The Indiana State Fair one-mile oval came alive Wednesday, Aug. 11 with the return of Grand Circuit racing. The 95th edition of the Fox Stake for two-year-old pacers highlighted the 12-race card that boasts increases in purses for all stakes involved in the program.
JK Victory and David Miller got away well from post two as Gentle Giant and Trace Tetrick took control at the first quarter in :27.2, but their time following the leader was short lived. Miller had the JK Endofanera freshman out and rolling to take over by the half in :55.3. From there, a second row of challengers began to form, led by Beyond the Past and LeWayne Miller at the three-quarter mile marker in 1:25.1.
In the stretch, JK Victory held his ground, pacing home in :26.4 to score the win in 1:52.0, just a neck ahead of Gentle Giant. Incredible Badger and John DeLong came from off the pace to close in for third. All top three finishers are by Indiana stallion JK Endofanera.
Owned by 3 Brothers Stables and Caviart Farms, JK Victory, a product of Victory Hill Farm Inc., scored his first win in the prestigious Fox Stake. After starting his career at The Meadowlands, Takter recently shipped the colt to Indiana for the second round of Indiana Sires Stakes before the start in the Fox Stake. It was the first time David Miller had been behind JK Victory, who is a half brother to Little Rocket Man. He was purchased out of the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale last fall for $115,000 and is part of the second crop of JK Endofanera, who has had a stellar start to his stallion career.
Joining the Fox Stake on the Grand Circuit card was the $42,492 Ralph Wilfong Memorial for two-year-old trotters. Jack Rabbit Slims and Peter Wrenn pursued the top spot, accomplishing their goal after the quarter in :28.0. They were able to get a breather on the front end through middle fractions of :58.2 and 1:27.3 before feeling pressure from the outside tier at the end of the lane led by Tug and Coop and David Miller.
In the stretch, Sweet Boy Ben and Sam Widger found the racing room they needed to advance, posting the one-length win in 1:56.4. Muscle Dan and John DeLong finished second over Ezra and Trace Tetrick for third.
Sweet Boy Ben, owned by Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher, is part of the powerhouse stable conditioned by Cullipher. The Swan for All gelding earned his first career win in his fourth start, pushing his career earnings so far to more than $30,000. Bred by John Wagler, Stephen Stoll and Nathan Yoder, Sweet Boy Ben was purchased by his connections from the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale last fall for $50,000 under the name of Starlit Taeswando.
Another standout by Swan for All took a division of the 112 Horseman Stake for three-year-old filly trotters. Swift Swanda and Trace Tetrick moved around the final turn to match strides with race leader Voluptuous Swan and David Miller before enduring a gutsy stretch battle for the win in 1:54.0. Voluptuous Swan, also by Swan for All, finished second over Guccio’s Lady and Michael Oosting for third.
Swift Swanda, last year’s standout freshman trotting filly in Indiana, is owned by Anthony Lombardi and The Kales Company. Erv Miller trains the talented filly, who is now five for seven in 2021 and 11 for 19 lifetime. She has in excess of $331,000 in career earnings.
Other Horseman 112 Stakes winners included Somethingbeautiful (LeWayne Miller) in the three-year-old filly pace in a time of 1:53.2, Certifiable (Michael Oosting) in the three-year-old open pace in 1:51.0, and Breckenridge (Dan Shetler) in the three-year-old open trot in a time of 1:55.3.
Earlier in the card, six divisions of the 85th Hoosier Stake were conducted. Alloutblitz (Sam Widger) scored the win in the first division of the two-year-old filly pace in 1:55.0 followed by a win by Dancin Image (Sam Widger) in the second division in 1:54.2. M-M’s Dream (Sam Widger) was a winner in the first division of two-year-old filly trotters in 1:58.1 and was joined by R Desireable Lady (Trace Tetrick) as a winner in the freshman trotting filly ranks in 1:59.0.
The Hoosier Stake 85 for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers was won by Big Law (Ricky Macomber Jr.) in 1:53.1. Ponda Adventure (Trace Tetrick) was a winner in the freshman trotting colt and gelding division of the stakes race in 1:56.2.
The Governor’s Cup Championships will be featured at the Indiana State Fair Thursday, Aug. 12. The consolation bracket begins at 11 a.m. followed by the $25,000 championships set for 6 p.m.