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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 visitwww.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, IN - Wisdom Tree returned to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and continued her winning ways in the featured event of the evening, the $142,000 Nadia Lobell Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, on Friday, July 6. With Sam Widger in the bike, Wisdom Tree turned in a sharp, front-running effort to stop the timer in 1:49.4 and establish a new track record for sophomore pacing fillies in the process. The previous record of 1:50.1 was established in 2016 by Rockalina and driver Mike Peterson. Widger had the heavy 3-5 favorite firing away with the wings of the gate but Ricky Macomber Jr. and Strong Opinion were a step quicker and grabbed the early lead through the opening panel in a snappy :25.3. Wisdom Tree was second but not for long. Widger gave her the green light as the field approached the half and she quickly grabbed command before the second station in :53.3. Michael Oosting and Double A Mint were next in line third and would begin the long, first-over attack just before the three-quarters in 1:21.4. The blazing speed continued but Wisdom Tree appeared strong on the front. Double A Mint was matching strides with the leader but Wisdom Tree wasn't going down without a fight. Utilizing a :28 final panel, Wisdom Tree was able to put away Double A Mint to finish a length and a half to the good. Reign on Me and LeWayne Miller utilized a ground saving trip to rally for third place honors. Wisdom Tree returned $3.40 to her backers at the betting windows. "It was a little fast to the half," Widger noted in the winner's circle. "Looking at the program, I thought we were the best in the race and she has always been strong on the front. She's a really nice filly who knows her work. She just goes out there and does her job." Trained by Jeff Cullipher, who co-owns with Thomas Pollack, Wisdom Tree scored her third consecutive victory and seventh seasonal win from nine outings. The 1:49.4 clocking was a new lifetime best as the daughter of Betterthancheddar-Wisdom pushed her career bankroll to $241,660. Wisdom Tree will likely be pointed to the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands for her next stakes engagement. The stakes action continued a little later on in the evening with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals for three-year old trotting and pacing colts. Katkin American and James Yoder followed suit to deliver as the heavy betting favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Stopping the timer in 1:53, Katkin American made his game winning move down the backside to finish ten lengths in front of his next closest competitor. After a track record performance in his elimination last week, Katkin American recorded his third consecutive Hoosier Park victory for trainer Verlin Yoder and owner, breeder, Brett Boyd. Katkin American was won his last three outings by a combined 27 lengths. "We are so thankful to so many folks that helped get this horse here," Boyd said of his prodigy in the winner's circle. "It takes a lot of people to get one here and we are so thankful to everyone who helped us along the way. I trained his mother and he reminds me a lot of her. We love this colt and the Yoders have done such a great job with him." Unraced at two, the son of Guccio-Katkin has now won three of five lifetime starts. With the win, Katkin American nearly doubled his lifetime purse earnings to push his career bankroll to $62,000. On the pacing side of things, Rockinbeach and Ricky Macomber Jr. converted a pocket trip into a 1:49.4 score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Employing a :25.4 final quarter, Rockinbeach exploded to the wire to finish six lengths in front of Jeopardy and John DeLong. Trained by Jamie Macomber, Rockinbeach notched his fourth win from nine seasonal starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. The homebred son of Rockin Image-Miss Sandy Beach is owned by Wilbur Eash and has now amassed $168,940 in lifetime purse earnings. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 7 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, IN - Indiana-sired three-year-old pacing fillies were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 29 as the evening's 14-race card was highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final and $25,000 consolation for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Mildrix, with Sam Widger in the bike, used a strong stretch rally to prevail in a tight photo and pull the 15-1 upset in the featured event of the evening. Stopping the timer in 1:52, Mildrix established a new lifetime best and the victory was one of three winners on the program for Widger. Starting from the coveted rail position in the competitive field of ten, Mildrix was unhurried from the gate to get away a worrisome sixth. Elliot Deaton gave Neverforgetwhour her marching orders and she quickly grabbed the lead from post eight through the opening panel in :26.3. Virgin Eyes and Michael Oosting grabbed a pocket seat with Gate Speed and Brandon Bates followed along in third. Dee Rocks and Trace Tetrick, the heavy post time favorite, settled along the rail in seventh. Neverforgetwhour dictated middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.2 before being joined on the outside by Always Woggy and Peter Wrenn who had Dee Rocks and Trace Tetrick in tow approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Neverforgetwhour was bracing for the cavalry charge to the wire and a cavalry charge it was. Horses began to fan out across the track but the biggest threat was to the inside. Sitting last at the top of the stretch, Widger utilized the passing lane to find late racing room and Mildrix found a :27.1 final panel to get the win by a head. Two lengths separated the top seven finishers. Neverforgetwhour held on valiantly for second place honors while Let Me Fly Low and Ricky Macomber Jr. rallied well for third. Mildrix returned $33.40 to her backers at the betting windows. Trained, owned and bred by Kelly Goodwin, Mildrix recorded her first win of the season from three starts and second lifetime victory. The daughter of Real Desire-Didrickson has now amassed $57,100 in lifetime purse earnings. "We weren't expecting to go in the sires stakes in just her third start of the season but she raced really well the previous week," Goodwin mentioned after the win. "She can be a little tough, she has her own way of doing things but she's a nice filly and we're really happy with her." The upset trend continued in the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for three-year-old pacing fillies as Trace Tetrick steered Always Curious to victory at odds of 12-1. Stopping the timer in 1:51.3, Always Curious used a :27.4 closing quarter to get the win by nearly two lengths and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Jeff Cullipher trains and co-owns the daughter Always A Virgin-A Loskoz Bluegrass with Tom Pollack. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 30 with an 11-race card featuring a $20,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 Pool. The Hoosier High-5 went unsolved on Friday, resulting in a $7,503 carryover for Saturday's program. 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. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 5, 2018 - Driver Sam Widger joined elite company, harness racing's 6,000-win club, after he piloted Shady Caroline to victory in the co-featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 5. The 1:51 victory marked the second consecutive Hoosier Park victory for Shady Caroline and a career milestone for the 54-year-old reisnman. Widger entered the program just four wins shy of the milestone and he got to work quickly taking the first race of the evening behind Always A Z Tam for trainer Walter Haynes Jr. Widger teamed up with the Haynes stable for another winner on the program a little later in the evening as Martz Time was home a winner in gate to wire fashion in 1:55.1. Widger's other victory on the program was behind Au D Lox Bluegrass for trainer Jeff Cullipher. Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager, Rick Moore, along with Widger's friends, were in the winner's circle to congratulate and acknowledge his accomplishment. "On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, I'd like to congratulate Sam on win number 6,000," Moore noted. "That is quite the accomplishment. We couldn't be more proud to have Sam as part of the Hoosier Park driving colony and he is a great ambassador for the sport. We wish Sam continued success for the remainder of this season and throughout his career. We look forward to watching him win many more races at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino." Now in his 32nd season as a driver, Widger recorded his best season to date in 2017 with purse earnings surpassing the $3.5 million mark. The veteran reinsman has gone over the $3 million mark in purse earnings four times in the last eight years and has finished among the top ten drivers at Hoosier Park every season he has competed. Widger also received a spot in the Hoosier Park history books when he guided Bolt The Duer to victory in the 2013 installment of Hoosier Park's most prestigious race, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. Widger also recorded his 5,000 driving win at Hoosier Park in 2014. Widger is currently third on the 2018 leading driver standings at Hoosier Park with 38 trips to the winner's circle and over $350,000 in purse earnings. Trace Tetrick leads all drivers with 68 victories while John DeLong is just behind him in second with 47 wins. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, May 8 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. Emily Gaskin Race Marketing Manager, Commentator & Publicist

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 8, 2017-For the second time in one week, the track record was lowered over Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval, marking the fourth track record that has been re-established this season. After stopping the timer in 1:49.2, Au D Lox Bluegrass and driver Sam Widger kicked off the action packed 12-race card on Saturday, July 8 in impressive fashion in the $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace. The 1:49.2 clocking re-established the track record for older pacing mares and also established a new lifetime best for Au D Lox Bluegrass. The previous track record of 1:49.3 was established by McFlirty and Ricky Macomber Jr. in 2014. Widger wasted no time as he sent Au D Lox Bluegrass away from the gate firing from post seven. She dictated fractions of :25.1, :53.3 and 1:22.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Wild Wanda and Ricky Macomber Jr. were content to sit the pocket while Trace Tetrick had Graceful Vision aimed at the leader turning for home. Graceful Vision was able to reach the leader's wheel but Au D Lox Bluegrass wasn't finished. Using a :27.1 final quarter, Au D Lox Bluegrass coasted on to the wire under a hand drive from Widger to finish nearly five lengths in front of Graceful Vision. Ponytail and LeWayne Miller rallied gamely to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Au D Lox Bluegrass returned $4.00 to her backers at the betting windows. "She's a very nice mare," Widger noted after the victory. "She's really sharp right now and seems to be getting better and stronger with every start." With the win the Jeff Cullipher trainee recorded her fifth victory from 12 seasonal starts. Owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher, the four year-old daughter of Panspacificflight-Ag-n-Au Bluegrass has now amassed $61,450 in purse earnings this season and $254,709 lifetime. The victory was also one of four training wins on the evening's 12-race card for trainer Jeff Cullipher and the first of three driving wins on the evening for Sam Widger. On the stakes side of the racing action, JD's Chancey Gal continued her winning ways to take home top honors in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies. With Todd Warren at the lines, JD's Chancey Gal staged a big rally late in the lane to find the wire first in 1:51.3. With the win, JD's Chancey Gal recorded her fifth consecutive Hoosier Park victory and also established a new lifetime mark in the process. Trained and owned by Pasko Vucinaj, the three-year-old daughter of Panspacificflight-Designer Gal has now won seven of 10 seasonal starts and nine of 24 lifetime starts. With the win, JD's Chancey Gal sent her lifetime bankroll over the $100,000 mark. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, July 11 with a 14-race card featuring the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park         Emily Gaskin   Race Marketing Manager, Commentator & Publicist   Hoosier Park Racing & Casino   Emily.gaskin@hoosierpark.com   (765)609-4620              

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 27, 2017 - For the first time this season, a track record was re-established at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino during the evening's action packed 12-race harness racing card on Saturday, May 27. I Know My Chip, with Sam Widger in the bike, kicked off the evening's program off with a bang as he lowered the track record for older trotting geldings to 1:52.1 in the first race of the program, a $21,000 Invitational Trot. The 1:52.1 mark was a new lifetime best for I Know My Chip and re-established a record that stood for three years, a mark that was previously held by Natural Herbie with a 1:52.3 clocking. In an abbreviated field of six, I Know My Chip left alertly from post five to get the first call through the opening panel in :26.2. As the heavy betting favorite, Churita and Trace Tetrick also left aggressively from post six and would eventually grab the lead just before the half in :55.4. I Know My Chip was content to sit in the pocket as the quick pace continued and Churita called the shots through the third split in 1:24.3. As the field turned for home, Churita braced for the stretch drive as I Know My Chip loomed large in the pocket. Utilizing a :27.3 final quarter, I Know My Chip tipped from the pocket and cruised home to a four length victory over a fast-closing Call For Justice and Ricky Macomber Jr. After a ground saving trip, Captain John Henry and Dale Hiteman held on for third place honors. Slightly dismissed at the betting windows, I Know My Chip returned $14.20 to his backers. "He's a very nice horse," Widger noted after the victory. "He's great to drive and very easy to get along with. The trip worked out in our favor tonight and he did the rest. He was very game tonight." Trained by Walter Haynes Jr., the five-year-old son of Deep Chip-Madeline's Crown recorded his third seasonal victory from 12 outings and 24th lifetime victory from 69 starts. The previous Ohio Sires Stakes Champion has now amassed $539,993 in lifetime purse earnings. I Know My Chip is owned by the partnership of Brian Carsey, John McGill, and the Black & White Stable. I Know My Chip The win with I Know My Chip was one of two winners for driver Sam Widger on the evening's 12-race card. Widger also teamed up with trainer Jeff Cullipher to find the winner's circle with Au D Lox Bluegrass in the $25,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace. Scoring in a new lifetime best of 1:50.1, Au D Lox Bluegrass recorded her fourth win of the season from eight outings. Au D Lox Bluegrass New Talent Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with a 14-race card on Tuesday, May 30 featuring the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-April 21, 2017 - After an equipment malfunction last week, Night Pro and Sam Widger rebounded gamely to capture the featured harness racing event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, April 21. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Night Pro turned in a gritty performance to hold off his rivals late in the lane to score in 1:49.3, just a few ticks off his career best. It was a seasonal best mark and also equaled the fastest mile of the 2017 season through the first 13 nights of racing at Hoosier Park. Leaving from post nine in a talented field of ten, Widger sent Night Pro away from the gate firing but a host of others also left alertly. Mykindachip and Ricky Macomber Jr. left aggressively from post eight to get the first call but Night Pro, unable to find a spot along the rail, pressed on to the lead through an opening quarter in a snappy :25.4. Somestarsomewhere and Dale Hiteman were also unable to find a spot along the rail and continued to apply pressure to the outside of the leader as the torrid pace continued through the second quarter in :53.3. Night Pro was able to put away Somestarsomewhere as they hit the three-quarter mark in 1:22.2 but he would still have his work cut out for him as the rest of the field loomed large in the background. Mykindachip and Ricky Macomber Jr. tipped from the pocket and took aim at the leader but Night Pro was too strong. Utilizing a :27.1 final quarter, Night Pro held on gamely to get the win by a head over Mykindachip. Evergreen Elite and Trace Tetrick rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Night Pro returned $2.60 to his backers at the betting windows. Trained and owned by Dale Decker, Night Pro recorded his 4th win from 6 seasonal outings. The seven-year-old son of Pro Bono Best-Midnight Jewel has now won 45 of 80 lifetime victories while bankrolling $723, 182. The win was also one of two wins on the program for driver Sam Widger. Night Pro Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, April 22 with a 12-race card. With a daily racing post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

LEBANON, OH. - Sam Widger has raced out to a commanding early lead in the harness racing $25,000 North American Drivers Challenge currently taking place at Miami Valley Raceway in southwest Ohio. On the strength of three winners in his first four preliminary round drives, the Illinois native and Hoosier Park regular has accumulated 99 points at the halfway point of the two preliminary legs. Each of the 30 drivers participating had four drives on the Sunday (Jan. 8) matinee and will get another four on the Monday (Jan. 9) matinee. The top ten point-getters after the two preliminary rounds will return Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 10) and compete head-to-head in eight races to determine the inaugural champion. Widger impressed scoring the hat trick with Krusty The Clown, Dani Girl and Stucklikeglue. He was the only multiple wins reinsman on the first day. Others with wins were Tony Hall and Doug McNair, who are tied for second at the midway point of the two preliminary rounds with 69 points each; Bob McClure (68), Marcus Miller (66), Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (59), John DeLong (58), Brett Miller (55), Jason Brewer (54) and Tyler Smith (49). Although they failed to win a heat, Simon Allard is tied for tenth with 54 points on the strength of two second place finishes, and Randy Tharps is eleventh with 50 points by notching a second, a third and a fourth place finish in his four attempts. The competition was spirited the first day, with just two favorites winning in the twelve contest races. Early speed held up well during the first half of the day, but as the 19 degree temperature started to drop the closers prevailed during the final six races. An even more exciting second day is expected with the same 30 top drivers all vying for one of ten spots in Tuesday afternoon's championship round, where the finalists will start with a clean scoreboard slate and be competing for the $10,000 first place award and bragging rights as the North American Drivers Challenge champion for the next year. Post time is 2:05 for both the Monday and Tuesday matinee programs. Gregg Keidel

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 21, 2016  -  Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to action packed 14-race harness racing card on Friday, Oct. 21 and it was driver Sam Widger who stole the show. Winning eight of the evening's 14 races, Widger tied the record for most wins in one night at Hoosier Park joining Eric Ledford, Don Irvine Jr. and Trace Tetrick. Ledford established the record at Hoosier Park during the 1999 harness racing season while Irvine Jr. recorded eight wins in 2003 and the record has remained untouched since Tetrick accomplished an eight win night in 2012. Slated as the 13th race on the program, the evening's card was highlighted by a $21,000 Invitational Pace and just as impressive as Widger recording his seventh win of the night was Night Pro finding the winner's circle for the fifth consecutive time at Hoosier Park. Stopping the timer in 1:50.4, Night Pro turned in a dominant performance to score by nearly three lengths and record his eighth win of the season. Trained and owned by Dale Decker, the six year-old son of Pro Bono Best-Midnight Jewel added another stakes victory to his impressive resume after scoring in the $70,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Aged Pace Final at Hoosier Park last week. Night Pro has now won 38 of 70 lifetime outings while amassing $658,182 in lifetime purse earnings. Widger's first win of the night came in the second race on the program behind Joe Tucky for trainer Lester Raber. Using gate to wire tactics, Joe Tucky recorded his second win of the season and also established a new lifetime mark of 1:55.2 with the win. Widger and Raber also teamed up to reach the winner's circle with Nothinbutanallstar who scored in a conditioned trot in 1:54.2 by five lengths and give Widger his third of the night. E R Rudy was an 11-1 upset winner for Widger and trainer Don Eash in the $15,000 Open 2 Pace earlier in the program. Widger scored back to back victories with Anoche for trainer Al Tomlinson and then JD's Macca Lodge for trainer Walter Haynes Jr. Widger also drove two winners from the Ernie Gaskin Stable on the evening's program. Scoring earlier with Shakerattlenrock in a claiming pace, Widger recorded his eighth and final win of the night in the last race of the program behind the three-year-old pacing colt, Pet Shark. Utilizing a :26.2 final quarter, Pet Shark established a new lifetime best of 1:51.3 while notching his fourth win of the season. "It's kind of euphoric for me," Widger said with a smile after win number eight. "Did that really just happen? I am blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to drive nice horses for great trainers." Widger is currently third on the leading driver standings at Hoosier Park for the 2016 season with 201 trips to the winner's circle behind Trace Tetrick, who leads all with 332 wins, and John DeLong in second with 282 victories. On Saturday, Oct. 22, Widger will lead all drivers into round 2 of the 2016 All Star Driver Series after winning round one with 49 points. Saturday's 14-race card will feature the second round of the five race challenge for Hoosier Park's leading drivers with the winner awarded the dream prize of their choice, a $10,000 cash prize, an exotic vacation, or their favorite "always wanted to have" toy. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 4, 2016 - Nothing But Nice and harness racing driver Sam Widger used a determined stretch rally to get up in the final strides of the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, October 4. The Robert Reeser trained filly was able to use the long Hoosier Park stretch to her advantage, to stop the timer in 1:56.4 over a fast track. After winning her elimination last week, Nothing But Nice made a clean sweep of the final round of the preliminary stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies. Leaving from post two in the talented field of ten, Nothing But Nice was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fourth while a host of others left for early position. Mayfair Kate and Earl Avenatti Jr. left aggressively and were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.3 while Rick Plano and Dont Ya also left alertly but opted for a pocket trip. Trace Tetrick was unable to find a spot along the rail with Let Her Go and was forced to press on to the front. Let Her Go reached the leader's wheel at the half in :57.2 but was unable to clear Mayfair Kate. Mayfair Kate continued to call the shots approaching the final turn but would soon be joined on the outside by Nothing But Nice and Sam Widger who tipped out around a tiring Let Her Go. Nothing But Nice was matching strides with the leader at the third station in 1:27.2 as the rest of the field was also closing in. Nothing But Nice was able to wear down Mayfair Kate but Fawn De Savage and Dan Shetler were closing well on the outside. Nothing But Nice continued to rally and used a :29.2 final quarter to hold off a late surge from Playful Swan and Don Eash up the rail. Fawn De Savage got steppy late in the lane but held on to round out the trifecta. Nothing But Nice returned $11.40 at the betting windows for the slight upset. "She always tries hard," Widger noted in the winner's circle. "She's a nice filly who gives it her all every week. She was very strong tonight." The homebred daughter of Abc Garland-Eicarls Theresa has now won four of 17 seasonal including the previous $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final at Hoosier Park in late August. Owned by Risto J. Vidgren, Nothing But Nice has now earned $216,385 while winning six of 26 lifetime outings. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, October 5 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Wednesday's 14-race card will also be highlighted by a $20,000 Guaranteed trifecta in the opening leg of the pick-5, race 10 on the card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. ' For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 10, 2016 - Limited Edition and Sam Widger pulled a stunning 11-1 upset in the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 10. Stopping the timer in 1:52.2., Limited Edition found late racing room to score his maiden breaking victory and give driver Sam Widger one of his four wins on the program. Leaving from post four, Widger sent Limited Edition away from the gate firing and he grabbed the early lead through an opening panel in a snappy :26.3. On The Virg and Ronnie Wrenn Jr., the heavy post time favorites, grabbed a pocket seat while Meadowbrook Tiger and Ross Leonard were next in line, third. On The Virg made his move to the lead down the backside and took command just past the half in :56. As the field reached the third station in 1:24.3, On The Virg continued to call the shots but Meadowbrook Tiger was applying pressure first-over with Rock N Tony and Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow. On The Virg was able to hold off Meadowbrook Tiger but his biggest threat was patiently waiting to strike from the pocket. Widger moved Limited Edition to the passing lane and he exploded past the leaders with a :27.2 final quarter to get the win by two lengths. Rock N Tony rallied for second while On The Virg held on for third place honors. Limited Edition returned $25.60 to his backers at the betting windows. "He's always been a nice colt," Widger noted after the victory. "We've just had some tough racing luck here and there. Tonight, the trip worked out perfect for us and he (Limited Edition) raced awesome." Trained and owned by Perry Smith, the son of Rockin Image-Modern Way notched his first victory from seven seasonal outings. Establishing a new lifetime mark with the win, Limited Edition has now amassed $56,550 lifetime. The victory was also one of four wins for driver Sam Widger on the evening's 13-race card. Widger pulled a 7-1 upset with Double A Cash Hall for trainer Scott Galloway in the $21,000 Invitational Trot earlier on the card. Widger's other two victories came in the 5th and 6th race behind The Right Move for trainer Tim Wilson Jr. and J-S Maple for trainer Jack Meyers, respectively. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, September 13 with a 14-race card highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 30, 2016 - Nothing But Nice and harness racing driver Sam Widger used a valiant stretch rally to get up in the final strides of the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, August 30. The Robert Reeser trained filly was able to overcome a tough, first-over trip to prevail in a tight photo in 1:56 over a sloppy rated track. After playing the bridesmaid in her last two outings, Nothing But Nice made amends this week to notch her second win of the season. After a break by the post-time favorite Ooh La La La and Tyler Smith behind the gate, John DeLong sent Naughty III away from the gate and pointed to the front. Naughty III grabbed the early lead through the opening panel in :27.2 but wouldn't have the lead for long as Dan Shetler Jr. gave Fawn De Savage the green light just before the half in :57.2. Fawn De Savage continued to call the shots approaching the final turn but would soon be joined on the outside by Nothing But Nice and Sam Widger who were the first to commit to the outer flow, first-over. Nothing But Nice was matching strides with the leader at the third station in 1:27.2 and Naughty III was looming large from the pocket. As the field turned for home, the stage was set for a battle to the wire. Naughty III found late racing room up the passing lane but Fawn De Savage wasn't giving it up without a fight. Widest of all, Nothing But Nice continued to rally on the outside and used a :28.3 final quarter to find the wire first. Fawn De Savage held on gamely for second place honors while Naughty III rounded out the trifecta. Nothing But Nice returned $8.80 at the betting windows for the slight upset. "She's a very consistent filly," trainer Bobby Reeser noted in the winner's circle. "Every week she goes out and gives 110%. She may not be able to beat them every week but she's a nice filly who tries really hard. She's consistent and goes out and does her job no matter what. She's a pleasure to have in the barn." The homebred daughter of Abc Garland-Eicarls Theresa has now won two of 14 seasonal outings and established a new lifetime mark with the win. Owned by Risto J. Vidgren, Nothing But Nice has now earned $168,885 while winning four of 23 lifetime outings. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, August 31 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Wednesday's 13-race card will also be highlighted by a $20,000 Guaranteed trifecta in the opening leg of the pick-5, race 9 on the card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 23, 2016 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's 2016 All-Star Driver Series highlighted the 14-race harness racing card on Saturday, July 23 and it was Sam Widger who took home top honors and won his share of the $5,000 round 1 prize. In its' third year, the 2016 All-Star Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park against one another in a five-race challenge with the ten coveted spots being based upon wins during the 2016 season. Widger, a 52-year-old, Illinois native, earned two wins, a second, a third, and a ninth place finish during the five-race competition for a total of 49 points to secure the win. John DeLong finished second with 39 points followed by Dan Shetler finishing third with 35 points. John DeLong found the winner's circle in the opening race of the challenge behind Skyway Billy for 15 points while Rick Plano and KW Express finished second to earn nine points. Widger was only able to muster a ninth place finish, earning two points. In the very next race, Dan Shetler and Why Ya Wanna used a gate-to-wire performance to find the winner's circle in a new lifetime best of 1:53.4. Trace Tetrick and Harley J rallied well to finish second while Legal Image got up for third place honors to give Widger 8 points. Widger eventually found the winner's circle in the third race of the challenge behind If I Lose for trainer Brett Selby, also scoring gate to wire in 1:51.4. After the third race of the challenge, three different drivers had found the winner's circle and it appeared to be a wide open affair. Widger lead all drivers with 25 points while Dan Shetler and John DeLong were tied with 24. After the fourth race of the series and just one race left to go, Mike Peterson garnered 15 points to move into third place with 30 points after a win behind Always A Force while just two points separated DeLong and Widger. Dan Shetler had accumulated 29 points for fourth. Widger was able to clinch the Round 1 trophy and the lion's share of the $5,000 prize in the final race by steering Steviescooter to victory in 1:52.3 by two and a half lengths for trainer Steve Brannan. DeLong secured second place in the series after a fourth place finish with Justlikeithought while Dan Shetler moved into third. "The last race of the challenge really worked out in my favor," Widger noted in the winner's circle. "Of course, you can play the races out in your head all you want but you can never be sure how they will go when the gate folds. Things worked out for me and I also had a little racing luck." Now in his 30th season as a driver, Widger has over 5,000 career wins as a driver and is responsible for the winners of over $42 million in purse earnings. Widger has been a mainstay atop the Hoosier Park leading driver ranks for the past several seasons and is currently third in the standings for the 2016 harness racing season. Widger is anxious to make amends for his second place finish in the 2015 Driver Series at Hoosier Park. "These challenges are always a lot of fun," Widger continued. "I was pretty happy with my picks coming in to tonight and felt good about my chances. I would love to win it all this year, I haven't forgotten about finishing second last year. We have fun with it and I'd like to thank everyone that made this possible." Widger will look to defend his title in round 2 of the All-Star Driver Series slated for Saturday, October 22 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. While round 2 will be conducted in the same manner as the first, the winner of the final challenge will have their choice of a dream prize, a $10,000 cash prize, an exotic vacation, or their favorite "always wanted to have" toy. With the points carrying over, the top eight finishers from round 1 will return for round 2 on Saturday, October 22 and the final two positions will be determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, October 15. Live racing will return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 26 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 5, 2016 - Indiana-sired freshman trotting fillies were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 5 as the evening's 14-race card was highlighted by the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals and $25,000 consolation for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Ajessia broke her maiden in fine fashion as she used a perfectly timed rally to pull the slight upset and best nine other rivals in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Trained and driven Doug Rideout, Ajessia scored her first career victory from just two lifetime starts in 1:57.3. Leaving from post three, Ajessia left just enough for position but a host of others also had the same idea. Trace Tetrick had Foxy Swan out and firing from post five and the duo grabbed the early lead in :27.4. Unable to find a spot along the rail, Ajessia continued her mission to the front and grabbed command just past the half in :57.1 but would yield the lead back to Foxy Swan approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Foxy Swan looked strong on the front but the field was starting to close in at the third station in 1:27.3. LeWayne Miller had Satin Dancer well placed along the rail in third but Ajessia was looming large in the pocket. Rideout tipped his filly to the outer flow and she dug in gamely to track down the leader and finish four lengths to the good. Satin Dancer rallied nicely in the lane to finish second while Foxy Swan held on for third. As the 7-1 choice, Ajessia returned $17.60 to her backers at the betting windows. "She can be a little tough to handle," Rideout noted of his filly. "She's fast, that's for sure but she is a handful and you just have to be careful with her. She threw her head last week so I let her have her way this week. I've always known she was fast, we just have to be careful with her." With the win, Ajessia not only scored her first career victory but also scored the first victory for her owners at S&R Racing who are new to harness racing this season. Purchased for $55,000 at the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale, the daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Atia has now earned $39,900 lifetime for her connections. With the win, Ajessia also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 15 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals. J-S Jesses Girl and Sam Widger also used a big rally late in the lane to score at odds of 5-1 in the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for two-year-old trotting fillies. Stopping the timer in 2:00.1, the two-year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Whatsyourpleasurek scored her first career victory from five starts for owner Jack Myers Racing, LLC. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 6 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the three-year-old trotting fillies and the opening round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for two-year-old trotting colts. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

The betting public dispatched the east coast invader Ontario Success off at overwhelming odds of 1 to 5 and the 6-year-old harness racing gelding didn’t disappoint his many backers in Saturday’s $12,500 featured Open Pace at Hawthorne. Nicely driven by veteran Illinois horseman Sam Widger Ontario Success ($2.60) was making his first local start under the care of trainer Roger Welch who was sent the talented pacer by conditioner and part-owner Ron Burke. Widger (pictured) used the one-slot to his advantage and had Ontario Success in the two-hole in the early going behind the 27-1 longshot Jones Beach (Simon Allard) who took the field to a rather leisurely 29 flat first quarter on a sloppy track. Sammy had Ontario Success out of the pocket on the backside and into the lead before the half-mile pole reached in 57 seconds. The winner was given a 29.1 third quarter breather and when the field started to bunch-up at the top of the lane, Widger asked his pacer for a more and Ontario Success responded, by pacing a 27 flat last panel in the rain. Jones Beach was second best, one length behind while Lonewolf Cruiser came on strong in the lane for third. Earlier the venerable ICF pacer Fort Silky followed a two-month layoff with his 58th career victory in the $9,500 sixth race conditioned pace for non-winners of $8,000 in their last five starts. Casey Leonard gave the now 10-year-old gelding a perfect pocket trip behind the even-money favorite Ice Scraper and Fort Silky did the rest, zipping past for a winning 1:56.3 mile on atrack soaked by the continued falling of snow throughout the evening. Fort Silky has now hauled-in just $80 short of $795,000 for owners John Prentice and Neva Kane Ikeeler, both of Paw Paw, Illinois. The $10,000 Open for 3 to 5-year-olds turned out to be no-contest with My Buddy Trickster ($7.60) much the best. Travis Seekman hustled the Bob Phillips trainee out from the outside post and once My Buddy Ninkster cleared to the top he had no trouble going all the way. The 4-5 favorite Feelnlikearockstar was a distant second, beaten five and one-half lengths at the end of a 1:54.3 mile. My Buddy Nnikster is owned by John and Mary Krasnican of Streator, Illinois. Casey Leonard had a driving triple, giving him nine winners on the first two Hawthorne cards. Seekman had a two-bagger Saturday. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

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 www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

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