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Darla Gaskin will be at a loss when the time comes for her American Girl to retire to motherhood, but at the rate the 10-year-old pacing mare continues to put up wins and bank money, that time might not come for quite a while yet. And that is perfectly fine with Gaskin. American Girl, the winner of four of her past five races dating back to mid-November, is on the verge of reaching $1 million in career earnings. The bay mare, purchased for $6,000 as a yearling, makes her first attempt for the million-dollar-mark in Friday's Fillies and Mares Open Handicap at Miami Valley Raceway. She will start from post nine and is 9-2 on the morning line, with Brady Galliers driving for trainer Tyler George. "She's been a good girl," said Gaskin, who owns American Girl with Stanley Rosenblatt. "Everyone asks when we're going to breed her. I tell them, she'll tell us when she's done. She seems as good as she has ever been. I admire her durability. She just keeps going; I guess she's a warhorse. "You have to be careful when they get to her age; do they still want to do it? She seems like she wants to do it. She tries hard; she loves her job. I think her desire to do it is her greatest attribute. We'll just keep going. As long as she's good we'll keep going and see where it takes us." American Girl, a daughter of Art's Chip out of L Dees Lourdes, has won 54 of 197 lifetime races and hit the board a total of 139 times. She has earned six figures in each of the past three seasons and has already put $15,500 into her coffer this year. "People enjoy following her," Gaskin said. "I get texts after her races, 'Wow what a girl; she's got the heart of a champion.' That's something you can't buy. You've got to find them." Gaskin and her husband Ernie found American Girl at the 2010 Hoosier Sale, where her quirkiness might have contributed to her price. "I loved her, but she would not go in and out of a stall," Gaskin recalled. "That turned a lot of people off because you didn't know if she was going to balk or whatever. But she had a kind eye and I told Ernie that I thought she was just scared. She had to step over a pipe to get in the stall and she kept looking at it. "She was hanging at $5,000 and Ernie looked at me and I told him I wanted her. We were lucky. You dream about getting a horse like that. We're just fortunate. That's what you're looking for. That's why we all do it. It's always like a dream to get one like that. It's once in a lifetime." American Girl was trained by Ernie until late in her 6-year-old season, when George, who is Gaskin's nephew, took over. She won the Circle City Stakes at age 3 and also enjoyed success on the Indiana Sire Stakes circuit at ages 2 and 3, but was unable to win a championship. She finally got an Indiana Sire Stakes title at the age of 5. "I cried in the winner's circle," Gaskin said. In recent years, American Girl's connections have favored racing the mare in the winter through spring and given her time off during the summer. The schedule seems to have contributed to American Girl's longevity, not to mention her win total. Since the start of 2016, she has posted 26 wins, with the majority coming in the winter in Ohio. "We are enjoying just having her race," said Gaskin, who also enjoys visiting American Girl on a regular basis and delivering her favorite snack, Pink Lady apples. "During the winter Ernie and I get to go to the tracks, watch her race, play the owner deal, and it's kind of fun. "I'll be sad when she goes to be a broodmare, so I'm just enjoying it while we can. She's a beautiful mare. She's dark, she's got a star, and she's got that beautiful, happy, smart-looking head. She doesn't look 10 years old. She's just a special horse. It's just been a joy." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

ANDERSON, IN - Indiana Sires Stakes action continued at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 11 featuring the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies. Tellitsassymae and Sam Widger stole the show after they recorded the fastest mile of the season for two-year-old pacers, regardless of gender or track size, with a 1:51.1 triumph in the featured event of the evening. In gate-to-wire fashion, Tellitsassymae recorded her third win of the year and established a new lifetime best in just her third career start. Handed the tough, outside post position nine, Widger wasted no time and sent the filly away from the gate firing to grab the early lead through the opening panel in a snappy :26.1. Imonlytellinyaonce and James Yoder grabbed the pocket seat with Rockinbeach and Todd Warren next in line third. Tellitsassymae clicked off fractions of :54.4 and 1:23.3 but Trace Tetrick had the heavily favored Glorious Virgin on the attack, first-over as the field approached the final turn. LeWayne Miller had Chasing Madi well placed second over and Imonlytellinyaonce looked poised to strike from the pocket. Tellitsassymae employed a :27.1 closing quarter to put away Glorious Virgin and hold off an impressive late surge from Pure Maid and Ricky Macomber Jr. to get the win by three-parts of a length. Pure Maid finished second while Glorious Virgin rounded out the trifecta. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Tellitsassymae returned $13.40 to her backers at the betting windows. “She did all the work,” Widger noted after the victory. “I just pointed her in the right direction. She crossed right over and did everything I asked. She was awesome.” Trained by Ernie Gaskin, the two-year-old daughter of Tellitlikeitis—My Girl Maddie has now won three of three lifetime starts while bankrolling $52,500 in lifetime purse earnings. Tellitsassymae is owned in partnership by Henry Blackwell, Darla and Emily Gaskin. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 12 with the first of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. In addition to the stakes action, Hoosier Park has announced three signature wagering opportunities providing remarkable value to horseplayers for Thursday’s 13-race card.  With a carry-over in excess of $12,000, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer a $35,000 Guaranteed Pick-5 pool for the Thursday night program. In addition, the Hoosier High-5 went unsolved on Wednesday, resulting in a $24,052.60 carryover and will feature a $75,000 Guaranteed Pool on Thursday. This is in addition to the regularly scheduled $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 Pool offered on Thursday nights in Races 3-6. The Pick-5, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, begins in the ninth race and will continue through the thirteenth race of the program. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the ninth race, is 8:58 p.m. (EDT). The Hoosier High-5, also known as the pentafecta, is featured in the last race of every program at Hoosier Park and features an industry low takeout of 12% with a 20 cent minimum wager. The Pick-4, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, begins in the third race and will continue through the sixth race. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the third race, is 7:10 p.m. (EDT). Free past performances for the sequences will be available on the USTA website. Expert selections and handicapping tools are also available on the handicapping section of Hoosier Park’s website. In partnership with the Unites States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering program and the Indiana Standardbred Association, Hoosier Park will offer these signature wagers for the action packed 13-race card on Thursday that is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

Rockin Hot Lady was slowed by issues at ages 2 and 3, but with three wins in her past four starts, the 4-year-old female pacer is starting to reward harness racing trainer Ernie Gaskin's confidence in her. On Friday, the mare will attempt to extend her hot streak in the Dr. Don Mossbarger Memorial Series championship at Ohio's Miami Valley Raceway before possibly being sent to compete on the East Coast. Purchased as a yearling for $23,000 at the 2015 Hoosier Sale, Rockin Hot Lady is owned by Gaskin's wife, Darla, and daughter Emily, the race marketing manager and a race commentator at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Also a member of the ownership group is Shelby Ratcliff, the daughter of Centaur Gaming Chairman and CEO Rod Ratcliff. Rockin Hot Lady, by Rockin Image out of Deferred Comp, is a full sister to Rockin Rum Springa, a multiple winner on the Indiana-bred stakes circuit, and half-sister to successful invite-level gelding Nitro. "She came from a proven family and was a nice big filly, so we stepped out for her," Gaskin said. "She trained down great as a 2-year-old, but she later had the start of a (fracture) so we shut her down. She came back at 3 and things went OK, but then she kind of fell off the edge of the earth. "It took us a little while to get it figured out. She wasn't physically lame, so we were looking for bleeding and ulcers and stuff like that and it turned out to be EPM (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, a neurological disease). Once we got it figured out, it's been a lot better." Rockin Hot Lady has won seven of 37 career races, with six of those victories coming in her past 12 starts, and earned $54,900. She enters Friday's Mossbarger Memorial final off a 1:54.3 win by a nose over Turnitdownforwatt in a second-round division of the series. It was her first start of the season. "She's coming around," Gaskin said. "We like her. We got a little messed up with the weather (coming back this year); I'd love to have one more race in her. We'll see. "She is beautifully gaited. She's one of those that fools you a little bit. You look down at your watch and you're surprised how fast you've gone. She's a fluid mover that way." Rockin Hot Lady will start from post No. 1 on Friday with driver Trevor Smith, the 22-year-old brother of driver Tyler Smith. Trevor also drove Rockin Hot Lady last week. "Trevor is just another good, young, athletic horse kid coming up," Gaskin said. "I'm happy to have him." The $25,000 Dr. Don Mossbarger Memorial -- named to honor the founder of renowned breeding facility Midland Acres and a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame -- is the ninth race on Miami Valley's 13-race card Friday. Post time is 6:05 p.m. for the first race. Other winners in the Mossbarger's two preliminary rounds were Won For Gigi, Desire One, and Turnitdownforwatt. Friday's Miami Valley card also features the $25,000 open for pacing fillies and mares, which includes Darla Gaskin co-owned American Girl. American Girl's presence is one reason Gaskin is considering sending Rockin Hot Lady east to trainer Julie Miller. Another is Rockin Hot Lady's early speed and versatility. "She can leave in quarters of :25.4 and get around any sized track," Gaskin said. "We'll decide what to do after the final. We already have American Girl and I don't really want to race them against each other. We've had great luck with Julie. Her and (husband) Andy are great." To view Friday's complete Miami Valley entries, click here. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

American Girl, guided by Sam Widger, turned in a gutsy performance to take home top honors in the co-featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares, on Friday, May 15 at the harness racing meeting at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Dismissed at odds of 11-1 at the betting window, American Girl won an epic stretch battle to best her rivals with a final time of 1:53.1. Leaving from post four, American Girl left aggressively for early position but Shine N Shimmer and John Delong were one step quicker as they reached the front through the opening panel in :27.3. Miss Millie and Peter Wrenn protected their rail position to find a pocket seat with Just A Bee and Mike Micallef next in line, fourth. American Girl continued her mission to the front and reached the top spot just past the second station in :56.3. Unable to find a spot along the rail, Trace Tetrick had the 1-5 favorite, Color's A Virgin pointed to the front as the field approached the final turn. Color's A Virgin reached the leader's wheel through a three-quarter clocking in 1:25.1 but she would have her work cut out for her as American Girl looked strong on the front. The field was tightly packed turning for home and the stage was set for a cavalry charge to the wire. With the taxing mile beginning to take its toll, Color's A Virgin began to retreat just as the rest of the field started to fan out across the track late in the lane. Widger asked his mount for more and American Girl responded with one final surge to hold off a hard-charging Montenegro and Jason Dillander. Shine N Shimmer rounded out the trifecta. American Girl returned $25.00 to her backers at the betting window. "She's a special mare," trainer Ernie Gaskin noted after the victory. "When everything is right with her, she's as game as they come. I wasn't exactly sure how the trip would work out tonight but Sam (Widger) always takes care of her." With the win, American Girl notched her first victory of the season and 23rd win from 89 career starts while amassing $541,948 in purse earnings lifetime. The six-year-old daughter of Art's Chip-L Dees Lourdes is owned by Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt. Live harness racing will return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 16 with a 14-race card that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. For more information on the live racing season and the upcoming events at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 31, 2014 - On an action-packed stakes night, Peter Wrenn was the driving star of the night, winning a total of seven of the 14 races contested, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 31. Driving in each and every race, the veteran reinsman found the winner's circle in three of the first four races and two of the four divisions of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Wrenn teamed up with trainer Joe Cirasuola to capture the early double with JD's Caleb Man who rallied from off the pace in 1:52.1 and then used the same off-the-pace tactics in the next race with It's A Go to score in a lifetime best of 1:52.2. Charlie Stewart's Bazinga benefitted from a second over trip to score his sixth win of the season and third win of the night for Wrenn in 1:52. Unhurried off the gate, Bazinga settled along the rail in fourth before being asked to move down the backside. Using a :28.0 final panel, Bazinga cruised home to finish two lengths in front of the front-stepping Radar Warning and Mike Micallef. It wasn't until the second division of the Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts that Peter Wrenn found the winner's circle once more as Next Thing Smoke'n used a sharp, front running effort to score in 1:51.4. It was the first win of the season for the son of Sand Shooter-Are Those Real and a lifetime best effort. Trained, owned and bred by Roger Cullipher, Next Thing Smoke'n will be aimed at the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts slated for June 7 at Hoosier Park. Win number five for Wrenn came in the $18,000 Four-Year-Old Open Pace with the Indiana Sires Stakes Champion, Night Pro. Opting for a trip off the pace in the field of seven, Night Pro was uninvolved in the early stages before unleashing a :26.1 final panel to score in 1:51. It was the fifth win from seven seasonal outings for the son of Pro Bono Best-Midnight Jewel who is trained and owned by Dale Decker. In the fourth and final division of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes action, it was Mister Truth in a 1:52.3 gate-to-wire effort to give Wrenn his sixth of the evening. It was the third consecutive win and first stakes victory for the son of Total Truth-Miss AJ Ponda who is trained by Ernie Gaskin. Wrenn capped his seventh win of the night with the heavily favored, Lucky Jet. Using a well-timed rally late in the lane, Lucky Jet was able to wear down Audreys Dream to stop the clock in 1:51.1. "It was a great night," Wrenn noted after his final victory of the evening. "I had some really live horses and the trips worked out in my favor. It's always nice to have nights like this every once in a while." As Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's three-time leading driver, Wrenn is closing in on 10,000 career wins and more than $65 million in purse earnings in the bike. Along with the driving titles from all over the country, he has also posted four consecutive seasons with his purse earnings surpassing the $3 million mark. Wrenn is currently third on the leading driver standings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino while Tyler Smith leads all drivers with 85 victories. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, June 3 with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 15. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-April 4, 2014 - American Girl and driver Peter Wrenn found the winner's circle for the second consecutive time after turning in a sharp, front running effort to capture the featured event, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, April 4. In just her second start of the season, American Girl switched up her tactics from the previous week and was a decisive winner in 1:55.1 over a track rated good. Leaving from post seven, Wrenn made his mind up early and sent American Girl firing from the gate while the rest of the field battled for early position. Securing the top spot, American Girl dictated early fractions of :27 and :56.3.while Sectionline Yankee and Sam Widger benefitted from a pocket trip. The publics' second choice, Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr., made a costly break around the first turn and were unable to recover. American Girl went uncontested down the backside as the field remained in single file order. Igottafeelinfran and Brad Hanners were the first to commit to the outer flow as the field approached the three-quarter clocking in 1:26.4. Ross Leonard had Nutmegs Yankee well placed second over and the rest of the field began to tighten up turning for home. Igottafeelinfran appeared to be up to the task, but American Girl saved her best for last. Wrenn asked her for more and American Girl dug in gamely with a :28.2 final quarter to put a nose in front. Nutmegs Yankee rallied late in the stretch for the second place finish while Igottafeelinfran held on for third. As the odds-on favorite, American Girl returned $4.00 for the win. "She raced good last week," winning driver Peter Wrenn noted in the winner's circle, "But she was really on her game tonight." Trained by Ernie Gaskin, American Girl notched her 16th win from 57 career stars while amassing $392,658 in purse earnings. The five-year-old daughter of Art's Chip-L Dees Lourdes is owned by Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt. The victory was also a driving double for Peter Wrenn on the evening's eleven-race card as he scored with Good Sound Advice in 1:57.4 earlier in the evening. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-March 28, 2014- American Girl and Peter Wrenn made their seasonal debut a winning one at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as they captured the featured event, a $22,000 Invitational pace for fillies and mares, on Friday, March 28. After winning an epic stretch duel, the-five-year-old mare bested her rivals with a final time of 1:55.2 in front of a packed house that turned out for the opening night of the season. Leaving from post six, American Girl was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fifth as the rest of the field fought for position. Ed Hensley and Pacific Date were the first to get a call and reached the first quarter mark in :28.4. Nutmegs Yankee and Ross Leonard opted for a pocket trip while No Respect and Tyler Smith followed intently in third. Pacific Date and Ed Hensley were left uncontested on the front and leisurely strolled to a :59.2 second panel. Feeling the pressure of the slow fractions, Tyler Smith tipped No Respect from the rail and began a powerful first-over bid with Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow. No Respect was able to clear to front through the three-quarter clocking in 1:27.2 but was quickly joined by Blissful Romance on the outside. As the field turned for home, Blissful Romance was able to put away No Respect but still had her work cut out for her as American Girl came charging from behind. Using a :27.3 final panel, American Girl turned in a gritty performance to get the victory. "What a race," winning driver Peter Wrenn noted in winner's circle. "I didn't know if we would be able to make up enough ground off the slow fractions, but she wanted to win tonight. She did all the work." As the heavy betting favorite, American Girl returned $3.60 to her backers for the win. Blissful Romance was a hard fought second while Igottafeelinfran and Brad Hanners rounded out the trifecta. Trained by Ernie Gaskin, American Girl notched her 15th win from 56 career stars while amassing $381,658 in purse earnings. The five-year-old daughter of Art's Chip-L Dees Lourdes is owned by Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt. Live harness racing will return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, March 28 with a 13-race card that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. For more information on the live racing season and the upcoming events at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit Emily Gaskin

Post position proved to be no factor as American Girl overcame her harness racing rivals late in the lane to capture the third round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (May 22).

Jammin Joshua saved his best for when it counted most, scoring a 2-1/2-length upset in the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for harness racing freshman colt pacers Saturday evening (Oct. 22) at Indiana Downs.

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