May Baby, the beloved horse by Indiana racing fans from the James and Cheyenne Yoder Stable, scored her first win of 2023 Saturday, Aug. 19 to close out the racing program. Guided by James, the now six-year-old mare fought hard to the wire for the win in 1:54.4.
May Baby started from post nine and didn’t even attempt a front end journey, getting away in fifth as Wixx Hanover and Chad Clark rallied out to the lead at the quarter in :27.3. May Baby moved down the backstretch and cleared the lead at the half in :57.2 and was followed closely by Renegade Gypsy and Trace Tetrick, who had started from the second tier and had a delayed move to the lead. Once they cleared, they opened up on the field by more than four lengths at the top of the stretch.
May Baby was holding he own along the inside while Wixx Hanover began to move up on the outside. They closed the gap on Renegade Gypsy. May Baby came up the inside and got a head in front of Renegade Gypsy, but he fought back, and put a head in front again. May Baby dug in a little deeper and came back at Renegade Gypsy, this time reaching the wire first by a head. Wixx Hanover finished less than a length back in third.
May Baby was a bit of a surprise with the win, paying $12.60. The Guccio mare, owned by Cheyenne Yoder who shares a birthday with the filly, was bred by Oakwood Farms. Her dam, Free Wheeling, has six foals with records of 1:58 or faster with four collecting six figure earnings.
May Baby has now won a race for five straight years at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Overall, she has 22 wins in 97 starts and more than $672,000 for the Yoders. Her career best time of 1:52.2 was taken as a three-year-old.
May Baby was part of the third crop of Guccio and one of 53 sold by the Yankee Glide sire at public auction in 2018. The trotting filly was purchased for $8,500 by the Yoders and immediately paid off, winning Indiana Sires Stakes legs as a freshman. She is the most successful foal by the millionaire Guccio in earnings and sixth fastest with Flagman holding down that title with a mark of 1:51.0.
Earlier in the night, several high end trotters vied for the purse money in the $12,500 upper conditioned trot. Bridge to Jesse’s and John DeLong grabbed the early lead and held steady to the stretch. Late in the lane, Bluebird Deacon (Atlee Bender) and Land of Freedom (Ricky Macomber Jr.) both closed in on Bridge to Jesse’s with Bluebird Deacon getting the end by a half length over Land of Freedom. Bridge to Jesse’s finished a neck back in third in the 1:53.3 mile.
Bluebird Deacon paid $10.60 for the win. The six-year-old Swan for All gelding, owned by Hannah Bender and trained by her father, Erv Miller, now has 13 wins and more than $263,000 in earnings. His career best time of 1:53.1 was taken as a four-year-old at Oak Grove, where Bender and Miller earned leading driver and trainer honors this past summer.