Trotting fillies kick-off rookie Sire Stakes at Harrah’s Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN — Two-year-old stakes season kicked-off at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Tuesday (July 9) with three $45,500 divisions of Indiana Sire Stakes for the trotting fillies highlighting the 13-race card. Despite heavy rain throughout the card, the trotting fillies flashed big-time performances in their first of of six rounds of sire stakes.

Better Tak’em kicked off the stakes action in the fifth race on the card, teaming up with driver Jordan Ross for a front-end victory as the even-money favorite.

Better Tak’em crossed the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:56.1. Dean Gillette Photography.

Leaving from the far outside post seven, Ross quickly crossed over to the pylons on the engine to take the field to the quarter in :28. The pace slowed on the backstretch with Better Tak’em reaching the halfway point in :58.1, two lengths clear of pocket-sitter Fifty Dollar Note (Wyatt Avenatti). The lead begin to grow for Better Tak’em on the final turn, widening that margin to 4-1/2 lengths at the three-quarter pole in 1:27.3.

Turning for home 7-1/2 lengths clear, the battle was for minor spoils as Better Tak’em trotted strongly for the wire. Better Tak’em crossed the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:56.1, 4-1/2 lengths clear of Fifty Dollar Note who held for second. Swanfinerose (Trace Tetrick) finished third.

A winner in her career debut, Better Tak’em is trained and co-owned by Henry Graber Jr. along with Eleven Star Stables. Bred by Steven Mast, Better Tak’em is from the first crop of Don’t Let’em and out of the Cantab Hall mare Barmaid.

The skies opened up just prior to the start of the second division, but it didn’t phase Ponda Fashion as she secured her second victory in as many starts at 2-5.

Driver Kyle Wilfong opted to settle in mid-pack early in fourth off the gate while GV Miss Stephen (James Yoder) raced through the raindrops to the lead at the first quarter in :28.3. As GV Miss Stephen looked for a breather, Mike Peterson hustled Martz Seven from third to a short-lived lead before Wilfong put Ponda Fashion on the point at the half in :59.3. The momentum carried over from the backside brush extended into the far turn as Ponda Fashion opened up by 4-1/2 lengths at three-quarters in 1:28.4.

At the top of the stretch, Ponda Fashion maintained the lead she built on the turn with Martz Seven still in pursuit. Martz Seven staged one final rally in deep stretch, but Ponda Fashion reached the wire first a length clear in 1:56.3. Swan Jewel and Tetrick finished third to round out the trifecta.

Ponda Fashion is trained Jay Hochstetler for owners Robert Buddig, Allen Schwartz and Connie and Homer Hochstetler. Bred by Pond-A-Acres, Ponda Fashion is sired by Crescent Fashion and out of the Big Stick Lindy mare Ponda’s Lucky Lady, making her a half-sister to fellow Hochstetler stable-star Ponda Jet 3,1:51.4s ($446,662).

Woodside Izz provided the largest upset in the stakes action, teaming up with driver LeWayne Miller to take the third and final division at 7-1.

Miller took back to fifth in the field of seven early while 18-1 shot Cresent Roll (Chad Clark) splashed to a speedy first quarter of :27.3. Woodside Izz took to the outside on the backstretch, quickly moving from fifth to first before crossing back over to the rail at the half in :59. Shades Of Grey and Tetrick followed the cover of Woodside Izz on the backstretch before dropping in the pocket as Woodside Izz opened up by two lengths at three-quarters in 1:29.1.

Despite drifting out at the top of the stretch, Woodside Izz doubled the size of her lead to four lengths turning for home. From there, Woodside Izz coasted home a 1-1/2 length winner in 1:58 over a hard charging Miracle Maven (Ross), who rallied home in :27.1 despite a broken headpole to be second. Shades Of Grey held for the third position.

Making her career debut a winning one for trainer Susan Miller, Woodside Izz is owned by L & S Racing, Richard Freese, Platinum Stables and Matthew Lamont. Bred by Lester Beechy, Woodside Izz is a daughter of Dover Dan out of the Yankee Glide mare Diamond Peak.

Leading driver Tetrick extended his lead with four victories on the card, while Mike Peterson had a driving double.

Racing continues on Wednesday (July 10) featuring three ISS divisions for the 2-year-old filly pacers on the 14-race card. The Wednesday card will also feature a carryover in the Jackpot Pick 6 (races 8-13) of $10,272.85, to go along with the $10,000 guarantee in the Hoosier High 5 in the race 14 finale. The Wednesday card gets underway with a first post of 6:15 p.m.

For more information on the 2024 live racing season, guests are encouraged to visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.

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