The prestigious 97th edition of the $50,780 Fox Stake was delayed two days due to rain in Central Indiana, but two days of a wait did not damper the spirits of the contenders in the event. Tellmeitmatters and John DeLong fended off late charges on both sides to score the win in 1:52.0, a final quarter in :29.2 during the Grand Circuit event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Starting from post four, Tellmeitmatters and Delong got away in second behind Noblesville and Trace Tetrick, who took over the top spot at the quarter in :26.2. From there, Tellmeitmatters bided his time, following along through fractions of :55.0 and 1:22.3 before making a move to the outside to challenge.
In the stretch, Tellmeitmatters responded to DeLong and shot out in front by two lengths, pacing home in :29.2 for the win. Warrior for Truth and Ricky Macomber Jr. moved up late on the outside for second while Rockn The Moni and Atlee Bender finished third.
Tellmeitmatters is owned by William and W. Patrick DeLong. He was a home bred for the DeLong family from their royally bred Artsplace mare Art Matters, who is a daughter of the great Hit Parade. Roger Welch trains the freshman gelding.
Art Matters is nearly a 100 percent producer for the DeLongs, included Frost Damage Blues (1:49.4, $339,000) and Ideal Matters (1:49.0, $648,000). She has also produced the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star of the Show, who is the dam of Virgo (1:48.3, $429,000) and Why Not Now (1:49.1, $200,000).
Tellmeitmatters was making his fourth start of the season and now has two wins. His bankroll is nearing $40,000 and his career best time of 1:51.4 taken at Harrah’s Hoosier Park is his career best.
Also on the rescheduled Grand Circuit card at the Indiana State Fairgrounds was the $42,679 Ralph Wilfong Memorial. Mel Gibswan and Trace Tetrick rolled right out for the lead, posting every fraction in :3o.1, 1:00.3. and 1:29. In the stretch, the Swan for All gelding held his ground with authority, posting a two-length win in 1:58.2. Uncle Archie and Doug Rideout finished second over Topville Sebastian and Joey Putnam, who recovered from a break at the start to rally back for third.
Mel Gibswan is owned by Thestable Mel Gibswan Group of Ontario. Ron Burke trains the gelding, who was bred by Harold Ruddick Jr., Stacey Ruddick, and Beverly Ruddick. It was his first career win in his fourth start. He now has nearly $50,000 on his card.