08/27/2009 11:00PM

Hoosier Kingdom faces older


The 3-year-old Hoosier Kingdom takes on his elders and returns to statebred company in the $70,000 Brickyard at Hoosier Park.

Trained by Ron Herrell, Hoosier Kingdom blossomed this season when brought back to the Indiana-bred ranks. He was campaigned in Florida over the winter. Herrell began training Hoosier Kingdom this past spring and he reeled off four straight wins, including the six-furlong Snack on June 13 by eight lengths.

Herrell then entered Hoosier Kingdom in the Governors, a one-mile turf event for Indiana-bred 3-year-olds. He responded well, winning by 4 1/2 lengths in ridden out fashion on July 14.

Hoosier Kingdom then was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington. He set the pace for six furlongs before tiring badly over the good turf course to finish last.

"This is the first Thoroughbred the owners have had," Herrell said. "One of the owners, Dr. [Keith] Wexler, is from Chicago and they got together and decided to see just what we had. He won his Indiana-bred races easily and the turf stake impressively. I realize it was a huge jump, but we figured it would be a fun weekend no matter what happened and it was.

"They treated us with great respect up there. It had rained hard a day or two before and the turf was really soft. It took a lot out of him."

Herrell is confident Hoosier Kingdom is ready to run his best in the six-furlong Brickyard.

"He came back great, he is training super and on his toes," Herrell said. "[Orlando] Mojica has been working him and he said the colt is feeling great. I think we have a good shot and am glad we drew the one post."

Unreachable Star will be flying late in the Brickyard. The 5-year-old Unreachable Star won the William Henry Harrison at Indiana Downs on May 30 in his only six- furlong race this season. Rafael Hernandez will ride for the first time.