Sullenberger completed a big landing into the winner’s circle Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Miami Valley Raceway. The Indiana sired gelding was a winner in second leg of the $10,000 Claim to Fame Series, featuring horses in for a price tag of $8,000.
Starting from post two, Sullenberger and Sam Widger got away third and followed along as Vintage Sauvignon and Kayne Kauffman set the tempo of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25.3. Sullenberger was on the move in the final panel and grinded his way to the top, battling with Vintage Sauvignon all the way to the wire. Sullenberger was a winner by one-half length in 1:54.1. Vintage Sauvignon finished second over another Indiana sired product Youda Shark and Trevor Smith for third.
Sullenberger was the favorite of the field, paying $6.00 for the win. The four-year-old oversized pacer by Jereme’s Jet is owned by the breeder, Daybreak Racing Stables. Ross Leonard trains the big gelding, who was making his third start of 2023. Overall, he has six career wins and a mark of 1:54.0 taken last year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park as a three-year-old. He now has more than $35,000 on his card.
Sullenberger finished sixth in the first round of the Claim to Fame Series. He won at the end of the Harrah’s Hoosier Park meet before making Ohio his permanent destination this winter. The gelding is the last foal from the mare, Amarillo Sky, who is the dam of several winners including Gerardo. The family has several other winners, including Tuition Money, who has a mark of 1:51.4 and more than $200,000 on his card.
Later on in the card Land of Freedom and Brandon Bates were upset winners in conditioned trotting action. The four-year-old son of Dover Dan pulled to the outside at the half and eased his way toward the leaders. Land of Freedom nabbed race favorite Wild and Crazy Guy at the wire for the win by a head in 1:55.4. Wild and Crazy Guy was nearly four lengths ahead of the third place finisher Born to Thrive, the standout trotter from the Rick Plano barn.
Land of Freedom paid $43.40 for the win. The gelding is owned by Bobby Reeser and John Johannsen and trained by Reeser. Lavon Slabach bred the gelding.