Harrah’s Hoosier Park played host to a set of nighttime qualifiers Wednesday, March 24 in preparation for the upcoming 28th season, which gets underway Friday, March 26. Whata Swan, the swift trotter from the Tony Quevedo barn, turned in the fastest qualifier of the night of both trotters and pacers.
Starting from post five, Whata Swan was revved up and ready to go when the gate folded. Trace Tetrick placed the five-year-old Swan for All horse on the lead, posting fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:27.4 before pulling away from the field. The horse trotted home in :27.4 to win by 15 lengths in a time of 1:55.3. Bridge to Jesse’s and John DeLong moved into second over Love of Prayers and Kyle Wilfong for third.
Owned by John Barnard, Whata Swan was making his 2021 debut in the qualifiers, which served as a dress rehearsal for opening night. He enters the 2021 racing season with 16 career wins in 63 career starts and earnings over the $225,000 mark. He took his career best time of 1:52.4 last season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Leonard J. Miller of Topeka, Ind. bred the standout trotter, who is carrying on the trotting tradition of the Quevedo-Barnard partnership, following in the footsteps of standout Indiana sired trotter Fiftydallarbill.
The connections of Barnard, Quevedo and Tetrick returned to the winner’s circle in the very next qualifier as McThriller posted a gate to wire win in 1:55.4. Now seven, the McArdle gelding was a five and one-half length winner over Alwysasweetvictory and LeWayne Miller and King Lil Joe and Robert Taylor.
Another trotter on the card also turned in an impressive qualifier as Sister Jean and John DeLong scored a four and three-quarter length win in 2:01.1. The three-year-old daughter of Swan for All is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler along with Robert Buddig and Allen Schwartz. It was the first career start for Sister Jean, who was unraced last year at two. She is trained by Jay Hochstetler and was bred by Homer Hochstetler and Robert Buddig.