Ponda Adventure took a journey up to Hawthorne Racecourse Monday, Nov. 13 to compete in the $9,500 Open II Trot. Assigned to the outside post eight, Ponda Adventure and Cordarius Stewart proved why they were the heavy favorite with an easy romp to the finish line in 1:55.0.
When the gate sprung open, Ponda Adventure left the gate in pursuit of the lead, but so did Rockyroad Aldo and Robert Smolin from the center of the track. They reached the top spot first with Never Mind N and Travis Seekman sitting at their back. Ponda Adventure was left on the outside around the first turn and had an opportunity to get in behind Rockyroad Aldo, but opted to continue to the lead.
Just past the quarter in :28.3, Ponda Adventure slid over to the front spot and called the shots through a slower tempo past the half in :58.0 and three-quarters in 1:27.0. When the field arrived in the stretch, Jack Vernon and Todd Warren were leading the outer flow and Rockyroad Aldo was also ready for a try at the leader. But Ponda Adventure picked up the tempo and rallied home in :28.0 to score the win by two and three-quarter lengths. Rockyroad Aldo was second over Never Mind N.
Ponda Adventure paid $2.80 for the win. The four-year-old son of Swan for All is owned by Engel Stable of IL, L. Tony Willinger, and Jerry Graham. Erv Miller trains the tall dark and handsome gelding, who earned his fourth win of 2023. Overall, he has 26 career wins after scoring 14 of 18 last year as a three-year-old. His bankroll is now more than $745,000 with his career best time of 1:52.2 taken last year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Earlier on the card at Hawthorne, another Indiana horse was a winner as Hello Sweetie Boy and Kyle Wilfong scored a dominant win in the $8,000 conditioned pace. Hello Sweetie Boy used his inside post to shoot out to the lead early on and let the field gate to wire, posting fractions of :28.0, :55.0, and 1:22.1. In the stretch, he began to pull away from the competition. With a four-length advantage at the finish, Hello Swetie Boy stopped the timer in 1:50.4, a final quarter in :28.3. Fellow Indiana sired gelding Marshall Malone and Travis Seekman finished second over Fox Valley Cayman and Casey Leonard for third.
Hello Sweetie Boy paid $3.60 for the win. The five-year-old son of Aracache Hanover is owned by Kim Roth. Roth also trains the gelding, who was bred by Mary Jeffers and Adele Everett.