Bluebird Maverick and driver Tyler Smith scored an impressive win Wed. Jan. 11 at Miami Valley Raceway. The duo rallied home against several Indiana sired trotters in :28.2 for the win in the $24,000 upper conditioned trot on the program.
Starting from post one, Bluebird Maverick had the opportunity to save ground early as Sweet Mr Pinetucky and Trace Tetrick, Lockbox, and Illini Earl, driven by Sam Widger, all left for the lead. Sweet Mr Pinetucky eventually took over after the quarter in :27.4, but his time on the lead was short lived as Lockbox and Chris Page were back out and circled to the lead, passing by the half in :57.2.
Heading down the backstretch, Lockbox, the favorite of the field, was well in hand to the three-quarters in 1:26.2 before Bluebird Maverick was flushed out and rallied with a big fury to the lead. Bluebird Maverick took over in the stretch, but Sweet Mr Pinetucky had one last surge to unleash on the field, trotting up on the outside for a final challenge. However, his efforts were too late as Bluebird Maverick held on gamely for the win in 1:55.1, just a half length ahead of Sweet Mr Pinetucky. Lockbox finished third and was the only one in the top five that was not Indiana sired in the race.
Bluebird Maverick paid $8.20 for the win. The five-year-old gelding is trained by Robert Reeser for owners John Johannsen and Holly Case with Reeser also owing a part of the Swan for All son. Daryl Miller and Kenneth Bontrager bred the gelding from Blue Bird Meadows in northern Indiana.
Bluebird Maverick is now one for two in 2023. He has 10 wins in 64 career starts with more than $230,000 in earnings. His career best time was taken last year at four at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in 1:53.4. The gelding is a full brother to Bluebird Rambo, who has a mark of 1:53.3 and more than $319,000 in earnings. The family has a yearling filly this year by Pilot Discretion named Bluebird Lola that will be headed to the sales this fall.
Another Indiana sired winner on the night was Big Gulp from the Walter Haynes Jr. Stable. The five-year-old son of Always a Virgin sat patiently in the two-hole in the $16,000 conditioned pace before rallying home by more than two lengths in :28.0 for driver Sam Widger and capturing the win in 1:52.4. Big Teddy and Brett Miller were second over Chief Mate and Trevor Smith for third.
Big Gulp, the favorite of the field, paid $6.20. He is owned by Jeff Fought Racing and Brian Carsey. Ben Yoder bred the gelding, who went undefeated as a two-year-old on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit for trainer Jay Cross before being sold to his current connections. Overall, Big Gulp has now won 24 races and more than $217,000 in earnings. His career best time was taken as a three-year-old in 1:49.4. He is now two for two in 2023.