There were several things that were unpredictable about opening night Friday, March 24 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, namely the weather. However, one thing was predictable and that was the return of 11-time leading driver Trace Tetrick, who scored a win in the very first race of the season. Tetrick guided Gamblin Mo to victory for three-time leading trainer Tyler George to kick off season 30.
Starting from post one, Gamblin Mo slid out to the lead through heavy rain and a soaked racetrack, leading the charge into the first turn and into a strong crosswind. Following the first quarter in :26.3, the Captaintreacherous son had a strong hold on the lead through the half and three-quarters in :55.0 and 1:23.1.
Gamblin Mo had full control of the field heading down the stretch and was well on his way to the win for Tetrick, who never had to use his extra encouragement. In the end, he was a winner by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:51.3, a final quarter in :28.2. Levi and Sam Widger finished second over Criminal Record and John DeLong for third.
Gamblin Mo paid $4.60 for the win. The five-year-old is owned by SCP Stable of Georgia and Bill Boyce of Florida along with George. He was bred by Southwind Farms in New Jersey.
It was the second win of the season for Gamblin Mo, who took a month off as a breather for the Harrah’s Hoosier Park meet. He qualified a week in advance of the meet, scoring an impressive five-plus length win in 1:54.1. Gamblin Mo now has seven career wins and is nearing $300,000 on his card. His career best time of 1:49.1 was taken at Pocono Downs as a three-year-old.
Tetrick won three of the first five races of the season. In addition to another win by the George trained Ike’s Panther, he also connected behind Major Crisis A for owner-trainer Jacob Fox.
The other big winner on the night was driver John DeLong, who won four races through the first 10 on the program, including a win with Little Rocket Man in the evening’s featured Open Pace. After getting away in mid pack, the fan favorite Little Rocket Man began his ascend on the leaders around the final turn and was able to pass up opponents and open up to a two-length win at the wire in 1:51.1, a final quarter in :26.3. Primary Colors and Sam Widger finished second over Crooked Smile and Kyle Wilfong.
Little Rocket Man was the favorite, paying $2.60. Ken Rucker is handling the training duties for Little Rocket Man in the early part of the season. Russ Beeman and Jack Freeman own the Rockin Image gelding, who is now seven. Last year’s Older Pacing Horse of the Year, Little Rocket Man made his 39th trip to the winner’s circle. He now has over $700,000 on his card.
In the sixth race of the evening, horses became entangled after a sudden break by one horse, causing all but four horses to get impeding marks on their chart line. Due to the interference, the race was declared no contest and no wagering payouts were made for the race.
Live racing resumes for night two Saturday, March 25. First post is 6:15 p.m.