Sophomore pacers secure spots in Indiana Super Finals

Anderson, IN — Sophomore pacers of both sexes took to their final leg of preliminary Indiana Sires Stakes action on Friday (Oct. 9) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. With victories from Genie Rockwell and Grace Rocks for the fillies and Odds On Osiris and Clever Character for the colts and geldings, each winner went off as the post time favorite.

The first event saw Genie Rockwell rebounding in stakes action in 1:51.3. James Yoder guided his trainee to the winner’s circle for the fourth time out of 11 starts for her sophomore season.

When the gate opened and the field fought for early position, Genie Rockwell settled into a spot mid-pack in fourth. She followed the leaders through opening fractions of :26.3 and :54.1. Passing the halfway mark, Genie Rockwell made a move on the leaders, reaching the second spot at the third quarter in 1:23.

As the field reached the stretch, it became a cavalry charge to the wire. Through the pack, Genie Rockwell surged ahead of her competitors on the grandstand side, reaching the wire two lengths in front. Rock It Out with Brandon Bates rallied late in the lane from sixth to second while Odds On Madison held on for third. Genie Rockwell paid $3.00 to win.

“That was her first win being first over,” Yoder noted. “There was early speed in the race and once Trace took the lead, I wanted to give her a breather in the pocket before making a move. She definitely showed her class tonight.”

Notching lifetime win number six out of 20, Genie Rockwell now sports a lifetime bankroll of $124,545 for owner Marlin Fry. The daughter of Always A Virgin-Norma Rockwell was bred by Glen Hershberger and Marlin Fry.

Handily crossing the wire in 1:50, Grace Rocks finished 3-1/4 lengths to the good. Dean Gillette Photography.

The second filly to have a photo taken in the winner’s circle was the Britney Dillon trainee Grace Rocks. She overcame her competitors in near gate-to-wire fashion with a commanding lead on the field.

Grace Rocks spent the :26.2 first quarter of the race waiting in third for driver Joey Putnam to give her the green light to make a move. Before the half in :54.1, she moved outside and secured just over a length lead on the pack. She continued to hold the lead through the third quarter in 1:23.

As the field turned for home, Grace Rocks began to bolster her lead, leaving her competitors to battle for minor spoils. Handily crossing the wire in 1:50, Grace Rocks finished 3-1/4 lengths to the good. She was followed by Mystical Carrie with Trace Tetrick, who staged a late rally from last to second, while Somebodyslilly with Michael Oosting held her mid-pack spot to finish third. Grace Rocks paid $3.60 to win.

Grace Rocks now holds a record of 19-10-2-2 and a lifetime bankroll of $232,310. The daughter of Rockin Image-Cosmic Grace is owned by Howard Taylor. The filly was bred by Victory Hill Farm.

The first division of stakes action for the colts brought Odds On Osiris to the winner’s circle for back-to-back stakes wins. Peter Wrenn drove the gelding to a new lifetime mark of 1:49.3.

As the wings of the gate opened, Odds On Osiris found a comfortable spot in fifth, remaining in that position through the opening quarter of :27.2. While Caribbean Escape with John DeLong made a move for the lead following Sawyer’s Desire with Trace Tetrick, it was Caribbean Escape that clocked the half in :55, followed by Sawyer’s Desire and the now attacking Odds On Osiris.

Having acquired the lead at the third quarter in 1:22, Odds On Osiris began to further distance himself from the field in the stretch. When he crossed with wire, he was three lengths in front, paying $2.80 to win. Sawyer’s Desire dug in for second while Caribbean Escape held on for third.

Odds On Osiris, the son of Rockin Image-Antigua Hanover, now holds a $593,675 lifetime bankroll with an 18-11-3-2 record. The Melanie Wrenn trainee was bred by Merlie Schwartz. Odds On Osiris is owned by Odds On Racing.

The final stakes favorite to grab a win was Ron Burke trainee Clever Character. The gelding earned his second win from 12 starts in 2020, boosting his lifetime bankroll to $240,965.

While Island Of The Sea with Michael Oosting grabbed the early lead and held it through the first quarter in :27.2, Clever Character with Sam Widger grabbed a spot mid-pack, getting ready to make his move. By the half in :55.2, Clever Character was out and on the attack and was matching strides with the leader at the third station in 1:22.4.

Turning for home, Clever Character wrestled the lead away from Island Of The Sea and paced strong to the wire. Clever Character stopped the timer in 1:50,2, equaling his lifetime mark. Frankiepark got up for second while Crook Boyzz with Brandon Bates staged a late rally from the back of the pack to claim third. Clever Character paid $4.60 to win.

Clever Character has now earned eight wins out of 21 lifetime starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Larry Karr. The son of Tellitlikeitis-Ruby Delight was bred by Freedom Hill Farms.

Each of the evening’s divisional winners successfully earned a spot to compete in the Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for Friday (Oct. 16) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. With purses over the $2 million mark, the annual Hoosier Champions Night will provide an exciting conclusion to the 2020 Indiana Sires Stakes season.

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