By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Going into the 20th running of the Dan Patch Invitational Pace at Hoosier Park Saturday night, there were many reasons not to wager on Bolt The Duer.
Much of it centered on the other entries in the 10-horse field. Bolt The Duer was one of four who had won over $1 million in purses, but he had won less than the other three. There was a Hall of Fame driver and a Hall of Fame trainer in the field, and neither was associated with this 4-year-old.
But in the end, there was one big reason to bet some cash on Bolt The Duer, and it was the only one that ever matters — he won the race.
The consensus among the trainers talking prerace was that the horses were so well-grouped and competitive, that it would be the one who got the best trip that would win.
“We’ll need to be lucky,” said Gary Green, the trainer of Dancin Yankee. “He’s not the kind of horse that can make his own race.”
Bolt The Duer got that kind of trip. He took the lead early but was only there until Up The Credit, driven by HP’s top pilot Trace Tetrick, took over at the quarter pole and kept that lead through a time of 26 seconds in the first quarter and :53.4 at the half.
Fred And Ginger, driven by Ricky Macomber, was the first over on the backstretch and took the lead. He held it, but Bolt The Duer was in his pocket when they turned for home. Bolt took the lead and kept it. The winning time was 1:49.3, and the win paid $7.60, $4.80 and $4.
Bolt The Duer was driven by Sam Widger, who is an HP regular and fifth in the current season’s standings. He was a late replacement for Mark MacDonald.
“I got a call to ask if I would drive, and I said, ‘That’d be great,’” said Widger. “With this group of horses, you really had to play it by ear.”
“I told (Widger) he had great gate speed, but he loves to stalk,” said the winner’s trainer Peter Foley.
Bolt The Duer had raced only once this year and finished fourth a week ago.
“We weren’t invited right off,” said Foley. “But $200,000 is not hard to race for.”
Fred And Ginger held on for second, 1.5 lengths behind the winner, and Rickincam, last year’s Dan Patch winner, was third.
The betting favorite, Hurrikane Kingcole, was parked at the three-quarter pole and never got further to the front than fourth. He finished ninth.
Jason Dillander won the $30,000 Gregg Haston Memorial, named for the first Hoosier Park driving champion, earlier in the night.
Dillander guided Mykindachip home in front, and he did it with a late charge from the middle of the track.
Dave Magee had Time To Roll rolling early until Tyler Smith came first up at the half and got into contention. But they were all just placeholders for Mykindachip’s final charge.
The winning time was 1:51 and paid $11.60, $5 and $3.80. Cruzin K C with Mark O’Mara in the bike was second, followed by Lonesome Attack in third.