Star Bar and John DeLong turned a tough trip into a winning performance Thursday, Nov. 3 in the $8,500 conditioned claiming pace for two-year-old fillies. The duo picked up a new lifetime mark of 1:55.3 in the win.
Starting from post six, Star Bar left alertly toward the front end but was beat to the punch by a few others, including the first leader Fated Fire and Brandon Bates. But Delong was able to put Star Bar over on the inside path in fourth before the quarter in :28.0. Once the field had settled, Silvershoe Halie and Sam Widger were out and rolling right in front of Star Bar, but Delong stayed put. Silvershoe Halie was parked past the half before going to the lead.
Around the final turn, Trace Tetrick and Bluebird Alibi followed Fated Fire to the outside to begin the challenge. Star Bar followed suit. Midway through the turn, horses got bunched up and DeLong had to check Star Bar, but she never missed a beat, keeping on task to the head of the stretch.
In the stretch, Star Bar looked for racing room and was willing to go between horses, but the holes kept closing up. Delong was patient to let things transpire before advancing. Little Jolena and LeWayne Miller were sitting inside and also desperate for racing room, which they found on the inside in the passing lane. Star Bar was forced to move to the outside around all contenders before she could advance. DeLong asked the filly for more and she responded, closing in for the win by one-half length over Bluebird Alibi. Little Jolena finished third.
Star Bar paid $14.20 for the win. The JK Endofanera filly is owned by Trent Stohler Stable Inc., Ben Graber and Tim Graber. Ben Graber, Stohler and Alesha Binkley bred the filly, who is now trained by Stohler.
Star Bar was making her 14th career start. Half of those outings have been second and third place finishes, and she took a mark earlier this year of 1:56.1. DeLong has been driving her all along for Stohler, who is carrying a training percentage of .311 this season.
DeLong also scored a win in another division of two-year-old conditioned claiming action with Oh Hot Jam for trainer Ernie Gaskin. The freshman son of Jammin Joshua got away third as Fox Valley Falcon and Brandon Bates were the first leaders through the quarter in :28.1. Rock Star Pro and Sam Widger were the second leaders at the half in :57.1.
This prompted Oh Hot Jam to move to the outside and begin his attack. He took over at the head of the stretch and paced home in :28 seconds for the win by one-half length over Fox Valley Falcon. Vel Foxy Stevie and Bradley Ferguson finished third.
Oh Hot Jam paid $6.20 for the win. He is owned by Darla Gaskin, Stanley Rosenblatt and Ronald Krodel, who also bred the gelding. It was the first career win for Oh Hot Jam, who was making his eighth career start. He finished second in his last start at this level, which caught the eye of racing fans at the windows this week. He now has more than $8,000 in career earnings in his young career.