Premier Rocker and Charlie Conrad shocked racing fans Thursday, Sept. 15 with a big mile in $16,000 Indiana Sired Mini Series action. The duo covered the one mile event in a time of 1:55.2.
Conrad had Premier Rocker ready to go when the gate folded and rallied out to the lead. The only issue was no one else went with him, so Premier Rocker was on the lead by five when they passed by the quarter in :28.2. The freshman pacer continued his tempo to the half in an even :56.2 and kept his speed even through the three-quarters in 1:24.2. He had increased his lead heading into the stretch by 17 and one-half lengths.
In the stretch, Premier Rocker held steady through the first half but began to tire during the final eighth of a mile. However, his lead was so large, the field couldn’t catch him as he moved under the wire for a two-length win. Straightsierrablue and Jimmy Whittemore closed for second over Ibite Ask Doug and Trace Tetrick for third.
Premier Rocker was a longshot in the field, paying $34.20 for the win. Mike Hollenback handles the training for owner Peter Schmucker Jr. The Rockin Image gelding was bred by Dennis Bontrager. It was the first career win for Premier Rocker, who was making his eighth career start. He had previously paced a mile in 1:54.4 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, but had only finished second.
Premier Rocker was one of 64 foals by Rockin Image who sold at public auction last fall. He was purchased for $13,000 out of the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale and has already made more than his purchase price. He is a pure Indiana sired horse, out of the Always a Virgin mare Purity, who earned a mark of 1:50.3 and $189,000 during her racing career. Premier Rocker is her second foal. The fourth dam on the maternal side is the great Central Park West, who made more than a half-million during her career and was one of the sport’s top pacing fillies during her time.
One of the state’s top trotting sophomores this year added another win to his credentials. Ponda Adventure, who is a perfect nine for nine this season, scored another Indiana Sires Stakes win. The Swan for All gelding is 17 for 19 lifetime and was a winner in 1:53.0 by more than three lengths for driver Trace Tetrick. Swan Captain finished second for John DeLong while Yo Mister was third with James Yoder in the bike.
Ponda Adventure is trained by Erv Miller. He is owned by Engel Stable of IL, Louis Willinger and Jerry Graham. He’s closing in on a half million for his career.
The other division of three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in Indiana Sires Stakes action was won by Adamsville Road and Tetrick. A move to the lead at the three-quarters was the winning move for the Swan for All gelding, who scored the win in 1:54.0. Sweet Boy Ben and John DeLong finished second over Skyway Professor and LeWayne Miller for third.
Adamsville Road is owned by Mel Rose Stable and Joe Nesselroad. Tyler George trains the gelding bred by Joyce McClelland.