Tag: jon schuster
Peyton’s Pass showed how quickness pays off as she rallied to a nearly gate to wire victory in the 23rd running of the $100,000-added Merrillville Stakes at Indiana Grand Wed. Sept. 13. The race joins the Indiana Derby as the oldest stakes race in the history of pari-mutuel Thoroughbred racing in the state of Indiana. It was part of the lineup during the inaugural season at Hoosier Park in 1995 and was moved to Indiana Grand in 2013 when the track went to all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.
Peyton’s Pass was ready to go as the Steve Peterman starting gate sprung open, the four-year-old daughter of Pass Rush busted out of the gate on top and looked powerful on the inside as she was joined by Ourcinnamonansugar and Fernando De La Cruz on the outside for the race down the backstretch. Whistle Stop and Marcelino Pedroza were tracking the progress of the top two throughout the race and when the field turned for home, they were ready to pounce.
In the stretch, several opponents tried their best to catch Peyton’s Pass but she was strong through the wire, winning by four lengths in a time of 1:10.36. Hay Little Bit and Alex Contreras rallied from the back of the eight horse field to finish second, less than a length ahead of Whistle Stop for third.
Lovely Bernadette and jockey Florent Geroux rolled to an impressive win in the ninth running of the $200,000-guaranteed Indiana Grand Stakes Wednesday, Sept. 6 at Indiana Grand. The duo covered the one mile turf race in a time of 1:35.37.
Starting from post seven in the 10-horse field, Lovely Bernadette broke well and was in contention early for the lead along with five other horses. Each one looked as if they might strike out to take control for a few strides before I’m Betty G and DeShawn Parker finally committed to the front spot, leading the way through the majority of the race. Little movement was detected as the field stayed close throughout, but when the final turn arrived, several noticeable moves began to unveil, including one from Lovely Bernadette from the center of the track.
Early predictions were that Cowboy Culture and Florent Geroux would be the ones to defeat in the $200,000-guaranteed Centaur Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Sept. 6. Those predictions were spot on as the duo swallowed up the field in late stretch to win by one and one-half lengths over the firm turf course.
Starting from post one, Cowboy Culture was unhurried at the start by Geroux, following along at the tail end of the eight horse field as Balandeen and Eddie Perez set the pace of the one and one-sixteenth mile race. Judah and Leandro Goncalves stayed close for the first half of the race before Dawn Raider and Gabriel Saez moved up into contention to be the biggest threat before the stretch drive.
Balandeen was able to scoot around the turn nicely and gain some momentum for the stretch drive as others began battling for open spaces. Geroux moved Cowboy Culture up through horses and just when it appeared traffic might be an issue, a hole opened up and Cowboy Culture shot through to gain clearance. Once he had a clean shot at the finish line, the Quality Road colt kicked into another gear and swooped by the top ones, winning easily in a time of 1:36.41. Dawn Raider completed the race in second while Balandeen held strong for third.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved a request to alter the final week of racing at Indiana Grand during its regular monthly meeting Friday, Aug. 25. The 120-day racing season will now include a special day of racing Thursday, Oct. 26 and the final day of racing is slated for Friday, Oct. 27. The altered schedule was requested to show full support of the prestigious $6 million Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park, Indiana Grand’s sister track.
The change was requested by track officials at Indiana Grand so that all resources can be shifted to Hoosier Park for the monumental two-day Breeders Crown event slated for Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 beginning at 6 p.m.
“We want to do everything we can to support Indiana racing and the world harness racing championship Breeders Crown event at Hoosier Park,” said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand. “By adding a special racing program Thursday and ending our season on Friday, Oct. 27, we will provide our horsemen with the same number of racing days and opportunities for this racing season. This change will also allow us to lend more support to Hoosier Park as they host the first Breeders Crown ever held in Indiana.”
After turning in the fastest trial time, SR Shambles and Jockey David Pinon proved once again they were the pair to beat in the ninth running of the $108,800 Heartland Futurity at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Saturday, July 29. The duo rallied home to a one-half length win during a night dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
Starting from the inside post one in the nine-horse final, SR Shambles broke alertly and had a clear path from the start. The two-year-old Oklahoma-bred son of Desirio got the first call from the gate and maintained that position all the way to the wire. Dicey Dream and Juan Pulido ran strong from start to finish in the center of the track but had to settle for second while El Candyman and Jose Ruiz made a slight push at the end to finish a neck back in third. The time of the race was :15.467 seconds.
Less than a week after finishing second in the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby with Colonelsdarktemper, Jockey Jon Court shipped back to Indiana Grand Thursday, July 20 and picked up two wins on the card, including the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes. Youngest Daughter, trained by Victoria Oliver, rallied nearly gate to wire for the win in the one mile race over the turf.
Queen Del Valle and Edgard Zayas were the first to emerge from the starting gate and grab the lead, but their time at the top was limited. By the time the bulky field of 12 had passed the finish line for the first time, it was Youngest Daughter and Court who had shot up the middle of the track to take over the pace setting role.
“I wasn’t expecting the lead today,” said Court. “I’ve watched enough of her races and she doesn’t have to be on the lead, but I chirped to her and she took off. She definitely brought her “A” game today. Even in the post parade I didn’t want to warm her up too much because I could tell Victoria (Oliver) had her ready to go.”
Court was able to get Youngest Daughter to relax around the turn and down the backstretch to keep her fresh for the latter part of the race as Tap It All and Brian Hernandez Jr. sat just to their outside in stalking position. Queen Del Valle maintained early positioning but was gapping along the inside in third before beginning her move toward the leaders heading into the final turn.
Mind Reader and DeShawn Parker were persistent in finding racing room and their persistency paid off, rallying home to the victory in the ninth running of the $100,000 Snack Stakes. The duo covered the one-mile turf course distance in a time of 1:36.80.
Starting from post 10 in the bulky field of 11 Indiana bred three-year-olds, Mind Reader rallied out of the starting gate with the pack, settling in nicely among the second tier horses as Gifted Justice and Declan Cannon shot to the lead on the inside with Evader and Marcelino Pedroza three wide as Shezaguy and Juan De La Cruz held his ground between horses. The trio of horses continued their pursuit of the race down the backstretch as horses continued to stay close from the top to bottom in the field. Around the turn, the late closers began kicking in and Parker let Mind Reader out a notch just to keep positioning.
It was time for Whistle Stop to step up and blow her own horn and that is just what she did in the ninth running of the $100,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes for fillies Wednesday, June 21 at Indiana Grand. Whistle Stop blew by the competition in the stretch to rally home for her third straight win with Jockey Marcelino Pedroza aboard.
Pedroza had Whistle Stop alert at the start, gunning out of the gate in search of one of the top spots in the eight horse field. Bar Rag and Tommy Pompell maintained their positioning inside as the race leaders while Whistle Stop tracked their progress along the outside with Midnight Blvd and Leandro Goncalves sitting closely in third along the rail.
Bar Rag continued to lead the way down the backstretch as heavily favored Defining Hope, ridden by Malcolm Franklin, waited patiently in mid pack to make their customary move around the turn. Defining Hope moved in a flash around horses and by the time the field had landed at the top of the stretch, she was challenging Bar Rag and Whistle Stop for the lead while Midnight Blvd was also close behind on the inside.
The highly anticipated first start for Grand Gesture Stable has arrived. A J Pacer, the three-year-old Indiana bred filly that is owned by Grand Gesture Stable will make her 2017 racing debut in the sixth race Saturday, June 17. The Keyed Entry filly will begin from post two with jockey Richard Bracho aboard and has been selected as the second choice on the morning line at odds of 5-2.
Grand Gesture Stable is a fractional ownership program that began this spring at Indiana Grand. The stable was designed to allow fans the experience of owning a Thoroughbred racehorse for a minimal amount of money. Officials at Indiana Grand selected A J Pacer trained by Anthony Granitz earlier in the spring as the horse to serve as the stable’s representative on the track. A total of 50 shares were sold at $300 per share. Ownership in Grand Gesture Stable began when racing kicked off its 15th season April 18. The final two shares were secured Wednesday, June 14 just in time for the first race.
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino has implemented a new racehorse ownership opportunity for the general public this season. Grand Gesture Stable offers 50 shares at $300 per share to individuals seeking to learn more about racing and the intricate details of owning part of a Thoroughbred racehorse.
The horse selected for this unique ownership opportunity is A J Pacer, a three-year-old Indiana bred Thoroughbred filly that is trained by Anthony Granitz, who is the trainer of two-time Indiana Horse of the Year Lady Fog Horn. A J Pacer made three starts in 2016 at two, posting one win and one second before taking some time off to prepare for her three-year-old season.
“This filly (A J Pacer) is a perfect horse for Grand Gesture Stable,” said Granitz. “She has a great personality and attitude and she has been training very well. I’m happy to be part of this unique experience and can’t wait to meet all 50 owners of AJ as we kick off this new ownership venture.”