Hightstown, NJ — Alvin Miller knows what it’s like to bring a longshot to the Dan Patch Stakes. He also knows that anything is possible, even for a longshot.
Last year, Miller’s Tellmeaboutit was 68-1 from post nine in the annual event for older male pacers at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino but came charging from the back of the pack in :25.2 over the final quarter-mile to finish second by a neck to Catch The Fire.
On Friday, Tellmeaboutit again will be a longshot when he meets nine foes in this year’s $315,000 Dan Patch Stakes. The event features headliner Bulldog Hanover, who in his most recent start on July 16 in the William R. Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands won in a history-making 1:45.4 and brings a six-race victory streak to Hoosier Park. The 4-year-old stallion is the 3-5 morning-line favorite.
The field also includes Rockyroad Hanover, who last month won a division of the Roll With Joe Stakes in 1:46.2 and subsequently finished second twice behind Bulldog Hanover, including in the Haughton. Last week, the 4-year-old stallion was second to Catch The Fire, who is sitting out the Dan Patch, in the Sam McKee Memorial.
Rockyroad Hanover is 9-2. The only other horse with morning-line odds less than 15-1 is Abuckabett Hanover, who is 6-1.
Tellmeaboutit enters the Dan Patch with two wins, two seconds and three thirds in his past seven races. Known for his fast-closing style, the 6-year-old gelding has come home faster than :26 seconds four times during that span, including his last two starts.
“He’s not won a lot, but he’s raced decent heading into it,” said Miller, who trains Tellmeaboutit and shares ownership with Twila Harts. “He likes chasing horses down, sometimes he just has a little too much work to do.
“I think he will be coming with his ‘A’ game. I think he’s ready. Like most of them in there, he’s going to need a little luck with a trip.”
Tellmeaboutit is a son of Tellitlikeitis-Portia Blue Chip, with his mom being a half-sister to millionaire Hypnotic Blue Chip. Tellmeaboutit has won 24 of 78 career races, hit the board a total of 63 times, and earned $732,065. He was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion at ages 3 and 4. He was purchased for $25,000 at the 2017 Hoosier Sale.
“He’s one of them that everybody wants or would like to have,” Miller said. “For a local horse, he’s been a pretty nice one. We just basically race in Indiana. We venture out to Ohio every once in a while, but that’s about as far as we go.
“He’s a pleasure to have around. He’s a nice horse to deal with on a daily basis.”
Tellmeaboutit was the only horse in last year’s Dan Patch with odds greater than 25-1, and Miller himself admitted having little hope.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we had any kind of a shot out of the nine hole,” Miller said. “But they raced aggressively on the front end, and it worked to his favor. It was his kind of race. Obviously, he’s a closer. But he always gives you an effort.
“We need similar kind of luck. We just have to hope it sets up right. You never know.”
Racing begins at 6:15 p.m. (EDT) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. For free daily programs, visit the track’s website here.
The Dan Patch Stakes is race 14 on Friday’s 15-race card. Following is the field in post order with driver, trainer, and morning-line odds.
1. Workin Ona Mystery, David Miller, Ron Burke, 15-1
2. Little Rocket Man, John DeLong, Melissa Essig, 15-1
3. Bulldog Hanover, Dexter Dunn, Jack Darling, 3-5
4. Rockyroad Hanover, Todd McCarthy, Tony Alagna, 9-2
5. Tellmeaboutit, Michael Oosting, Alvin Miller, 30-1
6. Backstreet Shadow, Trace Tetrick, Ron Burke, 15-1
7. Fortify, Sam Widger, Ron Burke, 20-1
8. Lou’s Pearlman, Brandon Bates, Ron Burke, 20-1
9. This Is The Plan, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 15-1
10.*Abuckabett Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 6-1
* Abuckabett Hanover starts from the second tier.