By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Defending driving champion Trace Tetrick wasn’t the first one to guide a horse to the winner’s circle on Tuesday, but it didn’t seem to matter.
Tetrick waited until the seventh race on Hoosier Park’s season-opening card to notch a win, but his first two victories were big ones. Race 7 was one of four races that made up the first leg of The Miss Windfall series and so was Race 8, which he also won.
Tetrick won behind Annie Sez for trainer John Merkel in Race 7. The 3-year-old filly was starting her first race and had some odds against her. She started from the far outside post and was still fifth at the half. Hitting the three-quarter pole she was parked outside, a head off the lead of Heavenly Way, driven by Peter Wrenn.
But Tetrick got her in front at the top of the stretch, and she came home in a brisk :28 with a good wind at her tail. She defeated Rhinestone Robin by 1.5 lengths in 1:58.1. The win paid bettors $7.40, $3.40 and $3.
Tetrick didn’t allow much time for celebration before getting back in the sulky for the next race, another Windfall leg, this time driving the Steve Carter-trained Fritzie Chic. The trip was a bit different this time.
Fritzie Chic, with only one previous lifetime start, moved from the No. 2 post and had the lead by more than a length at the quarter pole. The margin of victory over Jd’s Infinite Lady was almost three lengths, and the winning time was 1:56.4. She came home in :27.4. The win paid $4.60, $2.60 and $2.20.
The other two legs of the series were won by Roger Cullipher, driving Shaint To Shabby and Ricky Macomber, piloting Mystic Karissa. Macomber’s victory was the first of the season under the new one breed, one track program that will keep standardbreds at the Anderson track for the entire season.
“It will be an adjustment,” said long-time track announcer Steve Cross. “It took me several years to make the adjustment (to thoroughbreds). But now that won’t be an issue. I did enjoy doing all three breeds (including quarter horses).”
But he sees the reason for the change and supports it.
“This is good for all of us,” said Cross. “It only makes sense. This track (Hoosier) was made for standardbreds, and Indiana Downs was made for thoroughbreds.”
Hoosier Park General Manager of Racing Rick Moore said, “The action will be exciting. We have 160 days of standardbreds. I am thrilled to be back. We have a great racing surface. It should be a great season.”
Hoosier Park will have live racing through Saturday with a first post each day at 5:30 p.m.