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Hard Luck Justice surprises in Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Hard Luck Justice seems to be changing his luck. The sophomore son of Harry’s Holiday earned his first stakes win in the 13th running of the $75,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes Wednesday, June 23 at Indiana Grand.


Hard Luck Justice had the extreme outside post nine in the one and one-sixteenth mile event, so getting away in mid-pack was a good spot for jockey Sammy Bermudez. Nobody Listens and Joe Ramos had the front, and Ramos had a big hold on the grey. Heading into the final turn, Bermudez began asking Hard Luck Justice to accelerate and he responded.


Midway through the turn, Hard Luck Justice had only one horse to run down and that was Nobody Listens. He was persistent in his pursuit and into the lane, he matched strides with Nobody Listens. Both horses dug in gamely and weren’t going to give in without a fight. Hard Luck Justice was able to get by Nobody Listens and moved on for the win by six and one-quarter lengths in a time of 1:46.24. Altered and Jermaine Bridgmohan closed in gamely for second with a nose advantage over third place finisher Lookin At Justice and Marcelino Pedroza Jr.


“In his stakes race last year, he was covered up and seemed intimidated,” explained Bermudez. “I think adding blinkers to him today was a big help. He moved really well around those horses. He was getting a little tired in the stretch, but he never gave up and he dug in all the way to the wire.”


Hard Luck Justice paid $20.80 for the win. It was his second career trip to the winner’s circle for trainer Lonnie Hinds and owner Joselyn Vanesa Salazar. The three-year-old gelding now has more than $75,000 in career earnings in only six career starts.


“We bought him at the sale as a yearling from Justice Farm,” said Hinds. “We had an unexpected delay last year. He shin bucked so we laid him off. He has been training really well leading up to this race and we thought he would like the distance.”


Hinds has been training Thoroughbreds full time for the past 20 years. Prior to that, he was a truck driver and worked around the Louisville, Ky. He’s always had an interest in horse racing and was able to make it a full-time career. In addition to his racing stock, which he trains on the grounds at Indiana Grand, Hinds has one yearling and one brood mare at his 20-acre farm in Columbus, Ind. This is her first foal, an Indiana bred yearling filly who will hopefully be on the track next year for Hinds at Indiana Grand.


The 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is now in progress and continues through Monday, Nov. 8. Live racing is conducted at 2:25 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with first post on Thursday set at 3:25 p.m. A special Indiana Champions Day highlighting the state’s top Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning at noon. More information about the 2021 racing season is available at www.caesars.com/indiana-grand