While the country turns to the east and west coast for exciting stakes action this Saturday, Hoosier Park features some quality racing of their own.
The $84,000 Merrillville Stakes is the first of two stakes Saturday at Hoosier. Both stakes are included in the late pick 4. The Merrillville Stakes is for 3 year olds and up, fillies and mares at the 6 furlong distance over the “Anderson Oval.” This year’s edition of the Merrillville features super-star Indiana bred filly, Facey’s Spirit. The 4 year old daughter of Pass Rush has been nothing but special for trainer Chris Dorris. Facey has an abundance of speed with the staying power to dominate her opponents. She’s unbeaten in state bred company this year, having won the $88,000 Shelby County Stakes impressively after stumbling terribly at the start. She also won a $35,000 Optional Claimer at Hawthorne defeating Maude S who went on to finish second in the grade III Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park.
The $84,000 Brickyard stakes is for 3 years old and up, colts and geldings at the 6 furlong distance. The race features several hard knocking Indiana Breds. #5 Pass The Crown is the 7/2 morning line favorite. This son of Pass Rush is coming off a dynamite 2nd place finish to Sunday Mass in an open $40,000 optional claimer.
#7 Unreachable Star is 4/1 on the morning line. Star has been a main-stay in Indiana Stakes company. The Tim Glyshaw trainee is one of the top earning Indiana Breds of all time with over $600,000 in lifetime earnings. Star is coming off a 3rd place finish to Hard Luck Monk and Buster Rose who are both in this stake. #6 Sneaking Away is 6-1 on the morning line for trainer Michael Lauer. The 3 year old gelding by Limehouse is coming off a terribly disappointing 6th place finish in the #200,000 Governor’s Stake at Indiana Downs. Sneaking away does have the top beyer speed figure (91) in the field which came in the Snack Stakes on the Indiana Downs turf where he crushed a field that included top Indiana bred 3 year old Senor Rain by 8 ½ lengths.
The late pick 4 starts in race #5 which is a Starter Allowance $7,500 for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up at the 5 and ½ furlong distance. This race features several horses which have the ability to show speed so we will be looking for horses that can stalk or close. #2 Dreymore is the 3-1 morning line favorite for trainer Chris Dorris. Dorris brings Illinois jock Constantino Roman in to ride. Dreymore is a deep closer who has a menacing late kick, look for this one flying late. #4 Tripledogdareya is 8-1 on the morning line for the trainer/jockey combo of Richard Kohnhorst and Rodney Prescott. Tripledogdareya is coming off a lackluster performance at Ellis Park. I think this one will appreciate the drop in class and the move back to Hoosier Park where he has 2 wins in 3 starts with one 2nd, he will also be closing late. #6 (7/2) Goodwood Gal stalked the pace and won impressively in her last race. Gal was 1st off the claim for top trainer, Tom Amoss. Goodwood Gal gets a positive jock switch to Victor Lebron and should be close early with the ability to draw off late.
The 6th race is a $16,000 state bred claimer at the 7 ½ furlong distance. #2 (9/5) Brickyard holds all the cards for trainer Tom Amoss and jock Victor Lebron in this race track game. The son of Street Cry beat an open $25,000 optional claiming group at Indiana Downs two back which included Tycoon who came back to crush an Allowance NW1X field by 7 ¼ lengths at Hoosier Park. #3 (8/1) Gunner is my longshot play of the day. Gunner is coming off a better than looked 2nd place finish in a $10,000 open claimer. Gunner seems to be rounding into form with a win and second in his last two starts, he’ll be close to the pace and could give this field the slip at a price.
Race #7 is the aforementioned $84,000 Merrillville stakes. I believe #6 Facey’s Spirit is just too talented for any Indiana Bred fillies, she’ll be the only one we’re using here.
Race #8 is the $84,000 Brickyard Stakes. We’re going 4 deep in this race hoping we catch a price. We’ll be using #3 (6/1) Scatterfield, #5 (7/2) Pass The Crown, #7 (4/1) Unreachable Star, and #8 (5/1) Buster Rose.
Re-capping the ticket. $1 dollar pick 4 using 2,4,6 with 2,3 with 6, with 3,5,7,8 = $24.00. Good Luck from Hoosier State Of Mind. Enjoy the races!