Anderson, IN — The last grab for Indiana Sire Stakes points for the sophomore trotting colts and geldings, as well as the freshmen pacing colts and geldings, took place on Thursday (Oct. 8) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
While impressive performances were seen all around, LeWayne Miller was the star of the action as he drove two of his trainees, Speed Ball Swagger and JK Going West, to the first and final stakes victory of the night, respectively. The other winning trotter was Emma Town Bud leading the pack for the entire race, while What’s Your Beef solidified his top spot in the points rankings in the other pacing division.
Miller’s first stakes win of the night had Speed Ball Swagger performing the role of post time favorite, and he delivered to grab his first win of the season. Unable to find a spot along the rail for the first half of the mile, driver/trainer LeWayne Miller guided the colt to the front and to his first Indiana Sires Stakes victory, securing his spot in next week’s super final.
As the gate opened, Speed Ball Swagger was unhurried and found himself tracking from the outside in third behind R Fromoutacherry with Sam Widger through the first quarter in :28.1. Miller patiently guided Speed Ball Swagger to the front through the half in :56 before creating a length lead for himself as he reached the third quarter in 1:26.
Speed Ball Swagger was not handed the win as R Fromoutacherry found a burst of speed in the stretch. Matching strides to the wire, it was Speed Ball Swagger who reached the wire first, stopping the clock in 1:55.4, establishing a new lifetime mark. R Fromoutacherry settled for second while Jimmy Larente with Joey Putnam staged a late rally from the back of the back for third. Speed Ball Swagger paid $5.00 to win.
“I would say he actually races best off the helmet, but I wanted to get him close to the front tonight,” Miller noted. “The trip just happened to work out that he was on the front and he responded well.”
Speedball Swagger earned his second lifetime win out of 24 starts. He now sports a lifetime bankroll of $56,835 for owner Holly Lane Stud East LTD. The son of Swan For All-Southwind Goddess was bred by Larry and Alan Troyer.
The second contest for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings saw Emma Town Bud victorious in gate-to-wire fashion in 1:53. Michael Oosting drove the gelding to his fifth win of 10 starts for 2020, the eighth win of 22 lifetime starts.
Emma Town Bud followed the gate closely as it opened from post six with Anchors Away with Sam Widger close behind in second. The leading positions remained unchanged as they reached the first quarter in :27 as Bluebird Deacon with Jay Cross guided the rest of the pack from three lengths back.
With positions unchanged through fractions of :55.4 and 1:25.2, the gaps in the field began to tighten. Emma Town Bud glided through the stretch, winning handily and paying $3.40 to win. Bluebird Deacon surged ahead for second, while Anchors Away held on for third.
Emma Town Bud boosted his lifetime bankroll to $224,911 with the win. The Byron Hooley trainee is owned by Summit Pacing Acres. Mervin Lehman bred the son of Big Stick Lindy-Centerfold Lady.
The night’s first round for the freshman pacing colts saw What’s Your Beef capture his fourth stakes win and sixth win from nine lifetime starts. With the win, the colt surpassed the $100,000 mark for his lifetime earnings, now at $113,315.
When the wings of the gate opened, Skyway Victor with Brandon Bates took the lead, followed by Rogers Image with John DeLong in the pocket while What’s Your Beef with Trace Tetrick waited in third. The field remained unchanged through the first fraction of :28, but What’s Your Beef accelerated to the lead by the half in :56.
What’s Your Beef remained unchallenged at the 1:24.1 third quarter, but would soon feel pressure from the rest of the field turning for home. Rogers Image staged a big rally late in the lane but What’s Your Beef dug in late to secure the victory. Skyway Victor settled for third. What’s Your Beef paid $2.60 to win.
Miller wrapped up the stakes action with his second win with JK Going West surging late in the lane to provide the slight upset. Stopping the timer in 1:51, the gelding earned his second win out of 10 starts with both of those being stakes wins and established a new lifetime best.
The race kicked off with Brookview Bullet with Brett Miller leaving aggressively for the lead followed by Virgo with Tim Tetrick. JK Going West and Miller were content to track the top pair from third. The leading three remained unchanged through fractions of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:23.2.
As the field turned for home, the quick fractions began to take a toll on the leader and Miller urged JK Going West to attack from the outside. Using a :27.1 closing kick, JK Going West flew past his competitors to get the win by a length. Virgo held on for second while He’s Gonna Getya with Brandon Bates dug in for third. JK Going West paid $18.80 to win with the upset.
“I asked him for a bit more in the stretch there and he responded really well. He had a lot of pace,” Miller noted. “I’m still trying to figure out how he races best but he was very sharp racing the way he did tonight.”
The son of JK Endofanera-Southwest now sports a lifetime bankroll of $89,558 for owners Bill Beechy and David Ferch. The gelding was bred by Silver Linden Farm.
Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday (Oct. 9) with the final round of stakes action for 3-year-old pacing fillies and 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings with two divisions for each. The card also holds the elimination for the older pacing mares for Super Finals night.