Indiana will head into the biggest night of summer harness racing Friday, Aug. 11 with the 30th edition of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The 15-race program begins at 6:15PM featuring all types of activities to complement some of the best older pacers in the nation as they vie for the title.
This year’s field includes three local horses in the 11-horse lineup. Tellmeaboutit will begin from post two. Little Rocket Man begins from post eight, and Ponda Warrior gets a seat on the second tier from post 11.
The Dan Patch is set as Race 13 with an estimated post of 10:40PM. The early morning line favorite is Charlie May from post 10 with Brett Miller in the bike. The five-year-old son of McArdle, trained by Steve Carter, comes into the race with two wins and four seconds in seven starts this year. He equaled his career best time of 1:47.1 earlier this year at The Meadowlands. He is currently on a two-race win streak, winning the $444,000 Haughton at The Meadowlands, his 1:47.1 clocking, and the $100,000 SendItIn at Scioto.
Selected for the second spot is Little Rocket Man at odds of 7-2. The Indiana sired son of Rockin Image has 12 wins in 16 starts this season. His career best time of 1:47.2 was taken as a four-year-old at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. A win in the Dan Patch will make him the sport’s newest millionaire. He finished third in the SendItIn at Scioto, but prior to that, he won four straight races. This will be his third appearance in the Dan Patch for owners Russ Beeman and Jack Freeman. John DeLong drives for Trainer Ken Rucker.
Ponda Warrior made it just in time for the Dan Patch. The four-year-old from the Jay Hochstetler barn made his 2023 debut last week, a win in 1:48.4. John DeLong is also listed to drive and the four-year-old will begin with odds of 12-1.
Tellmeaboutit is a veteran of the Dan Patch. The now seven-year-old son of Tellitlikeitis makes his third appearance in the prestigious race. He was a second-place finisher in 2021 for his connections, Alvin Miller and Twila Harts. He has three wins this season and a win in the Dan Patch would also make him a millionaire. Michael Oosting drives starting at odds of 15-1.
Every race Friday has been titled and will include a few finals for locally trained and owned horses, including the Johnny Wattles final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. James Yoder has a pair of multiple winners in the race in Where’s Drogon from post one and Chocluck Chip from post four. Yoder will drive Where’s Drogon, a son of Freaky Feet Pete, while LeWayne Miller gets the call behind Chocluck Chip. The race is slated as the third of the night.
The co-feature on the card is the Gregg Haston Memorial, which was implemented in 1997 to honor the track’s first leading driver-trainer who was killed in an automobile accident just days after the 1996 Dan Patch. Several of the area’s top Invitational pacers are included in the field. General Dolan, who has seven wins this season, starts from post four for Trace Tetrick and trainer Tyler George while Yourwishisgranted, winner of six races this year, starts from post six. Ricky Macomber Jr. has the call for trainer Matt Rheinheimer.