Swaggy Cal and Sam Widger added another victory to the win column of trainer Greg Luther Thursday, Aug. 24 at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio. The evening, dedicated to legendary horseman Gene Riegle, featured several stakes on the card, with several Indiana sired horses bringing home wins. Famed Roger Huston served as the announcer for the evening.
Swaggy Cal began from post four in the first division of the $11,155 Parshall Memorial for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Swiss Cotton, another Indiana sired son of Tellitlikeitis, used his inside post one to his advantage and sprinted out to the early lead, setting the first fraction of :28.2. Heading to the half, driver Sam Widger moved Swaggy Cal out to challenge Swiss Cotton for the lead, but Swiss Cotton kept him to the outside around the turn. Heading to the three-quarter mile marker, Swaggy Cal kept pressing and took over at the three-quarters in 1:27.0. Swaggy Cal continued to lead the way as Vintage Ace and Kayne Kauffman moved out and pressed the pace.
In the stretch, Swaggy Cal held strong, pacing home in :28.4 for the win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:55.4. Hi Ho Silver and Jeff Nisonger moved up late for second over Vintage Ace.
Swaggy Cal, a son of Rockin Image, is owned by Greg Luther Racing. James Avritt Sr. bred the colt, who gave Luther his third win on the night. It was the first career win for Swaggy Cal, who was making his fourth start. He qualified twice at Scioto Downs before trying his luck in two legs of the Indiana Sires Stakes, then headed to The Red Mile for the $30,000 Kentucky Commonwealth where he finished fourth. Prior to his win, he had paced in 1:53.0 in Sires Stakes action at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Swaggy Cal was the highest priced yearling by Rockin Image last year, fetching a price of $130,000 at the Lexington Select Sale. He is the first foal of by the Art Major mare Pristine Beauty, who is royally bred. She is the daughter of Precious Beauty, who is a 100 percent producer in 12 foals. Her richest is Sportswriter, who has a mark of 1:48.3 and made more than $1.5 million and enjoyed a successful career at stud in Illinois. She is also the dam of Precocious Beauty (1:50.1, $838,000) and Prescient Beauty (1:50.4, $464,000), both of which are brood mares themselves. Precocious Beauty is the dam of Tall Dark Stranger, winner of more than $2 million with a mark of 1:47.1.
Another Indiana winner on the program was Yo Mister, who earned the title in the $20,000 Arnie Almahurst Open Trot. Guided by Brett Miller, who is closing in on 10,000 career wins, Yo Mister traveled first over at the three quarters and kept pressing his way forward, grabbing the win by one and one-half lengths in 1:55.0. Indiana sired Swan Fine Lady and Sam Widger finished second over My Pal Sparky and Cameron McCown.
Yo Mister is a four-year-old son of Dover Dan with an impressive resume. The Stacey Van Huizen gelding now has seven wins this season and 12 overall in 49 career starts. His career best time of 1:52.4 was taken earlier this year at Scioto Downs for owners Thestable Yo Mister Group of Ontario. Noah Wickey and Amos Schwartz bred the gelding, whose bankroll is now over $337,000.