09/29/2011 12:21PM

Hoosier Park: Kentucky shippers Glenwood Canyon, Hurricane Ike top Schaefer Stakes


ANDERSON, Ind. – One of the telling signs of a marquee day at any racetrack is the number of stakes on the undercard. And given that eight stakes precede the Indiana Oaks and Indiana Derby on a 12-race program Saturday at Hoosier Park, there can be little doubt about the import the day will carry for Indiana racing.

Six Indiana-bred events, each worth $84,000, precede the $100,000 Mari Hulman George and $100,000 Michael Schaefer, making for an outstanding afternoon of racing. Working backward, here follow brief synopses of each:

◗ Schaefer (race 10): Kentucky shippers Glenwood Canyon and Hurricane Ike will start alongside each other in outside posts as likely favorites in this two-turn mile that drew eight older horses. Terry Thompson is 2 for 2 aboard Hurricane Ike at the current Hoosier meet.

“He’s done everything I’ve asked of him,” Thompson said.

Glenwood Canyon, trained by Al Stall Jr. of Blame fame, exits a tough Saratoga race won by Rule. Robby Albarado has the call.

The Schaefer is named for the late chairman of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. Schaefer was highly instrumental in bringing parimutuel racing to the state in the mid-1990s.

◗ Mari Hulman George (race 9): Freedom Star ships in for Bob Baffert off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch and figures to be tough to catch as a big favorite in this 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares. Afleeting Lady, going for the same owner-trainer-jockey connections as Shackleford in the Indiana Derby, is among the seven challengers.

The George kicks off an all-stakes, program-ending pick-four wager (races 9-12) anchored by the Indiana Derby.

◗ Gus Grissom (race 8): Unreachable Star, a longtime standout in the statebred ranks as an earner of nearly $575,000, stretches out from back-to-back sprints for Tim Glyshaw, who entered this week 7 for 14 at Hoosier with his Kentucky shippers. Liepers Fork looms the main threat in a field of 11.

◗ Hoosier Breeders Sophomore (male division, race 7): Pass the Crown took a pass on a possible run in the Indiana Derby to make his two-turn debut in what shapes up as a pretty deep race. Ellenberger Park, K Run, and Doctor Mark also contend.

◗ Indiana Futurity (race 5): Senor Rain ships in from Southern California for trainer Peter Miller as a real standout in this six-furlong race for 2-year-olds. Thompson will be aboard the chestnut ridgling from post 1.

◗ Miss Indiana (race 4): There’s strength in numbers as evidenced by the three-ply entry of Slacker, Yeardley, and Slim’s Shady Lady, all of whom own maiden romps. They’ll be looking to turn tables on Saint D’aroak, winner of a similar race three weeks ago.

◗ Hoosier Breeders Sophomore (female division, race 3): Kentucky-based Wind Energy has gone through her statebred conditions in style for Bernie Flint and now seems better prepared for stakes competition. The gray filly will be favored over Dreamin Big, Princess Gone Wild, and a three-way Bob Gorham entry.

◗ Richmond (race 2): Sweetonrich and Lovely Leeann start alongside each other as the likely favorites in this 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares. Richard Kohnhorst, trainer of Sweetonrich, is having another productive Hoosier meet, having won with 12 of his first 38 starters here.