelar, Tim Homan and Jim Burnett.
The Caesar’s Trotting Classic is a component of an outstanding 15-race card at Hoosier Park that includes Bulldog Hanover, the world’s fastest Standardbred, in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Hambletonian winner Cool Papa Bell in the $90,000 Phil Langley Memorial and Hambletonian Oaks winner Fashion Schooner in the $115,000 Moni Maker.
Here is the field for the Caesar’s Trotting Classic:
1. Cuatro De Julio (Gingras/Ortolan Bar) 2-1
2. It’s Academic (DeLong/Burke) 15-1
3. Logan Park (Henry/Fellows) 20-1
4. Kings County (B. Miller/Van Hulzen) 12-1
5. Winning Ticket (Merriman/Beaver) 20-1
6. Forbidden Trade (McClure/Blais) 6-1
7. Jujubee (A. McCarthy/Wright) 5-1
8. Lovedbythemasses (Tim Tetrick/Cullipher) 8-1
9. Kildare King (Merriman/Beaver) 10-1
10. Bella Bellini (Dunn/Norman) 7-2