06/22/2017 8:29AM

Retrospection, Whistle Stop win divisions of Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes

Linscott Photography
Retrospection beats Mind Reader by a head in the open division of the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes.

Robby Albarado’s first ride this year at Indiana Grand was pretty amazing.

Albarado rode Retrospection for trainer Mike Maker and owner Beth Burkett in the $105,300 open division of the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes on Wednesday. Retrospection broke from the rail in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race and stayed there for most of the trip, horse and rider squeezing through a couple of narrow holes into and around the far turn. And then things really got hairy.

In the homestretch, Albarado steered into the 2 path, taking Retrospection around fading pacesetter Evader, but Deshawn Parker and Mind Reader were going strongly just outside Evader and didn’t give an inch, pushing back as Retrospection tried to push out.

“He held me in pretty good,” Albarado said.

But Retrospection somehow shouldered his way through a tiny gap, then finished slightly better than 11-1 shot Mind Reader to win by a head. The top two were much the best, with third-place Dox Folly, a 79-1 shot, more than seven lengths back in third.

Retrospection, by Daaher and out of Atherbest, by Silver Hawk, won for just the second time in five starts. Off fractions of 23.42 seconds, 47.08, and 1:11.46, he ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.90 while paying $10.40 as the bet-down second choice. Plainfield, the 3-5 favorite who had beaten Retrospection by a half-length in their common last start, never threatened and finished fifth.

Whistle Stop doesn’t falter in fillies division

Whistle Stop was a precocious 2-year-old, showing good speed in a successful start to her career last summer at Indiana Grand. In her first try around two turns in an Indiana Grand stakes race last October, she finished fourth, beaten more than 13 lengths.

But on Wednesday in the $104,300 fillies division of the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes, Whistle Stop rated comfortably just off the pace, took over in midstretch, and won by two lengths. Midnight Blvd finished a very troubled second, a head better than odds-on favorite Defining Hope.

“Look at her – she’s a little filly,” said winning jockey Marcelino Pedroza.” I thought she couldn’t even go long really, but she’s got a big heart and tries so hard. I thought she was going to run off for a second in the first turn, but she did relax for me.”

Whistle Stop’s willingness to come back to her rider got her a great trip pressing Bar Rag’s soft pace through splits of 24.46, 48.52, and 1:12.77.  Whistle Stop overtook her at the top of the stretch and never was threatened, though Midnight Blvd probably would’ve made a race of it had she ever found room to run. Instead, Midnight Blvd found herself bottled up behind three horse for most of the stretch run, finishing strongly to get second by a head over Defining Hope when finally clear in the last half-furlong as Bar Rag faded to fourth.

Whistle Stop, by Into Mischief and out of Whistlin’ Jean, by Pure Prize, was bred and is owned by Penny Lauer and is trained by her husband, Mike Lauer. She won for the fifth time in 11 starts and paid her backers $13.40.