10/31/2014 9:41PM

Hoosier: Father Patrick defeated, others shine in Friday stakes action

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Linscott Photo
E L Titan defeated Father Patrick by a half-length in the Carl Erskine.

The weather wreaked havoc as many of the top pacers and trotters of the sport competed at Hoosier Park on Friday night. Over a surface rated good with rain, intermittent snow, and heavy winds, it was hard to decipher how to evaluate the top equines in five major stakes, but the show must go on.

Father Patrick looked to continue his run as the top 3-year-old trotting colt in North America, but was handed a major blow to his Horse of the Year aspirations as E L Titan fended him off in 1:57 2/5.

Odds On Amethyst set the fractions for the opening half in 27 1/5 and 59 2/5 when E L Titan pulled from third to make a brush to the front. Ron Pierce and E L Titan led the field around the final turn as Father Patrick loomed a serious threat in a very slow 1:30 three-quarter clocking.

Father Patrick appeared to have every chance in the stretch but simply couldn’t make a serious dent in E L Titan’s lead. At the wire the margin of victory was a half-length and the winner survived a long inquiry as he clearly drifted across the track and allegedly interfered with Father Patrick.

For E L Titan ($12.20), it was his third win in seven starts this year. The colt increased his current year earnings to $363,212 for trainer Riina Rekila and owner Erkki Laakkonen.

The upsets continued in the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older combatants. With the public eye on Ron Burke trainees Sweet Lou and Clear Vision, it was stable mate Bettor’s Edge that took home the top prize.

Foiled Again was used a bit to wrestle command from Thinking Out Loud after an opening quarter of 26 3/5, but Sweet Lou quickly engaged the leader and took charge. Setting the typical-for-the-night slow half in 58 seconds, Sweet Lou began to face heavy pressure from Clear Vision on the rim in a fairly quick 28 1/5 third quarter. Those two would battle with Foiled Again looming in the pocket. It looked to be one of that Burke trio, but in came a fourth horse from the Burke brigade to swoop down with fast final strides to score in 1:53.

Sweet Lou, who put in a much improved effort after a recent dry spell, finished second ahead of Clear Vision and Foiled Again.

It was the second straight victory and eighth on the year for Bettor’s Edge ($12.60), who has earned $673,784 for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and the M1 stable.

Putting a halt on the string of upset winners was Always B Miki in the $275,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old pacing colts.

Sent off as the 3-2 second choice, Always B Miki watched as Big Boy Dreams made the front past the opening quarter in 26 seconds. Then driver David Miller made his move and gunned Always B Miki to the front. He set ambitious fractions of 56 2/5 and 1:25 4/5 while facing a tough first-over bid from Somewhere In L A, but Always B Miki simply proved too much for the competition, drawing away late to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:52.

Limelight Beach was second and Somewhere In L A third. Favored JK Endofanera received a ground-saving trip and had no chance late.

Always B Miki has now won 11 of 18 starts in 2014 for the ownership group of Bluewood Stable, Val D’Or Farms, and Roll The Dice stable. Joe Holloway trains the winner of $778,982 this year.

Shake It Cerry charged home off lackluster cover and won the $193,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters somewhat easily.

Linscott Photo      Shake It Cerry and Ron Pierce.

Riveting Rosie posted the opening fraction on the board in 27 2/5 before driver Yannick Gingras brushed Lifetime Pursuit from the pocket to the top in a slow 59 2/5 half. Gingras would pick up the pace only slightly with a 30 2/5 third quarter and it seemed as though race favorite Shake It Cerry, who was following somewhat lackluster cover from Cee Bee Yes, would have her work cut out in the stretch.

Shake It Cerry was at least three lengths behind Lifetime Pursuit as the field straightened for home. She was put to a mild drive by Ron Pierce and gobbled up ground to win going away in the final strides in 1:57.

Shake It Cerry ($3.60) has won 13 of 15 races in 2014 for $899,936 in earnings. Jimmy Takter trains the daughter of Donato Hanover for Solveig’s Racing Partners.

Hometown favorite Color’s A Virgin stamped herself as the divisional leader with a convincing victory in the $176,500 Nadia Lobell for sophomore pacing fillies.

Katie Said gunned to the front ahead of Precocious Beauty and Color’s A Virgin off the wings of the gate. She set fractions of 26 2/5 and 58 3/5 before feeling the heat from Color’s A Virgin on the rim. With three quarters on the board in 1:28 2/5, Color’s A Virgin had gained a narrow advantage that would soon be open lengths as Trace Tetrick put her to a drive. In the end she won by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:55 over Gallie Bythe Beach, who could not capitalize on the cover trip.

Color’s A Virgin ($7.00) has earned $472,622 this year for owner Emarald Highlands Farm. She has been expertly trained by Brian Brown to 12 wins in 16 starts.