JK Victory and Brandon Bates turned a front end journey into a surprise victory in the $22,000 Open Handicap Pace Friday, Aug. 25 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The entire field of eight paced their final quarter in under :27 seconds during the 1:49.4 mile.
JK Victory wasted no time making a bid for the lead from post seven. Setting securely on top, the first quarter was passed in :26.2 with a little breather heading to the half in :55.0. Ponda Warrior, fresh off his win in the Dan Patch, was moved up on the outside for the second half by driver Kyle Wilfong and was in pursuit of JK Victory in the stretch drive.
However, JK Victory had power left in his stride, rallying home in :26.4 for the win, three-quarters of a length ahead of Ponda Warrior. Smooth Baht A and Trace Tetrick finished third.
JK Victory paid $28.00 for the win. The JK Endofanera gelding is owned by Thestable JK Victory of Ontario. Ron Burke trains the four-year-old, who is a half brother to Little Rocket Man. He now has 10 career wins in 43 career starts. His career best time of 1:48.2 was taken last year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and his career bankroll is now more than $367,000.
Earlier in the night, another upset took place in the seventh leg of the Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. Frankie Frankie and Atlee Bender equaled the track record for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings with a win in 1:48.2. They got the first lead at the quarter in :27.1 but were overtaken before the half by stablemate Coach Stefanos and Trace Tetrick in :54.2. From there, they followed along until the stretch arrived and shook loose, pacing home in :26.2 for the win by three-quarters of a length. Why Not Now and LeWayne Miller moved in for second over JB Gram and Kyle Wilfong for third.
Frankie Frankie, a Breeders Crown eligible, paid $16.00 for the win. The sophomore son of Tellitlikeitis is owned by Rocco Ruffolo, Doug Overhiser, and Rick Howles. Erv Miller trains the gelding, who was bred by Victory Hill Farm.
The win was a new lifetime mark for Frankie Frankie, who earned his fourth win of 2023 and his seventh overall. He now has more than $183,000 on his card. He was the fourth highest priced yearling by Tellitlikeitis in the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale. He brought $50,000 through the sales ring.