The 30th season of Standardbred racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park came to a close Saturday, Dec. 9 with Tug and Coop and Jordan Ross winning the final race of the year. The duo scored the win in the $16,000 Open 3 Trot to close out the season.
A second tier starter, options were limited for Tug and Coop at the start, so he got away in mid pack as Calderone and Atlee Bender rallied out for the first lead tracked closely by Famous Father and John DeLong, who were on the outside at the quarter in :27.1 before taking over the top spot. Heading to the half Tug and Coop was on the move on the outside and had horses file out behind him as he moved first over at the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.1. Famous Father had gained an open length advantage around the turn.
In the stretch, Tug and Coop got a nose in front, but the race was far from over. Several horses fanned out, including Tug and Coop. He battled gamely with Famous Father at first, then had to defend his ground. Five horses were across the track as the wire neared with Tug and Coop the widest of all. Tug and Coop had to fight all the way to the wire for the win, fending off Latin Lover and Kyle Wilfong in the center of the track for the win by a neck in 1:54.4. Burrow and Michael Oosting finished third.
Tug and Coop paid $11.40 for the win. The son of Dover Dan is owned by Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher. Cullipher also trains the four-year-old trotter, who was bred by Pond-A-Acres. Tug and Coop won his fifth race of 2023 and his eighth overall. He now has more than $140,000 on his card for Pollack and Cullipher, who purchased the colt from the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale under the name Ponda Gonzalez for $65,000. His career best time of 1:53.4 was taken earlier this year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. He is a half brother to the standout Indiana trotting mare Ooh La Lala.
Earlier in the card, Dover in Motion and LeWayne Miller scored a similar win in the $22,000 Open 1-2 Trot. The four-year-old Dover Dan gelding also traveled first over after getting away near the back of the pack and rallied home in the stretch for the win by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2, a final panel in :26.4. Late Nite Hawk and Kyle Wilfong finished second over Flagman and Trace Tetrick for third.
Dover in Motion is owned by M & M Racing and Macomber Racing. Jamie Macomber trains the gelding, who was bred by Lyle Slabach. It was the third win of the season for Dover in Motion in his seventh start. He has only been off the board once this season, and overall, he has 13 wins and inched closer to a half-million on his card. Dover in Motion now has two straight wins in Open action and three wins in the last four starts for his connections. His career best tie of 1:52.4 was taken last year as a three-year-old.