Sweet Boy Ben and John DeLong earned a sweet victory Saturday, April 28 in the featured $22,000 Open Trot at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The duo trotted home in :27.2 for the win in 1:53.0, a new career best.
Staring from post three, Sweet Boy Ben got away in fourth as Brookview Bolt and Trace Tetrick rallied out to the early lead to set fractions of :27.3 and :56.0. The outer flow of traffic began to form heading into the final turn led by Enhance Yourcalm N and Sam Widger. A horse went off stride on the side which caused some interference to trailing horses, but Sweet Boy Ben was able to get through the chaos and had a straight shot to the finish line, winning by a half length over Brookview Bolt at the finish. Land of Freedom and Brad Ferguson moved up for third.
Sweet Boy Boy paid $29.00 for the win. The four-year-old son of Swan for All is now three for six this season for trainer Jeff Cullipher. Cullipher shares ownership of the trotter with Pollack Racing LLC. Sweet Boy Ben, who is always a handful for groom Jackie Ricks in the winner’s circle, now has eight career wins in 37 career starts with more than $171,000 in earnings. His dam, Blue Muse was a competitive racehorse during her career, taking a mark of 1:53.2 and earnings of more than $132,000 before being retired to the brood mare ranks. Sweet Boy Ben is her first and only foal.
Later in the program, Jusmakinyalook and Jordan Ross won the co-featured Open 3 Trot. The duo sat patiently in the two hole behind Northern Rocks and Sam Widger until the final turn when they came out to challenge. In the stretch, Jusmakinyalook got quite a jump on the field and was able to fend off a late challenge by Ima Diamond Babe, last year’s older trotting mare of the year in Indiana, for the win by one and three-quarter lengths. Atlee Bender was in the bike for James Yoder for Ima Diamond Babe. Latin Lover and Kyle Wilfong finished third in the mile timed in 1:53.2 over a sloppy surface.
Jusmakinyalook paid $4.80 for the win. The four-year-old Pinetucky mare is owned by Devon Miller and trained by Robert Taylor. The mare earned a new lifetime mark in the win and is now three for four in 2023. She is inching closer to $300,000 in earnings for the Taylor Stable.
The Fillies and Mares Open 3 was won in a near gate to wire effort by Maggie Rhee and Kyle Wilfong. The Jereme’s Jet mare, trained by Tim Wilson, was a winner in 1:51.3 over Ever a JK and John DeLong. In The Spotlight N finished third for Tyler Smith.
Maggie Rhee is owned by Wilson Racing Stable Inc., Norman Neff, and Mark Eichberger. John Leahy bred the six-year-old, who is out of the Illinois bred mare Bow Wow Wine, who was a standout Illinois mare with a mark of 1:50.4 and more than $260,000 in earnings before she retired. Maggie Rhee has a full sister named Midwest Moscato who is a two-year-old this season and owned by the Wilson Stable.