The Spirit of Long Shots
Esperame Closes Hard for Epic Upset
Jockey Marcelino Pedroza battled out a blanket finish in the third race of opening night at Indiana Downs. Atop 90-1 long shot Esperame, the pair powered through the wire to take home a cool share of the $34,500 purse. The win comes from no lack of effort as both jockey and horse were visibly working hard to take the allowance by a nose. Much of the crowd was in disbelief as the longest odds on the board made short work of the 5 ½ furlong route.
Backers of Esperame awaited great returns and were not disappointed. The tote board barely held enough spaces for the abundance of zeros that followed, with potential payouts as high as $215,000. There have been confirmed reports of a guest bringing in over $10,000 with a ten cent superfecta wager. While most winners made it home with a respectable 90-1 return, the possibility of triple digit exotic returns baffled many.
The heroic finish even surprised the 3yo filly’s connections. “We weren’t sure how she would perform but decided to give her a shot,” said trainer Kenneth Miller. “The field was tougher than we anticipated, but she ran her eyeballs out and we now know what she’s really capable of. We are very proud of her and look forward to reaching her full potential. Esperame is Spanish for wait for me, but she wasn’t following anyone tonight.”
The morning line favorite Miss Chatty Cat was nowhere to be found as High Sea Siren hung in for a neck and neck second place, and Ride Em Renee followed a few lengths back for a respectable third place finish. High Sea Siren ridden by Tommy Turner and trained by Antonio Duran met her morning line expectations of 4-1. Ride Em Renee and Chris Landeros complimented the payouts with a 12-1 morning line that went off 19-1.
The highlight of Tuesday night’s racing action; the third race of the meet set the bar for the rest of a long 120 day 2013 season. Long shot victories like that of Esperame carry on the legacy of thoroughbred racing.
About Centaur Gaming: Founded in 1993, Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming’s mission is to bring the entertainment and economic benefits of casino gaming and horse racing to communities across Indiana. Centaur, a privately held company, employs more than 2,000 Indiana residents through the award-winning entertainment destinations of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. and Indiana Grand Casino and Indiana Downs in Shelbyville, Ind. In addition to the two racetrack and casino properties, Centaur’s operations extend to nearly every corner of the state with Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and Off-Track Betting facilities in Clarksville, Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind.
(Courtesy to Gavin Asbury of Indiana Downs Racing)