Memorial Day is the official day to kick off summer. It’s also the day to kick off the rich Indiana Sires Stakes program for three-year-olds at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The program begins at 6:15PM featuring eight divisions of sophomore trotters and pacers, including a few undefeated entrants, including Polks Image.
Polks Image has been nothing less than spectacular this season. The Rockin Image filly is a perfect seven for seven this season heading into the first round of the Indiana Sires Stakes (ISS). Trained by Jeff Cullipher, Polks Image will be featured in the ninth race of the night with John DeLong in the bike. She is favored at odds of 8-5 and begins from post two. Her quickest mile this year is 1:51.0 after only winning a qualifier last year at Oak Grove in 1:56.0. She was winless in nine starts last year but has returned in full form this season with just shy of $100,000 on her card already.
Another undefeated ISS contender is Ponda Jet in the $48,500 second division of the ISS for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Trained by Jay Hochstetler, Ponda Jet is a perfect three for three this season with a best time of 1:52.0. Like Polks Image, he has blossomed this year at three. The Dover Dan gelding took a mark of 1:56.2 last year and has five wins overall with $88,000 on his card. Ponda Jet starts from post two in the 11th race on the card at odds of 9-5. Kyle Wilfong will drive the gelding.
Ponda Jet will face an interesting opponent as Bourbon Courage, Indiana’s record seller for $255,000 as a yearling, makes his 2023 debut. Trained by Erv Miller, the You Know You Do colt won three races last year and earned $154,000 in the process with his quickest mile in 1:53.1 at The Red Mile. The royally bred trotter comes into the Sires Stakes this season off two qualifiers at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, finishing second in both of those outings. Trace Tetrick drives Bourbon Courage from post four at odds of 2-1.
Why Not Now also brings in an undefeated mark into the first round of the ISS. Featured in Race 12 on the night, the Always a Virgin gelding is three for three this season from the Dylan Davis Stable. His quickest mile was recorded in 1:51.3. Trace Tetrick drives the full brother to Virgo, winner of $429,000 with a mark of 1:48.3) from post five at odds of 7-5. The race will mark his first in Indiana this season as all three of his wins were recorded at Harrah’s Philadelphia to prep for the ISS.
The first ISS of the night puts two sophomore trotters against one another who have a small win streak going. Texsong Soprano is one for one this year for the Missy Essig Stable and Mohatu AS comes into ISS action two for two from the Anette Lorentzon Stable. Texsong Soprano, a son of Text Me, won his race in 1:54.0 and starts from post two with John Delong in the bike. Mohatu AS, a son of Lionhunter, starts from post five with Trace Tetrick driving. Texsong Soprano has the edge on the morning line at odds of 6-5. Mohatu AS makes his 2023 debut at Harrah’s Hoosier Park after winning both starts at Oak Grove to prep for the ISS season.