Predator and Prey, the Older Horse and Gelding Champion in Indiana last year, made his return to the winner’s circle Wed. Feb. 22 in the upper conditioned trot during his first 2023 start at Miami Valley Raceway. The Indiana sired gelding was making his sixth start of the year after racing at Northfield in the Open.
Predator and Prey began his race from post four with Josh Sutton in the bike. The duo rallied hard right out of the gate and secured the top spot, leading the way through fractions of :28.0, :57.2 and 1:25.0. Dayson and Chris Page were the first to challenge on the outside past the three-quarters but Predator and Prey held gamely to his advantage on the inside.
As the field turned down the stretch, Predator and Prey had to dig deep to fend off opponents. His biggest threat was a fast closing Enhance Yourcalm N and Sam Widger, who moved up late. However, Predator and Prey held on, winning by a nose at the wire over Enhance Yourcalm N in a time of 1:54.4. Get to the Pointe and Jordan Ross moved in to finish third, just a half length back from the top two.
Predator and Prey paid $7.00 for the win. The five-year-old Guccio gelding is owned by H & H Stable of Ohio and trained by Michael Hitchcock. Merle Yoder bred the standout trotter, who now has 15 career wins in 57 starts. His career bankroll is now over the $300,000 mark. His career best time of 1:53.3 was taken last year at Scioto Downs.
Predator and Prey won eight races last year to earn the top older horse and gelding title for Indiana. Of those wins, only one was recorded at Harrah’s Hoosier Park and it was his biggest one, the victory in the $70,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for older horse and gelding trotters during Hoosier Champions Night. The gelding is well traveled and won races at all Ohio tracks last year, including Scioto, Dayton, Northfield and Miami Valley. Predator and Prey ended his 2022 campaign with two wins at Dayton Raceway before heading to Northfield to kick off his 2023 campaign.
Predator and Prey is from the 100 percent producing mare Shaken Not Stirred. Of six foals of racing age, all six have marks of 1:56 or under and five have six figures on their card, including the standing trotting mare Satin Dancer, who has a mark of 1:53 and more than $739,000. She is now a brood mare and her first foal raced this past year, a Muscle Massive gelding named Danny Dancer who took a mark of 2:02. The family also has a two-year-old in 2023 named Topville Sebastian, a colt by Dover Dan, owned and trained by Zach and Dessa Miller.
Predator and Prey is from the last full crop by Guccio before the horse was sold into the driving horse world. He sold under the name Topville Samson and brought $10,000 at the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale.
Also a winner on the night was Marla’s Got Legs, driven by Austin Hanners. The Tellitlikeitis mare, owned and bred by Faron Parr, saved ground until the stretch and got up for the win by one length in 1:56.2 as a longshot in the fillies and mares claiming pace. Shes A Fireball and Dan Noble finished second over Machs Dragon and Brandon Bates for third.
Marla’s Got Legs paid $75.60 for the win. Carl Newland trains the mare, who equaled her career best time with the win, her first of 2023. Overall, she has seven wins and more than $23,000 in earnings.