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Harness racing season heats up

Harness racing season heats up Harness racing season heats up

Indiana harness racing for 2021 at Hoosier Park in Anderson is off to a great start, with more horses and more races almost every week. The Indiana Sire Stakes season starts soon, and 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers, colts and fillies, are tuning up with fast workouts and qualifying races. Several racing series events contested over a period of weeks are winding up now as the sire stakes schedule looms.

Last Wednesday night, the Conrad Stable sent five horses postward at Hoosier Park, and four of those collected purse money checks. Only the 4-year-old pacing gelding Bludhaven failed to cash in, finishing sixth in his race. The stable’s 3-year-old trotting colt Boom Pow was fifth in his race, and the 3-year-old pacing colt Ultimaroca was third in another race.

Conrad’s 3-year-old pacing colts Jack Wacker and Onoitsmymothernlaw were in the same race, with Jack Wacker collecting fifth-place money and Onoitsmymothernlaw, with Charlie Conrad holding the lines, was third.

Friday night at Hoosier Park featured the second week of races in the Hal Dale Series, named for the Indiana pacing sire who was so influential in the development of standardbred horses before World War II. Along with Hoosier greats like Dan Patch and Single G, Hal Dale gave meaning to the term “Indiana Pacer” with his progeny, which includes his most famous sons Good Time and Adios.

These preliminary races will result in the top 10 money earners during the two weeks named to the Hal Dale Final to be raced on Friday. A contender to be in that field is the 3-year-old pacing gelding Caption This, whose ownership group includes Hayswood Farm of Corydon.

Making only his fourth lifetime start and facing his toughest competition to date, Caption This made his way through traffic Friday night but was held off by a neck to finish second at the wire in a time of 1:51:2, with a last quarter mile in 26:1.

The field for the final was to be determined yesterday (Tuesday).

Starting with a workout in early March, each training mile, qualifying race and now four straight “real” races for the colt Caption This have been accomplished with faster times than the mile before.

Wednesday morning qualifying races at Hoosier Park last week featured four horses from the Don Brock Stable of Louisville, who do their training at the Harrison County Fairgrounds track in Corydon. All four attained qualifying times and looked great doing it.

The pacer Six Day Wars qualified in 1:56:4, as did his older stablemate, Winyard Hanover, in 1:56:0.  The Brock 3-year-old colt Gimme Sunshine qualified in 1:58:4, and the stable’s 3-year-old filly Shakira’s Song paced home in 1:58:2. Several of these will make their first official 2021 starts at Hoosier Park next week.

Also qualifying last week at Hoosier Park was the 3-year-old pacing filly Brandon’s Rose, a daughter of Alvin Walther’s mare Hoosier Vacation, which was born and raised south of Lanesville. Brandon’s Rose paced home in 1:58:1.