Mister Hercules has been strong all year. The two-year-old Indiana sired colt has two track records from the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit, a Governor’s Cup title, and now a win in the pari-mutuel ranks at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Owned by Chad Bell of Mississippi, Mister Hercules and Jordan Ross stepped out from the gate with a flurry, landing on the front end before the quarter in :28.2. Digital Soldier and Atlee Bender moved out and around for the lead at the half in :58.1 before going off stride, placing Mister Hercules back on the front end.
In the stretch, Mister Hercules hit another gear for Ross and powered home with opponents on both sides of him, holding on for the win by a head in the four-horse photo. Skyway Houdini and Ricky Macomber Jr. finished second over Rockin Stando and Michael Oosting for third. Joy in Mudville and LeWayne Miller finished another half length back off the top three for fourth in the mile timed in 1:55.2.
Mister Hercules paid $17.20 for the win. The Let’s Drink on It colt is trained by Jeremy Jones and was bred by Alvin Schwartz. The win marked his seventh of the season in 11 starts, with only one of those tries off the board. His career best time remains at 1:55.0 taken at the Indiana State Fairgrounds during his Governor’s Cup win.
Earlier in the evening, a trotter lit up the tote board as Gianna Grace and Gerald Miller closed in late for the win in a tight photo in 1:58.0. Gianna Grace began her journey from post one but showed no early speed and followed along in mid pack as Talladega AS and Sam Widger hit the first quarter in :28.0 joined by several others who were three wide around the first turn before everyone settled. Hallmark Janie and Michael Oosting went onto the lead for the half time of :57.4 before Talladega AS retook control at the head of the lane.
The late closers kicked in during the stretch drive, including Gianna Grace, who trotted home in :28.4 for the win by a head over Talladega AS. Greatest Sunset and Jordan Ross finished third.
Gianna Grace is owned by Therl Hensley and trained by Gerald Miller. The Dover Dan mare was bred by Lyle Slabach. It was her first win of 2023 in 26 starts. She now has more than $38,000 on her card for her connections. She is out of the Kadabra mare GS Grasshopper, who has three foals and three winners, including Skyway Genna with a mark of 1:56.3. The family has a three-year-old this year named Fastasluckboii, a son of Muscle Massive who has also raced and won.
Lots of two-year-olds were in the winner’s circle Wednesday, including Bluebird Zantrax, driven by John DeLong. After sitting in mid pack, the Rockin Image gelding rallied home in :26.1 for the win by a neck over The War Room and Trace Tetrick. Lucky Benny and LeWayne Miller finished third.
Bluebird Zantrax paid $28.00. The Tom T. Tetrick trained freshman is owned by Thomas and Anthony Kellerman Jr. of Nevada. The gelding is a product of Blue Bird Meadows.