Francis Underwood, a former horse in the fractional ownership program of First Turn Stable at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, scored the win in the $36,000 Hollywood Mini Series Friday, Dec. 17 at Hollywood Gaming Dayton. The gelding was an upset winner at odds of 14 – 1.
Starting from post two, Francis Underwood got away from the gate well for driver Trevor Smith and followed along alertly as Fools Rush In and Josh Sutton set the tempo through fractions of :28.0, :56.4 and 1:24.0. In the stretch the Time to Roll gelding found the room he needed to move through for the win in 1:53.0 with a final panel in :28.4. Tuggin On My Heart and James Yoder finished second three-quarters of a length back. Just a Start and Brett Miller also closed gamely late in the race to finish third another three-quarters of a length back. All three top finishers were longshots of 11-1 or more and all three had Indiana connections with Yoder in second and third place finisher Just A Start owned by Therl Hensley of Indiana.
Francis Underwood paid $31.00 for the win. The four-year-old is owned and trained by Perry Smith. Jerry Graham bred the gelding, who earned his third win of 2021. Overall, he has eight wins and more than $114,000 with a career best time of 1:51.1 taken earlier this year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Francis Underwood comes from a long line of winners. His mother, One Sure Thing, an Illinois bred, raced in her home state before becoming a brood mare. The maternal granddam is Ten Speed, a standout race mare by Abercrombie who earned nearly $200,000 during her racing career in the early 1990s. The breeding can be traced back to the foundation mare Minnehaha, who was one of the top broodmares from the late 1800s, producing several winners on the trot.
Francis Underwood is from a near 100 percent producing dam. One Sure Thing has had 10 foals of racing all and all 10 have raced, including the two-year-old in 2021. Her fastest performer is Mahdi, who won in 1:49.3 and her richest foal is Little Miss Henry with earnings of more than $387,000. In all, she has produced five winners with earnings in six figures.