A trio of Indiana sired horses scored wins in the first three races Friday, Jan. 27 at The Meadows. Brother Dick, Farmers Only, and Skyway Ballistic won back to back with Farmers Only being the biggest longshot of the three.
Driven by Koltin Noble, Farmers Only sprung out of the gate from the far outside in search of the lead but was hung three wide in the first turn. The horse to his inside made a break and he was able to scoot right over to the rail in third through the first quarter in :27.0 as Ben Rockin and Drew Monti led the way early on.
Farmers Only didn’t stay along the rail long. In the stretch for the first time, he was out and rolling to the top to establish the second quarter in :56.1 before feeling a lot of pressure from Marvalous Artist and Aaron Merriman to the three-quarters in 1:24.3. Farmers Only was strong on the front and as Needham Hanover and Ridge Warren tipped three wide, it was evident he would need to finish strong to hold onto the win.
In the stretch, Needham Hanover was creeping up on Farmers Only, but he shunned the attack, winning by one length in 1:55.2 over a fast track that showed remnants of snow. Needham Hanover, who “loomed large” according to Track Announcer Jeff Zidek, finished second by open lengths over Marvalous Artist.
It was the first drive at The Meadows for Koltin Noble. The duo paid $39.80 for the win. Brandon Presto trains Farmers Only for Adrian Adam. The Always a Virgin gelding was bred by Diamond H Racing Stable of Indiana.
Farmers Only began his career at Hawthorne for Adrian Adam and eventually made his way to Harrah’s Hoosier Park where he took a sophomore record of 1:53.2. He is well traveled, competing in Ohio, Harrah’s Philadelphia and even the Meadowlands before returning to the Hoosier State at four. Adam sent him to Presto at the end of last year. It was his first win for the Presto barn in three starts at The Meadows.
Now seven, Farmers Only is the final foal from the Jate Lobell Big Sister, who had a mark of 1:55.1. She is a full sister to the great pacer Image of Jate, who took a mark of 1:50 and earned nearly a half million in the early 2000s. The granddam is a full sister to Armbro Debonair, who stood at stud following his racing campaign.
Prior to the win from Farmers Only, Brother Dick was a near gate to wire winner for driver Dave Palone. The five-year-old son of JK Endofanera stopped the timer in 1:54.2. He is trained by Steven Walters for J.R. and Collin Ryan. Christy Yoder Jr. is the breeder.
Also a near gate to wire winner was Skyway Ballistic and Palone. As the favorite, the seven-year-old Always a Virgin gelding bred by Lyle Slabach, was a winner in 1:55.0, a final quarter in :28.2. Indiana sired son of Rockin Image High Impression, driven by Shawn Johnston, finished second. Darius Oshidar and Gianna Pirillo own and Justin Pirillo trains the veteran racehorse, who now has 30 wins and is just shy of $200,000 in earnings.