10/21/2015 5:41PM

Hoosier Park: Time to ‘Wiggle It’ in the Circle City

Derick Giwner
Wiggle It Jiggleit will be a heavy favorite in the 11th race on Friday night at Hoosier Park.

While nearly every eye in harness racing will definitely be affixed to what transpires this Saturday (October 24) in the Great White North, Hoosier Park commands attention on Friday (October 23) as the Anderson oval provides a 13-race card featuring six divisions of the Circle City Stakes for 3-year-olds of both genders and gaits. While the evening’s program affords a multitude of opportunities to witness some quality horses perform, the marquee attraction is the return of Wiggle It Jiggleit, the sport’s top ranked horse, after his second-place finish on October 10 in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Super final to Breeders Crown participant Freaky Feet Pete.

So why would the connections of harness racing’s most outstanding horse, who is a world champion and has annexed the Meadowlands Pace, Little Brown Jug, Hempt Memorial, Battle of Brandywine and the Milstein Memorial en route to earning more than $1.8 million in 2015 alone, elect to bypass a race that offers a purse far superior to the $43,500 at Hoosier Park?

It’s quite simple really.

[HOOSIER PARK: Watch Wiggle It Jiggleit and others in the Circle City--Live on DRF Friday!]

“Hoosier Park has wanted us to come out there again and they have been very patient and gracious,” said George Teague during the winner’s circle celebration at the Little Brown Jug. “The horse is an Indiana-bred and they have a terrific program out there. It’s the least we can do to take Wiggle It Jiggleit out there to compete and showcase what Indiana racing is all about.”

Teague also mentioned that Freaky Feet Pete was a horse that is “the real deal” and was quite gracious in defeat to that foe in a winner’s circle that was thronged with the “Freaky Faithful.” He congratulated the Rheinheimers on their victory and personally acknowledged the quality of their horse.

On Friday night, the son of Mr. Wiggles and Mozzi Hanover will step on center stage for the 11th race where he will compete against 10 rivals. While none of his opponents possess credentials as stellar as the gelding’s, his presence certainly did not scare anyone away.

As usual, Montrell Teague will be at the controls and Clyde Francis will oversee his preparation prior to him commencing his journey from post position three. Despite the lack of divisional stars “Pete,” Wakizashi Hanover and Artspeak, Wiggle It Jiggleit will face some quality competition.

One such horse is Betting Exchange. The New York Sire Stakes champion is a son of Bettor’s Delight and Cheeky Hanover trained by Tom Fanning. He leaves from post nine and picks up the services of the facility’s leading pilot in Trace Tetrick.

Another horse that could step up and keep pace with Wiggle It Jiggleit is Cooperstown. Hailing from the potent Ron Burke barn, this colt by Four Starzzz Shark and out of the American Ideal mare American Charm, has kept top class company all season. With Hoosier Park’s all-time winningest driver, Ricky Macomber Jr., doing the steering, Cooperstown is capable of striding to a career best performance.

Although Wiggle It Jiggleit will garner the lion’s share of the spotlight, there are horses on the undercard that are extremely deserving of their position in the show. Newly crowned Indiana champion Homicide Hunter will seek to extend his unblemished 15-for-15 seasonal campaign when he takes on eight other diagonally gaited colleagues in his $43,000 Circle City Stake division. “Hunter” will begin trotting from post position three with regular reinsman John De Long, who is having the quite the spectacular season of his own in the Hoosier State, in the bike. This contest serves as the preview to Wiggle It Jiggleit’s performance, as it is the 10th race of the evening.

This night is not solely centered around the boys, as some very classy ladies are set to place their talents on display in their respective divisions of the Circle City Stakes. Bright Baby Blues, the third-place finisher in this year’s Hambletonian Oaks and Kentucky Filly Futurity, will clash with Indiana champion Churita in the program’s 6th race. The Bob Stewart trained lass starts from post position four and will have Aaron Merriman guiding her to the finish. Churita, who seeks to return to the form that saw her capture nine straight races, will leave from the 10-hole and as is the norm, Trace Tetrick will be driving.

Race Eight features the appearance of Canadian standout Muscle Baby Doll. The Elegantimage and Casual Breeze victress, who resides in Trent Stohler’s shedrow, also is aiming to have her picture taken once again after coming home behind the likes of Solar Sister and Mission Brief. John De Long is the individual responsible for placing her in the correct spot for that to transpire.

The stakes-filled Friday card at Hoosier gets underway at 5:45 p.m.