ANDERSON, Ind.—September 20, 2022— The stage is set for harness racing’s brightest stars to compete on a blockbuster night of racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 23.
The Grand Circuit returns to Anderson, Indiana with over $1.5 million in purses on the evening, highlighted by the return of the World’s Fastest Standardbred, Bulldog Hanover (Shadow Play) in the Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, as well as the fifth edition of the Caesars Trotting Classic.
A talented field of 10 has been assembled for this year’s $220,000 edition of the Caesars Trotting Classic. Set to go as race 14 on the 15-race card, morning line favoritism in the Caesars Trotting Classic falls to the wickedly fast Cuatro De Julio (Trixton). Leaving from the rail Friday night, the Marie Ortolan Bar trained stallion enters the Caesars Trotting Classic red-hot having picked up victories in his last two starts in the Sebastian K Invitational at Pocono Downs, as well as the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs on September 10. The four-year-old stallion has won three of nine on the season entering the Caesars Trotting Classic, banking $328,738 over the course of 2022.
Cuatro De Julio will have the second choice on the morning line on his back from the start, as the champion mare, Bella Bellini (Bar Hopping) starts from the second tier in post 10. The 2021 Dan Patch Award winner has picked up where she left off last season, winning six times in 13 starts in 2022, including victories in the Graduate Final for trotting mares, and in the $432,000 Hambletonian Maturity against male rivals. With earnings over $1.6 million in her career, the 2021 Hambletonian Oaks winner has been established at odds of 7-2 on the morning line for trainer Nifty Norman and regular pilot Dexter Dunn aboard.
In total, the 2022 Caesars Trotting Classic field has compiled over $8.8 million in career earnings in a field that also features the likes of 2021 Dan Patch Award Winner, Jujubee, making just his second start in 2022, as week as the defending champion of the Caesars Trotting Classic and 2019 Hambletonian winner, Forbidden Trade. The purse for the Caesars Trotting Classic saw a boost this year, as the Chris Beaver trained Kildare King was a supplemental entry into this year’s event, bringing the total purse up from $200,000 to $220,000.
The 2022 Caesars Trotting Classic field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes:
- Cuatro De Julio (Trixton) Tr: Marie Ortolan Bar Dr: Yannick Gingras M/L: 2-1
- It’s Academic (Uncle Peter) Tr: Ron Burke Dr: John De Long M/L: 15-1
- Logan Park (Archangel) Tr: Robert Fellows Dr: Trevor Henry M/L: 20-1
- Kings County (Muscle Hill) Tr: Stacey Van Huizen Dr: Brett Miller M/L: 12-1
- Winning Ticket (Triumphant Caviar) Tr: Chris Beaver Dr: Aaron Merriman M/L: 20-1
- Forbidden (Kadabra) Trade Tr: Luc Blais Dr: Bob McClure M/L: 6-1
- Jujubee (Creatine) Tr: Greg Wright Jr. Dr: Andrew McCarthy M/L: 5-1
- Lovedbythemasses (Muscle Mass) Tr: Jeff Cullipher Dr: Tim Tetrick M/L: 8-1
- Kildare King (Trixton) Tr: Christopher Beaver Dr: Aaron Merriman M/L: 10-1
- Bella Bellini (Bar Hopping) Tr: Dexter Dunn Dr: Dexter Dunn M/L: 7-2
Just prior to the Caesars Trotting Classic, Harrah’s Hoosier Park fans can witness the return of the World’s Fastest Standardbred, Bulldog Hanover in the $200,000 Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. The World Champion has been established as the 2-5 morning line favorite in the field of 10 set to go as the evening’s thirteenth race. It’s the first time Bulldog Hanover will return to Harrah’s Hoosier Park since his dominant 1:48:1 victory in the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes on August 12, in the meantime, he’s continued his remarkable stretch of victories with back-to-back wins at Woodbine Mohawk, including a 1:46:4 Canadian Record equaling effort in the Canadian Pacing Derby. The top-rated horse in all of harness racing has won 10 times in 2022, including his current historic nine-race win streak on his way to banking $924,331 this year.
The Bulldog will take on nine other rivals in the Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, including the likes of 2021 Dan Patch Award winner, Allywag Hanover, 2021 Dan Patch Stakes Champion, Catch The Fire, as well as a two-time winner of the Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and near triple millionaire, This Is The Plan. In total, the field for the Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby has combined for 188 career victories and over $13 million in career earnings. The Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby is set to go postward at 10:31pm eastern time.
Also on the card are the likes of 2022 Hambletonian Champion, Cool Papa Bell in the $90,000 Phil Langley Memorial where he’ll take on a field of five including the unbeaten Indiana Superstar, Ponda Adventure. Jim Campbell’s Hambletonian Oaks Champion, Fashion Schooner will take on and unbeaten Hoosier champion of her own with M-M’s Dream in the $110,000 Moni Maker. Other stakes on the evening include the $100,000 Madison County, $240,000 Kentuckiana Stakes, $140,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy and $110,000 Elevation Stakes on the 15-race card.
Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in three special wagers offered on the Caesars Trotting Classic card. A $20,000 Guaranteed Late Pick-4 will be offered in races 12-15, a $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta on the Caesars Trotting Classic in race 14, as well as a $15,000 guaranteed Hoosier High Five in the race 15 finale. Each wager is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association.
In addition to the special wagers, guests can also enjoy the likes of $250 MegaBets on the Caesars Trotting Classic, a $1,000 Late Night Lucky cash drawing immediately following the Caesars Trotting Classic, as well as a $2,000 Late Pick 5 Win & Grin promotion. Guests are encouraged to visit a Trackside Promotional Kiosk to enter beginning at 5pm. Harrah’s Hoosier Park will also have food trucks, outdoor games and other entertainment to coincide with a terrific night of racing.
Caesars Trotting Classic night will also feature a driver autograph session, family-friendly activities as well as a Caesars Trotting Classic long-sleeve shirt giveaway. Guests will also go home with commemorative Bulldog Hanover posters to celebrate the return of the Fastest Standardbred of All-time returning to Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
For more information on the Caesars Trotting Classic and 2022 live racing season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, guests are encouraged to visit here.
For complete race entries, click here.
by Jake Rheinheimer, for Hoosier Park