Ponda Jet and Kyle Wilfong remained perfect in the second leg of Indiana Sires Stakes action Thursday, June 15 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The sophomore trotter is now five for five in 2023 for the Jay Hochstetler barn.
Starting from post three, Ponda Jet left for the lead, but so did Talent Scout and Peter Wrenn, who grabbed the top spot before the turn. Texsong Soprano and Michael Oosting also left for the lead from the far outside and were parked into the turn with Ponda Jet sitting in third along the inside. Ponda Jet backed off of Talent Scout and let Texsong Soprano in the two-hole before tipping out themselves and making a bold move to the lead after the quarter in a brisk :26.2.
Ponda Jet was in full command at the halfway mark in :56.0. John DeLong with Helpfirstedition was the first to move to the outside and begin moving up toward Ponda Jet. Ponda Jet loomed large over the smaller Helpfirstedition around the final turn. Helpfirstedition had a lot of trot heading into the stretch and was not backing away as Ponda Jet continued to hold onto the lead through the three-quarters in 1:26.0.
Ponda Jet and Helpfirstedition were in a heated battle but Ponda Jet kept his advantage to the wire, winning by less than a length over Helpfirstedition. Know Stopping Now and Brandon Bates maneuvered through traffic on the inside and moved up the passing lane late to finish third in the mile clocked in 1:53.3.
Ponda Jet was the favorite, paying $4.00 over a track that endured rain during the program which changed the condition to sloppy for the race. The Dover Dan gelding is owned by Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig, and Allen Schwartz. He went well over the $100,000 mark in earnings with the win in the $95,500 solo second leg of the series and now has more than $200,000 lifetime. His career best time of 1:51.4 was taken earlier this year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in the first round of the Indiana Sires Stakes.
The final race of the night slated for conditioned pacers went to a longshot as Topville Alexander and Ricky Macomber Jr. earned a gate to wire win, despite experiencing interference before the half. The four-year-old JK Endofanera gelding, owned and trained by Randy Hatton, rallied home in :28.2 for the win in 1:52.4. Major Attribute and Jared Seekman finished second over Aracache Can Dance and Jordan Ross for third.
Topville Alexander paid $79.80 for the win. The Merle Yoder bred gelding earned his second win of 2023 and bumped his career earnings up to more than $80,000. His career best time of 1:50.3 was taken last year as a three-year-old.