09/19/2015 10:31PM

Hoosier: Homicide Hunter remains perfect in 2015

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Homicide Hunter hasn't lost in 13 starts this year.

On a chilly night in Indiana, the stakes action heated up at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 19 as Hoosier Park played host to Hoosier Champions Night, the fifth and final round of the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. Homicide Hunter and Hannelore Hanover shared the spotlight as they both overcame tough trips to score in their respective finals for the 3-year-old trotting divisions.

Homicide Hunter, with John DeLong in the bike, kept his perfect sophomore record in-tact as he earned his 13th straight victory in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings in 1:55. For the second consecutive week, Homicide Hunter was handed post position nine along with an imperfect trip but was able to overcome it all to find the winner’s circle and remain undefeated.

DeLong sent Homicide Hunter away from the gate but a host of others also left aggressively. Bluebird Reverend and Rick Farrington were the first to get a call through the opening panel in 27 1/5 but their lead would be short lived as Trace Tetrick had Hominy Hill pointed to the front.

Hominy Hill continued to call the shots through middle fractions of 56 4/5 and 1:27 while Homicide Hunter was unable to find a spot along the rail and pressed on to the front. Homicide Hunter reached the leader’s wheel as the field turned for home and the stage was set for a battle to the wire.

Just as soon as it looked like the taxing mile was beginning to take its toll, Homicide Hunter found another gear to put away Hominy Hill and hold off a late charge from Bluebird Reverend, who finished second. Using a 27 4/5 final quarter Homicide Hunter dug in gamely to get the win by three parts of a length. As the heavy favorite, Homicide Hunter returned $3.20 at the betting window.

“That’s two weeks in a row this horse has overcome a bad trip,” DeLong noted in the winner’s circle. “He’s just unbelievable. There’s no way he should have won that race tonight off that trip but, he did because he’s an amazing animal.”

“They’ve all done such a great job with him the entire season,” DeLong continued. “Everyone, they’ve done a perfect job managing him, taking care of him, everything. He’s a professional and an absolute pleasure to drive; I can’t say enough good things about him.”

With the victory, Homicide Hunter remains undefeated in 13 starts this season while earning $257,050. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham and trained by Curt Grummel, the homebred son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won 16 of 23 lifetime starts.

In the 3-year-old trotting filly division, Hannelore Hanover staged her own gutsy performance to score her fifth consecutive victory, tonight in 1:54 2/5 in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Driven by Ricky Macomber Jr., Hannelore Hanover was able to overcome a tough, first-over trip to score her sixth win of the season and put an end to Indiana Sires Stakes Champion, Churita’s undefeated sophomore season.

“We expected a good race tonight,” assistant trainer Jamie Macomber noted after the victory. “It actually was a great drive by Ricky (Macomber), he deserves all the credit. She can’t be rushed off the gate and he did the right thing by letting her get settled in and then moving her when he did.”

“She’s just been really green all season,” she continued. “We’ve spent all summer teaching her how to race and figuring her out but she loves what she does and she’s pure class. She’s finally starting to put it all together and figure this racing thing out.”

Trained by Hoosier Park’s leading conditioner, Ron Burke, the daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety notched her sixth win from 17 seasonal outings. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, W. Haas, and F. Baldachino, Hannelore Hanover has now amassed $198,387 lifetime.

-edited release (Hoosier Park)