Day At The Track

Gimpanzee collars Atlanta in Trotting Classic

07:00 PM 26 Sep 2020 NZST
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Gimpanzee captures the 2020 Caesars Trotting Classic at Harrah's Hoosier Park,Harness racing
Gimpanzee captures the 2020 Caesars Trotting Classic at Harrah's Hoosier Park
Dean Gillette Photography

Anderson, IN--- They had eight high quality harness racing rivals including world champion Guardian AS, Breeders Crown victor Fiftydallarbill, Indiana champions Custom Cantab and Bridge To Jesse’s and defending champion Lindy The Great but it all came down to Atlanta and Gimpanzee on Friday (Sept. 5) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in the $150,000 Caesar’s Trotting Classic. The mare and stallion did not disappoint as two of the most talented horses in the sport engaged in a scintillating stretch duel in which Gimpanzee narrowly prevailed. 

Immediately subsequent to the wings of the gate unfolding, Guardian AS (Tim Tetrick) assumed control from post position nine but he would only remain in that position after a first quarter in a spritely :26.3. That is when David Miller decided to steer Atlanta from sixth straight to the lead. The 5-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven appeared to relish the opportunity to obtain the lead and did not demonstrate any evidence of relinquishing that advantage as she led the field through fractions of :55 and 1:22.4 through the final turn.  

Atlanta, however, was about to realize Gimpanzee and Brian Sears had other plans.   

Gimpanzee was the slight favorite over the 2018 Hambletonian winner and settled in third for the first quarter mile after starting from post position six. When Atlanta moved to the front, Gimpanzee followed her hoofprints and around the track, biding his time based on Sears’ guidance as to when he should find his best stride.  

As these two horses made trotted their way to the finish line it appeared Atlanta would preserve until with roughly a 1/16 of a mile remained Gimpanzee began to inch ever closer. Would he catch the $425, 600 Maple Leaf Trot winner? After all, she had got the best of him in that event when he came home third. 

As the mare dug in it seemed she would do so once again. Yet Gimpanzee continued to advance as did Lindy The Great (Andy Miller), but it was clearly a two-horse race. Gimpanzee then drew alongside Atlanta and in a flash was in front. On this occasion, it would be he and not the mare who would visit the winner’s circle at the Anderson oval. Gimpanzee recorded a final time of 1:51.2 as did Atlanta but his :28.1 final panel compared to her :28.3 final quarter mile proved to be the difference.  

Lindy The Great held off a fast closing Crystal Fashion (Jordan Stratton) for the show spot. 

“He wasn’t 100 up in Canada but he wasn’t as sharp as he was all year,” said Marcus Melander, Gimpanzee’s trainer. “I wanted to qualify him last week to see if he was back to normal and I brought him here because he was. This worked out for his schedule. He has Lexington in two weeks and then the Breeders Crown. The track was good here today and I’m thrilled to be back in a month or so. He always gets the job done, he can race down Atlanta like he did today. She’s an amazing filly but today we beat her and we’re happy about that.” 


Officials with Harrah's Hoosier Park present the winning trophy to the connections of Gimpanzee.   
-- Photo courtesy of Dean Gillette Photography.

Owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, Dan Patch Award winner and dual Breeders Crown champion Gimpanzee now has collected $2.48 million during his career and after an undefeated freshman campaign his record is now 31-21-2-3.  

He paid $3.60 to win with Atlanta providing $3.20 to place. Lindy The Great was $3.40 to show.  

Live racing will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 26. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 21, highlighted by the return of the Breeders Crown October 30 & 31.  For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.  

 

By: Kimberly French, for Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

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