ANDERSON, Ind.—18. November 2022— Wintry conditions in Anderson, Indiana gave way to hot trotting at the Grand Circuit as the Star Destroyer took center stage at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, November 18th.
Four top sophomore trotting divisions topped Friday night’s 14-race card, with familiar faces making their way to the Winner’s Circle at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Looking for a respite from an atypical seventh place finish at the Carl Erskine, Ponda Adventure (swan for everyone) returned with a vengeance to start the night’s stakes action with a 1:53:3 finish in the $57,000 Colt 3-year-old trot.
Leading rider Trace Tetrick, coming down from sixth in the field of nine, wasted no time in getting to the front, sending Ponda Adventure straight into the lead through an opening quarter of 27-1. The Erv Miller trainee prevailed 58-0 in the middle and led the charge down the stretch with Ohio’s Caviar Gold and Chris Page hot on his heels in the pocket. Ponda Adventure playfully interfered in the lane, repelling Caviar Gold’s pocket popping in the lane with a 28-2 final quarter to score with a three-quarter length over Caviar Gold, Swan Flyer and John De Long finished third.
PONDA ADVENTURE REPLAY
The win was the thirteenth of the season in 17 attempts for Ponda Adventure, who has finished worse than second only once in 27 lifetime starts. Owned by Engel Stable of IL LLC, Louis Willinger and Jerry Graham, the Swan For All gelding son has banked $385,569 for the season and over $650,000 for his outstanding career.
Different tactics would be employed to achieve victory at the $57,000 three-year-old filly’s pace, as a late rally from the backcourt would be the ticket to Winner’s Circle for Galleria Hanover (Always B Miki).
Driver Sam Widger opted to take back the goal from the six post and landed early in seventh position as A Girl That Twirls and Trace Tetrick sliced a 26-4 opening quarter off the rail. A Girl That Twirls maintained control of the front end halfway through 55-0 before leading the field 1:24:1 into the long corner under pressure from Patsville and John De Long while the Galleria Hanover waited to jump from the third over.
Patsville took a brief lead before being met by Galleria Hanover, who thundered home through the snow 27-3 to score 1:53:0 at three-quarter length. Patsville held second place with Best Place To Be and Brandon Bates rallied to round out the trifecta with 78-1.
GALLERIA HANNOVER REPEAT
It was the fifth win of the season for the Ron Burke-trained daughter of Indiana’s fastest son Always B Miki by Somebeachsomewhere mare Gallie Bythe Beach. Owned by W Donavon, Purnel & Libby LLC and Joe Sbrocco, Galleria has $190,475 in season earnings and is now over a quarter million in her career.
In the $58,000 three-year-old filly, Brickhouse Babe (Walter) would claim their first win of the season on a grand scale with a dominant 1:54:2 result. Driver John De Long was able to settle into fourth amid confusion with breakers in front of goal in the early stages when Verlin Yoder fired Gracelyn Hanover forward from the nine post through an opening quarter of 27-3. Yoder kept the gas pedal down the backstretch and put six lengths ahead of his nearest competitor, despite posting a blistering 56-0 first half.
The field began to stagger at the front in the long corner, with Gabby’s C Note and Chris Page clearing the pocket and forcing Brickhouse Babe to three wides as she attacked three quarters in 1:25:4. The long drive around the final corner didn’t bother Brickhouse Babe as she stormed home 28-1 to put three lengths on the line, Alana Hill and LeWayne Miller were second, with Luv Lorelei and Robert Taylor third.
BRICKHOUSE BABE REPRODUCTION
Coached by Ryan Miller, it was the first win in 20 starts for Brickhouse Babe and the fifth of her career. Owned by Ray Schnittker, Brickhouse Babe is a daughter of Walner out of the Donato Hanover mare Royal Assets. With the win, she earned over $300,000 in her career, adding $96,297 in 2022.
Driver John De Long claimed a second win in the Star Destroyer, this time alongside Indiana Sire Stakes champion Ponda Warrior (Rocking picture) to achieve the $65,000 three-year-old stallion pace.
De Long exited the rails in a crowded field of 11, immediately brought Ponda Warrior into play and put himself in the pocket behind Sure Thing Herman and Atlee Bender through a 27-4 opening quarter. De Long Deuce caught up on the back straight, briefly cleared the lead before being covered again by Taurasi and Devon Tharps at half-time to make it 55-4. Her wish was granted and Kyle Wilfong went on the offensive on the long corner, putting his nose forward through three quarters of the long corner in 1:24:2.
Taurasi fought back on the track to fend off Yourwishisgranted’s challenge but had to face another rally on the rail while Ponda Warrior and De Long patiently waited for the fast lane before going 26-4 in the last quarter of the Rail rallied to score the goal 1:51:3 victory by half a length. Taurasi fought valiantly for the place while Sure Thing Herman was third.
PONDA WARRIOR REPEAT
Ponda Warrior achieved his fifth win in his second campaign in 17 attempts for trainer Jay Hochstetler, who co-owns the Rockin Image colt with Finkelberg Racing LLC and South Of The Track Racing Inc. Out of American mare Sweetinsinful, Ponda Warrior boasts a season bankroll of $321,791 and lifetime bankroll of $444,991.
Lead trainer Tyler George had a big night ahead and teamed with lead rider Trace Tetrick for three wins with Major Crocker A, Mac’s Big Boy and General Dolan. The three wins brought George’s total to 120 at that meet, setting a new all-time record for single-season practice wins at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The previous mark was 119 wins, first set by Jeff Cullipher in 2018 and matched by Tyler George in 2021.
The racing action continues on Saturday, November 19th at Harrah’s Hoosier Park with a 14 race card starting at 18:15. The Grand Circuit Finals of the 2022 season will take place on Black Friday, with the second edition of the Thanksgiving Classic on Friday, November 25, with all four divisions of three-year-olds once again highlighting the card. The Black Friday card begins with a special post time at 4pm, with a free Flynnville Train concert following live racing on the Terrace Showroom Stage at 9pm. Guests are encouraged to learn more about the 2022 live racing season Visit here.
For full race results, click here.
through Jake Rheinheimerfor Hoosier Park