Each year, Harrah’s Hoosier Park holds a “dress rehearsal” set of qualifiers at night in preparation for the season opener. The session allows all departments involved in the racing program the opportunity to test out equipment and ensure everything is ready to go. The 2023 special evening qualifiers were held Wednesday, March 22 with the very last one of the night turning in the fastest time of the evening.
Some Big Dream, owned, trained, bred and driven by Aaron Stutzman, turned in a big mile to score her qualifier in 1:54.1. Starting from post seven, the three-year-old daughter of JK Endofanera rallied out quickly from the starting gate and secured the top spot to lead the field of seven to the quarter in :30.2. Her lead continued to the half in :58.3 and that is when she hit another gear. Some Big Dream began to respond to Stutzman and opened up on her opponents, pacing her final quarter in :27.1 to win by eight and one-quarter lengths in 1:54.1. Howdoyalikeit and John DeLong finished second over Shovanna and Ricky Macomber Jr. for third.
Some Big Dream returns to the track after only one start last season, a win in July in a time of 1:54.2. Her qualifying time this year marks a new career best for Stutzman of Goshen, Ind. The filly is the first foal from the Net Ten EOM mare Sallynsand. She has a half sister named Sally’s Freak that is a yearling this year by Freaky Feet Pete.
Stutzman also scored a win in the race before with Bettor’s Ville, a son of Huntsville. The sophomore colt moved gate to wire for the win in 1:55.3, a final panel in :29.2. Boujeeful and John DeLong finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second over Classical Friskie and Kyle Wilfong for third.
Bettor’s Ville is owned by Larry Schlabach and Matthew Yoder, who also bred him. It was his first career start behind the gate.
Stutzman is coming off a banner year last year. He was the trainer of several top performers, including Soaring Now, the 2022 Indiana Pacer of the Year.
An impressive trotter on the night was Jusmakinyalook and Robert Taylor. The four-year-old Pinetucky mare got on the lead early and never looked back, opening up to a 17 and one quarter length win in 1:55.2. My Guy Wrapsitup and Darrell Wright finished second over La Lolita and Doug Rideout for third.
Jusmakinyalook is owned by Devon Miller and was bred by John Stoll. Taylor brings the mare back for her first appearance in 2023 after scoring a new lifetime mark of 1:53.4 last season. Overall, she has five wins and nearly $250,000 in earnings.
The 30th season of Standardbred racing is set for Friday, March 24. First post is 6:15 p.m.