Hoosier Park’s standardbred season comes to a close this weekend with a lot on the line and very little on the line.
I know that doesn’t sound possible but hang with me for a few more graphs and I’ll explain.
Saturday will be Hoosier Champions Night, featuring more than $1 million in purses. Indiana Sire Stakes finals will be held.
In that way, a lot will be at stake.
The final day of live harness racing is Sunday, and the driving and training titles have literally been decided.
In that way, very little is still on the line.
One of the Indiana Sires Stakes has an interesting matchup. The one for 3-year-old filly trotters for a purse of $200,000 figures to have Msnaughtybynature as the heavy favorite. That horse has swept the series of races thus far.
Sally is a horse that could provide some challenge. She has won two of the four previous legs in the series and finished second the other two. One of those runner-up finishes was by seven lengths to Msnaughtybynature on Hoosier Cup night. Sally has earned $80,000 for owners Greg and Teri Hostetler.
Greg Hostetler trains the horse. Mark O’Mara will drive Sally on Saturday evening.
O’Mara will also be in the picture for another sires stakes duel, this one for $100,000 for older male trotters. O’Mara will pilot Hoosier Cadillac, the 2009 Older Trotter of the Year.
Last Saturday, Hoosier Cadillac was able to rally to top ABC Mercedes by a neck. Joe Putnam was the driver of ABC Mercedes, and both horses figure to duel to the wire again this Saturday.
Hoosier Cadillac is owned and trained by Mel and Sally Gilbert. The horse has earned more than $280,000 in his racing career.
But there will be less competition for two of the big individual championships.
Peter Wrenn locked up the driving title a long time ago. Now the question is whether he can complete a century lap of the field. Wrenn had 170 wins through July 4 compared to 78 for Ricky Macomber, who is in second place in the standings. The true fight is for third where Sam Widger, Trace Tetrick, Jason Dillander, Dan Shetler and Rick Farrington are all within eights wins of one another. Widger is third now at 58.
The chase for the trainer title is quite a bit closer.
Ron Burke leads with 38 victories. Grant Wilfong is next with 32 wins. Again there is a big cluster for third. Ron Otto, Charles Stewart, Ryan Bellamy, Jeff Brewer and Don Eash are vying for third and only separated by three wins.
I would encourage fans to make it out to Hoosier Park for one of these last four days of live racing.
After Sunday the next time there is racing there will be July 30 when the thoroughbreds begin their run.
The final day of that meet will be Oct. 24.
Contact Rick Teverbaugh: 640-4886 or rick.teverbaugh @heraldbulletin.com.