Two Indiana sired trotters were back-to-back winners Monday, June 19 at Plainridge Racecourse. Downhome Punch and Northern Skyway both earned wins with Downhome Punch reaching the winner’s circle first.
Downhome Punch and Kevin Switzer Jr. left the gate from post six and floated over to the inside as Pembroke Honcho and Heath Campbell used early speed inside to secure the top spot. The field followed along through early fractions of :28.1 and :59.0 before Hush Moni and Bruce Ranger made a bold move to the lead just after the three-quarters in 1:27.3. This prompted Downhome Punch to also move to the outside and he was left first over around the final turn.
In the stretch, Hush Moni was digging in gamely but so was Downhome Punch, who kept after Hush Moni until he got the edge at the wire in 1:57.1. Hush Moni finished a neck back in second over Pembroke Honcho who won the photo for third.
Downhome Punch paid $8.80 for the win. The three-year-old Muscle Massive gelding is owned by 1812 Racing LLC of New Hampshire. Jimmy Nickerson trains the gelding and it was a training double for Nickerson.
Downhome Punch was bred by Richard Fry. It was a new lifetime mark for the gelding, who did not race last year as a two-year-old. He now has two wins in 10 starts this season and has only finished off the board twice. He now has more than $24,000 on his card. He started off his career earlier this spring at Harrah’s Hoosier Park for Keith Roth before changing hands and heading to Plainridge.
In the very next race, Northern Skyway and Kevin Switzer Jr. moved down the backside the second time and took over the lead, drawing away to a three and one-quarter length lead at the wire in 1:55.2, a final quarter in :28.1. The eight-year-old Guccio gelding earned the win in the $8,000 upper conditioned trot for trainer James Dunn. Anthony Loiko and Bradford Veilleux own the gelding, who was bred by Northern Lane Farm. Dixie Slippers, a seven-year-old daughter of Muscle Massive who was bred before the stallion moved to Indiana, finished second for Wallace Watson. Carson Hill and Todd O’Dea finished third.
It was the fourth win of the year for Northern Skyway. He has equaled his career best time of 1:54.2 the past two years. The one-time Indiana Sires Stakes contender out of the Doug Rideout barn now has 41 wins in 191 starts and more than $400,000 on his card.