The Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park this Friday continues your hunt in the Grand Circuit $1 Million Challenge and we’ve assembled a crackerjack group of experts to help you as you make your pick in the contest.
Reminder: If you haven’t picked a horse that doesn’t win in the first several races, you can still be eligible for the 2nd Prize of $10,000 so keep voting!
Cliff Fraser: 5-1-3-2
#5 SWEET LOU – Consistent 1:47 pacer is at the top of his game and established himself as the top pacer in North America. Enters this off an eight race win streak against some of the top pacers. The post draw could have been the icing on the cake for a Dan Patch victory. This 5yo son of Yankee Cruiser should find a hole just off the pace in here and pull heading out of the first turn. Should prove very difficult to catch at that point. Looks to be his race to lose.
#1 DANCIN YANKEE – Probably Sweet Lou’s biggest threat in here. Sweet Lou’s last defeat came at the hands of Dancin Yankee in an Invite at Poconos back in May. These two haven’t crossed paths since. This 6yo horse gets the rail and should find himself close to Sweet Lou heading into the turn. It’ll be interesting to see which one pulls first. It will likely be a foot race to the wire from there.
#3 NIGHT PRO – Indiana’s top pacer enters this off seven consecutive wins over the Hoosier Park oval. Versatile 4yo will likely have to leave in here tonight similar to the Battle of Lake Erie. His consistent 1:49 pacing ability at Hoosier Park matches up well with the others miles at Pocono and Meadowlands. Sleeper.
#2 THINKING OUT LOUD – No match for Sweet Lou over the past few starts, but has factored in each. Look for John Campbell to take this one back early and save him for one shot at the leaders in the long Hoosier Park stretch. With a break-neck pace up front this one could benefit late. All depends on how the pace sets up in here.
5. SWEET LOU – With the recent success of Sweet Lou and the record of previous Dan Patch starters from the Burke barn, this edition belongs to Lou. More Dan Patch winners have started from post position 5 than any other and this starting position fits his style of racing perfectly. He is at the top of his game.
2. THINKING OUT LOUD – He along with 3 others in this field has been chasing Sweet Lou to no avail. Despite being parked out every step in his last start he still finished on the board. Post position is the key here for Campbell who by staying close could slip through and hit the board again. Back class will assist.
3. NIGHT PRO – The IN champion faces his biggest test here. He recently stepped out of his box and showed his ability in the Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield and bested some heavy hitters there. He has won from post 9 in his last 3 Hoosier Park starts pacing under 1:50 each start. Peter Wrenn has timed the Hoosier Park stretch better than any other driver time and time again. Sleeper.
These statements do not reflect the views of the Harness Racing Fan Zone or the United States Trotting Association