Jesse Popper, the one-time member of the Jack Myers Stable in Indiana, scored a win at Dayton Raceway Thursday, Dec. 29. Guided by Kayne Kauffman, the Indiana sired trotter rallied home in the $8,0000 conditioned event for the win in 1:56.1.
Jesse Popper got the first call when the starting gate folded and beat the horses to his inside to the lead but was overtaken by race favorite Train and Tyler Smith for the top spot. Train was closely tracked by Born to Thrive and Rick Plano, who remained on the outside at the quarter in :28.3. Born to Thrive used his big powerful stride to move up on Train before the half in :57.0, but was rough gaited at times and remained on the outside.
Still game, Born to Thrive continued to apply pressure to Train at the three-quarters in 1:25.4 with Jesse Popper awaiting the stretch and the passing lane to launch his bid for the lead. In the stretch, Jesse Popper eased up the inside and overtook Train in the final strides for the win by a nose. Born to Thrive made one final surge to complete his tough mile for third, just a half-length off of the top two.
Jesse Popper was overlooked by the betting public, paying $34.20 for the win. The Sing Jesse Sing six-year-old is owned by Norris Lenahan of Ohio and trained by Kauffman. Benjamin Graber bred the gelding, who earned his fourth win of the season for his connections.
Jesse Popper now has 24 career wins in 104 starts with more than $160,000 on his card. His career best time of 1:53.4 was taken at Dayton last year. The one-time contender on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit won four of 10 starts at two and was part of the Myers dispersal at the Midwest Mixed Sale in Shipshewana, Ind. following his three-year-old season. Lenahan has owned him since he went through the sales ring.
Jesse Popper is the most successful son of Sing Jesse Sing, who is a son of Jailhouse Jesse who took a mark of 1:53.3 and earned nearly a half million during his racing campaign. A total of 22 of his foals have raced with nine of those taking records. After standing in Indiana through the 2016 breeding season, Sing Jesse Sing was moved to Illinois where he is only bred to a few mares each year. He only had four two-year-olds this season and has two two-year-olds registered for the 2023 racing season.