07/19/2013 4:35PM

Indiana Downs: Lucrative day for Lauer


Mike Lauer enjoyed two of the best hours of his life Wednesday night, when his horses accounted for three restricted stakes wins at Indiana Downs in suburban Indianapolis.

Within a five-race span, Lauer won the $89,500 Florence Henderson with Dreamin Big, the $89,650 A.J. Foyt with Sneakin Away, and the $150,000 Governor’s Stakes with Joint Tenant. Lauer not only trains all three but bred and owns them, too, along with his wife, Penny.

“The Indiana program has been very good to us over the years,” said Lauer, who has about 30 horses split between Churchill Downs and Indiana Downs. “We’ve tried to increase the value of our mares and their produce by participating in the program, and that’s what it’s done. We’re small breeders, and it’s kept us in the game.”

The winners’ shares from the three races totaled more than $185,000, which does not include the 20 percent breeders’ bonuses that also will be paid.

Lauer, 61, is a lifelong horseman whose best score came when he sold a homebred named Snack for a big number eight years ago.

“This was another of those life-changers,” he said. “We’ve still got two daughters in college, so this was huge.”

Dreamin Big was the 2-1 favorite in her race, while Sneakin Away, co-owned by Jerry Merritt, was 13-1, and Joint Tenant was almost 30-1.