Will Carson and Jerry Pint’s Heza Wild Guy, now in his ninth season of racing, has a chance to become the top Indiana-bred money winner of all time July 13 in the A.J. Foyt Stakes at Indiana Downs.
Trained by Bernell Rhone, Heza Wild Guy, a 10-year-old gelding by Wild Event out of the Sunny’s Halo mare Hebe’s Halo, has earned $645,868 in 73 races. He broke his maiden at 2 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in 2003 and has gone on to win 30 races, seven of them stakes.
Heza Wild Guy, who was bred by Mari Hulman George’s Circle S Ranch, will attempt to win the A.J. Foyt, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes, for the fourth consecutive year. He is the 2010 Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association horse of the year.
Heza Wild Guy would set the earnings record with a finish of fifth or better in the A.J. Foyt.
The Indiana-bred earnings record of $646,935 is held by Hillsdale, who raced 41 times and won 23 races. According to Equibase, which has limited past-performance information from the 1950s, Hillsdale raced for three years and won 14 stakes, all of them in 1958-59.
The horse by Take Away out of the Johnstown mare Johann won the Hollywood Gold Cup—then worth $150,000—in 1959, as well as the $100,000 Californian Stakes. Though based in California, he finished second that year in the $103,110 Woodward Stakes at Aqueduct, and in 1958 won and placed in stakes at Atlantic City Race Course.
Heza Wild Guy, who has won 18 of 44 starts on grass, was claimed by Carson and Pint from Circle S Ranch for $16,000 at Tampa Bay Downs in 2006. He was claimed away for $25,000 at Canterbury Park in 2007, and taken right back for $25,000 in his next start, also at Canterbury.
Since then Heza Wild Guy has races in stakes and allowance company at tracks in the Midwest. He will make only his third start of 2011; last time out he won the Brooks Fields Stakes on the dirt at Canterbury.
A full field of 12 was entered in the A.J. Foyt for state-breds on closing night at Indiana Downs. Heza Wild Guy, to be ridden by Tom Pompell, is the 3-1 morning-line choice. Second choice at 7-2 is Indiana-bred standout Unreachable Star, a 7-year-old Unloosened gelding with a large bankroll as well.
Owned by Loosen Up Stable, bred by Dr. Crystal Chapple, and trained by Tim Glyshaw, Unreachable Star has won 14 of 45 starts—including five stakes—for earnings of $525,013.
The A.J. Foyt is the third race on a 12-race program at Indiana Downs, where first post time is set for 4:55 p.m. EDT.