Thursday's (Oct. 3) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Hoosier Park, Colonial Downs and Vernon Downs.
Sweet Justice lowers Hoosier Park track record
Anderson, IN --- For the fourth time in one week, the track record was lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval on Thursday, October 3, marking the 22nd track record that has been re-established throughout the 2013 racing season. Sweet Justice, with Tyler Smith at the lines, became Hoosier Park’s newest track record holder when he powered home a winner in 1:54.1 in the featured event, a $22,500 event for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters.
Sweet Justice was able to use a determined rally late in the lane to defeat a field of nine and score his third win of the season. The previous track record of 1:54.2 was established by Red Hot Herbie and Andy Shetler just one week earlier in the same event.
Leaving from post five, Sweet Justice left the gate alertly to grab a position along the rail in third. JJ Rock and Pete Wrenn reached the front through the opening panel in :27.1 but yielded the lead to Red Hot Herbie and Andy Shetler down the backside. Red Hot Herbie dictated fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.4 and braced for the stretch drive. Using a :28.4 last quarter, Sweet Justice was able to track down the leader and win by three-parts of a length. Red Hot Herbie finished second while Super Rock trotted evenly to finish third. Dismissed at the windows, Sweet Justice returned $28.40 at the windows.
Sired by Justice Hall, the sophomore colt has now won 3 of 17 seasonal outings while bankrolling over $60,000 for his connections of Our Little Stable, S.M. Carter, and R. A. Mondillo. Trained by Steve Carter, Sweet Justice has won 11 of 27 starts while amassing over $170,000 throughout his career.
-- Emily Gaskin
Diamond Star made up for a pair of runner-up performances in both early legs of the Delmarva Pacing Series to capture the $9,250 final leg Thursday at Colonial Downs. The 1-1/4 mile finale featured prior leg winners Hillbilly Desire, Bettorseeitmyway and Omaha Survivor but it was Diamond Star that crossed first in 2:23.2. The 5-year-old gelding was eighth in the nine horse field through the first three fractions but a well-timed move from driver Corey Braden paid off in the meet’s richest race thus far. Diamond Star passed six front steppers in the stretch to beat Omaha Survivor by three-quarters of a length. The win gave both Braden and Stacy McLenaghan a natural driving and training hat trick. The duo, who are engaged to each other, scored in the two prior races with trotter Marion Good Ro Go and pacer Hickory Again. Both wins came in a similar come from behind style in 1:56.4 and 1:54.3 respectively. Marion Good To Go swept the Parker’s Memorial Trotting Series including Thursday’s $7,000 finale. The 4-year-old Conway Hall gelding beat Jane Dunavant’s My Heidi by 2-1/2 lengths. He won early Parker legs in 1:58.4 and 1:57.3. Marion Good To Go, who is owned by William Mulligan, established a new life mark with the 1:56.4 time. Colonial Downs presents a pair of ten race cards this Saturday and Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.
The quick-footed Let’s Go Higher topped four fast and fit female foes in Thursday night’s $10,000 featured Open Pace at Vernon Downs. With Shawn Gray doing the driving for trainer Heidi Rohr in Thursday’s second race, the favorite Let’s Go Higher, the field’s top money-winner in her last five outings, went right to the front and prevailed by 2-1/2 lengths over the pocket-sitting, second choice, Don’t Blame Her, a winner in this event in her last two starts. The first-place finish was the third in succession and the 10th this season for the 5-year-old daughter of former track favorite Cole Muffler and out of the Abercrombie mare Ten Speed, owned by Jesse J. De Long. The career winner of more than $240,500 now sports 19 career victories, the fastest in 1:50.3 here on July 11. Roman Lopez, the track’s second-leading driver (86 victories) and trainer (31 wins) this year, logged a double during the track’s 72nd program, while Fern Paquet, Jr. and Truman Gale also delivered twin tallies during Thursday’s 12-race card.