Sabonis shines in Mark Fransen Memorial at Harrah’s Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN — Sabonis stole the show on Friday (April 19) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, steamrolling to a series sweep in the $20,000 Mark Fransen Memorial final which highlighted the 14-race card. Entering the night perfect through two starts in his 3-year-old campaign, Sabonis delivered a convincing victory as the heavy 1-9 favorite.

Sabonis delivered a convincing victory as the heavy 1-9 favorite. Dean Gillette Photography.

Leaving from post four, driver Joey Putnam settled in sixth in the early stages as Endofstory and John De Long found the front through an opening quarter of :26.2. Where’s Drogon and Kyle Wilfong moved from fourth to clear to the lead up the backstretch and took command before the half in :55.

Putnam angled Sabonis into the outer flow, moving third-over into the final turn as Where’s Drogon slipped away by four lengths on the lead at three-quarters in 1:23. Sabonis spotted the leader seven lengths at three-quarters before uncorking a vicious :25.3 stretch rally, tracking down Where’s Drogon and powering away by 5-3/4 lengths on the wire in 1:50. Where’s Drogron held for place, while So Into You and Atlee Bender rallied for the third spot.

The 1:50 clocking was a career best for Sabonis who is now perfect in three seasonal outings for trainer Aaron Stutzman. The 3-year-old son of Tellitlikeitis-Gypsy Bellevue was bred by Karl Dean Miller and has banked $31,700 for owner Pat Miller.

Earlier on the card, Shooting In Place completed a series sweep of the Jerry Landess for non-winners of one pacers.

Sent off as the even-money favorite from post three, driver Jordan Ross landed Shooting In Place in fifth as Jackie Boy (Michael Oosting) battled to the outside with JBS Cuppa Jo (Marvin Luna) through a first quarter of :27.2. Jackie Boy cleared up the backstretch but was immediately covered up by Captain Tell and Kyle Wilfong. A revved up JBS Cuppa Jo could sit no longer as Luna was forced to move from third and pressure Captain Tell to the half in :55.1.

Captain Tell continued to lead to three-quarters in 1:24.3 as Shooting In Place ranged into position second-over. Shooting In Place tipped off cover and took aim on Captain Tell who proved to be strong on the lead. Charging home in :27.1, Shooting In Place surged to nail a stubborn Captain Tell by a half-length in 1:52.1.

John Barnard’s homebred 3-year-old son of Straight Shooting-Helen’s Place Girl is unblemished through three outings in 2024. The Luis Quevedo trainee pushed his career bankroll to $24,725 with the lifetime best victory.

Racing concludes for the week on Saturday (April 20) with a 12-race card set to get underway at 7 p.m. The Saturday card will feature a carryover of $14,423.67 in the Jackpot Pick-6 (races 7-12) as well as the 5-year-old debut of millionaire M-M’s Dream in the $22,000 Open Trot which will serve as race 11 on the card.

For more information on the 2024 live racing season, guests are encouraged to visit

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