Spa City Records More Than A Title In Salute To Heroes Stakes At Indiana Grand - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Spa City Records More Than A Title In Salute To Heroes Stakes At Indiana Grand

A win by Spa City in the inaugural running of the $75,000 Salute the Heroes Stakes was much bigger than the blanket and trophy. The win by the horse and Edgar Morales capped off a special Pick 5 Charity Challenge where 20 handicappers from across the nation placed wagers into the pool. Of those tickets, three players, Ellis Starr, Dan Tordjman and Jimmy McNerney, hit to tally a total of $2,839.65. On top of that, Trainer Tom Amoss called in and donated his trainer's percentage from the race to the cause, bringing the total donated to Homeless Veterans and Families (HVAF) of Indiana to $7,362.65.

Assistant trainer Katy Allen took the call from Amoss as the horse was walking out of the winner's circle to deliver the charitable news during the post-race interview. All proceeds will go to HVAF to assist with their various programs, from their food bank and housing for homeless veterans to their education and job search program. The organization is located in downtown Indianapolis and serves the region, which includes the local community around Indiana Grand.

Spa City is a recent acquisition through a claim by owner Maggi Moss and trainer Tom Amoss. His new connections saw potential right away in the four-year-old gelded son of Street Sense and thought the Salute the Heroes Stakes was a good spot to test his skills.

Starting from post six in the seven-horse lineup, Morales saw early on that using early speed was not the ticket to the finish line and sat patiently in mid pack with Spa City. Around the final turn, the gelding came to life and used the stretch to rally home for the easy win by three and three-quarter lengths. Bayou Cat and Rodney Prescott finished a comfortable second over Warrior in Chief and Marcelino Pedroza Jr. for third.

“I saw this horse came from off the pace before, so we thought that was the best way to go since there was so much early speed in this race,” said Morales. “The eight (Bybee) broke better than us so I stayed around him early. He ran a pretty good race at Churchill in his last start. He is a nice and easy horse to ride with a big stride and when I asked him for more, he gave it to me.”

Spa City earned his fifth career win in 14 career starts and boosted his career earnings tally to nearly $200,000. He is now three for three at Indiana Grand over the dirt course. He was bred by Godolphin.

“This horse is so nice to be around,” added Katy Allen, who has collectively worked for the Amoss Stable for seven years. “He is so sweet in the stall and when Tom (Amoss) claimed him, I was so happy because he won that race very handily. We were hoping for a big run tonight and we are happy with his performance.”

Amoss, a six-time leading trainer at Indiana Grand, is the track's all-time winning trainer in wins with more than 400 trips to the winner's circle. He also holds several other training records, including most wins in one season by a trainer (81) and most purse earnings by a trainer in one season ($1.5 million), both set in 2013.

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