It’s been a big weekend for driver Joey Putnam. The family’s standout mare Rockin Nola was a winner among top female open company Saturday at Harrah’s Hoosier Park and a catch drive win behind Rosas Image for a driving double. The Putnam Stable added another win with My Bikini Rocks, making a trip to the winner’s circle Sunday at Oak Grove in front of a packed house. Joey Putnam scored another big win Monday, May 16 at Oak Grove Racing, winning the $20,000 Open Pace.
Starting from post two, Putnam sent Crooked Smile right to the lead, passing by fractions in :26.1 and :55.2 before feeling pressure on the outside from American Dreamer, who challenged at the three-quarters in 1:23.3. From there, Crooked Smile battled gamely to fend off American Dreamer, his stablemate driven by Todd Warren, and rallied home in :27.4 for the win in 1:51.2, just three-quarters of a length ahead of American Dreamer. Maximus Red A and Kyle Wilfong finished third.
Crooked Smile was the favorite of the field, paying $4.20 for the win. The five-year-old Panther Hanover gelding is owned by Wilson Racing Stable Incl and Turn for Home Racing LLC. Ellis Bryant Inc. bred the gelding, who picked up his second win in six starts in 2022. Overall, Crooked Smile has 13 wins with more than $168,000 in career earnings. His career best time of 1:49.2 was taken last year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park for trainer Tim Wilson, who also conditions American Dreamer. It was the first career start at Oak Grove for Crooked Smile after racing at both Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Miami Valley this year. Wilson has trained the gelding since the middle of his three-year-old season.
Putnam is one of several drivers balancing their time between Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Oak Grove Racing. Putnam is coming off the best year to date of his young driving career, topping $2 million in earnings last year and 169 wins. Putnam already has 30 wins in 2022 and is among the top 10 drivers in Indiana.