Stinkin Rich dominant in $82,300 Hoosier Park Classic
Stinkin Rich has been impressive in three years of racing at Indiana Grand, but the now four-year-old gelding appears better than ever, scoring an easy win against many stakes winning champions in the $82,300 Hoosier Park Classic Saturday, Oct. 8 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The race, which is one of three original stakes that began in 1997 at Hoosier Park, was part of an all-Quarter Horse racing program.
Starting from post seven in the talented field of eight, Stinkin Rich and jockey Rolando Pina broke well and was on top in no time. He held his advantage through the entire 400-yard dash. The only challenge was for Pina to keep the grey gelding focused on his job.
“He (Stinkin Rich) kind of wants to slow down and play with the other horses,” said Pina. “I have to get his attention back and push through. He always responds, but when he gets in front, he wants to wait on the others.”
At times, Stinkin Rich led the way by more than two lengths. He crossed the wire one length ahead of Beach Birde and Juan Galvan followed by Beach Cartel and Berkley Packer. Stinkin Rich stopped the timer in :19.730 seconds and gave owner Carolyn Bruce her second win on the card.
Stinkin Rich paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.10 across the board as the race favorite. He increased his career earnings to more than $338,000. The Hoosier Park Classic was his fourth stakes win at Indiana Grand. The Matt Frazier-trained son of One Famous Eagle is now on a three-race win streak.
“This horse (Stinkin Rich) has really matured,” said Frazier, who is based at Ashwood Training Center in Lexington, Ky. “It’s been a lot of work and he’s come through a couple of knee surgeries, but he’s probably the biggest hearted horse I’ve ever had. He used to have some pre-race jitters, but he goes down the track now and nothing bothers him. His confidence has built up and that confidence is a big piece of mind.”
Stinkin Rich has found his way back to the track through an alternative form of training. The horse has been part of a new rehabilitation process that Frazier has been working on for the last four or five years. Outside of his races for 2016, Frazier notes he has only been on the track four times.
“This horse (Stinkin Rich) is one of several we’ve had that have come back from multiple surgeries through this type of rehab,” said Frazier. “We have been working to get this business of the ground, and a horse like this has really responded to the treatment.”
The business Frazier is referring to is Oakbridge Equine Fitness and Rehabilitation. The facility uses different forms of exercise to prepare a horse for racing, including equine hydrotherapy with underwater treadmills, theraplates and cold laser systems. It is the main direction that Frazier has gone to keep horses such as Stinkin Rich fit.
“When you have a horse that comes off multiple surgeries, you have to find an alternative way to get them fit,” said Frazier. “A horse like Stinkin Rich would not be able to be on a racetrack all the time. He lives in the water.”
Frazier generally heads south during the winter to race and train at Hialeah Park but with that meet up in the air at present time, he plans to remain in Lexington and work on breaking babies with occasional trips to Oklahoma to race some of the older horses.
“We have eight babies to break now and have eight more coming in,” said Frazier. “Plus, that will give us an opportunity to work on the rehab business.”
The win aboard Stinkin Rich was one of four on the 12-race card at Indiana Grand for Pina, which places him at the top of the leading Quarter Horse jockey standings by one win over Berkley Packer. Frazier is currently ranked fourth on the list of leading Quarter Horse trainers for 2016 while Bruce moved up into the top five for Quarter Horse owners with her double-win evening.