The Missy Essig Stable had a “Wow” moment in the second set of qualifiers at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Saturday, March 13. Shamwow and Brandon Bates was a gate to wire winner in the fastest mile of the season thus far to prepare for the 28th season of Standardbred racing that gets underway Friday, March 26.
Starting from post one, Shamwow rolled out on top of the petite field of five that included stablemate Little Rocket Man. Shamwow got a big of a breather down the backstretch before cranking up the speed in the last half. When he reached the stretch, he was on top by four and sped home in :26.3 for the win in 1:54.0. Little Rocket Man and John DeLong followed along in fourth the entire way before pacing home in :26.4 to finish three and one-half lengths back in second. Keene William and Joey Putnam finished third.
Shamwow is owned by Jeff Fought Racing and David Fought. The five-year-old gelded son of Always a Virgin was a homebred from Fought’s Cornerstone Stock Farm. He moves into the 2021 racing season just shy of $300,000 in career earnings.
Bates also connected for a win with Away my Baby in the third race on the card. The seven-year-old trotting mare by And Away We Go followed along behind first leader Gregory John and John Delong before Outofbait and Joey Putnam took over after the half in :59.2. Bates sat patiently until the stretch and was able to move up with Away My Baby in a final panel of :28.2 for the half-length win over Gregory John. Im Leaving Today and Sam Widger finished third. Time for the mile was 1:59.0.
Away My Baby is owned by Andrew Eicher and trained by Mervin Schmucker. The Ohio bred trotting mare heads into the 2021 racing season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park with 22 career wins in 125 starts and earnings of more than $240,000.
Two Indiana sired horses were winners on the card. ER Rocky, owned, trained and driven by Don Eash, scored a gate to wire win in 1:55.1. The three-year-old Aracache Hanover gelding competed on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit last year, winning two races and earning a best time of 1:56.0 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. His first performance of 2021 eclipsed the mark with a new career best time of 1:55.1.
Skylar was also a winner in the set of qualifiers for driver Joey Putnam and trainer Joe Putnam. The five-year-old son of Rockin Image took over at the three-quarter mile marker and moved away for the three and one-quarter length win in 1:58.3, a final panel in :27.2.
Owned by JP Racing LLC and Suttons Bay Racing, Skylar took a career best time of 1:52.0 last year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. In all, he has in excess of $34,000 in earnings.
The next set of qualifiers at Harrah’s Hoosier Park is set for Wednesday, March 17.