Ponda Jet took off and landed in the winner’s circle of the $22,000 The Expresson Series Final Friday, May 19 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The event for Indiana sired trotters included a field of seven for the final purse on a night cut short by a power outage.
Starting from post four, Ponda Jet was the favorite and was guided out to the lead by driver Kyle Wilfong. Early indications were he would try for a gate to wire effort but Just Show Up and Trace Tetrick had other plans. They rallied with a big move before the first turn and took over the top spot, passing by the quarter in :27.4. Just before the half, Ponda Jet did not want to wait in the pocket any longer and moved out and around Just Show Up in just a few strides, passing the half in :55.4. From there, Ponda Jet opened up on the field around the turn and was primed and ready for the stretch drive.
At the top of the stretch, it became a two horse race with Ponda Jet leading the way over Just Show Up with the rest of the field nine lengths behind. Midway through the stretch, Just Show Up tried to make up some ground on the inside of Ponda Jet but the favorite was strong, flying under the wire in 1:52.0, a final quarter in :28.0. Just Show Up was a strong second over Helpfirstedition and Peter Wrenn for third.
Ponda Jet paid $3.80 for the win. The sophomore son of Dover Dan is owned by Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig and Allen Schwartz. Jay Hochstetler trains the gelding, who displays his breeders name, Pond-A-Acres.
Ponda Jet is now three for three in 2023. His win in the Expresson final marks a new career best after lowering his mark earlier in May. Overall, he now has five wins and more than $88,000 on his card. Ponda Jet is the second foal from the Big Stick Lindy mare Ponda’s Lucky Lady. She has a two-year-old colt this year named Ponda Asset by Swan in a Million in the Ken Rucker Stable. She also has a yearling for the sales this fall, a filly by Crescent Fashion named Ponda Fashion.
Fox Valley Sampson and John DeLong kicked off the card with a longshot win in the opener in 1:50.4. The $20,000 claiming event was led early by Fox Valley Sampson before Rockinsweetvictory and Joey Putnam took over. Fox Valley Sampson retook the lead in the lane and rallied home for the one and one-quarter length win over Rockinsweetvictory. Whisky Wizzard and Brandon Bates finished third to round out the all Indiana sired trifecta. Rockinsweetvictory was claimed out of the race by Richard Nash and Randall Newcom.
Fox Valley Sampson paid $28.00 for the win. The five-year-old son of JK Endofanera is owned by Nicole Stewart and Michael Fawcett. Charles Stewart trains the gelding.
Rainstorms rolled in, changing the track condition to sloppy before the fifth race. Following the fifth race of the night, the property lost power, causing a delay in racing. Although the power came on later in the evening, the races were called due to horses being out of the window of Lasix.