Luck has turned around for Hard Luck Justice this season.
After winning only one race in limited starts as a two-year-old, Hard Luck Justice scored his fourth win of the season Wednesday in the $100,000 ITOBA Stallion Season Stakes at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Indiana.
Hard Luck Justice (photo) was the heavy favorite for good reason. The three-year-old Harry’s Holiday gelding had two previous stakes wins this season and was ready for action from post five. Ridden by Sammy Bermudez, Hard Luck Justice got away in mid pack and waited patiently as Sudden Shift and Eddie Perez set the pace on the front.
Heading into the final turn of the one-mile event, Bermudez timed his move just right, taking over on the front end for the stretch drive.
Hard Luck Justice was well under wraps for Bermudez down the stretch. Bermudez looked behind him a couple of times to ensure their lead would hold up and it did. Bermudez never asked Hard Luck Justice for more speed in the late stages of the race, winning by three and one-half lengths.
Rockin All Night and Tommy Pompell closed well for second over Sudden Shift.
Owned by Joselyn Salazar, Hard Luck Justice is now four for seven in 2021. He increased his bankroll to nearly $300,000 for trainer Lonnie Hinds, who has had the horse from the beginning. Bermudez has been aboard for all four of his wins in 2021.
“He’s just a push button horse,” said Bermudez, who also won the ITOBA Stallion Season Fillies Stakes Wednesday at Indiana Grand. “He’s an easy horse to ride. When he sees the red and white pole, he knows it’s time to take off.”
Bermudez has now scored eight stakes wins on the season to add to an impressive year so far. The Puerto Rican-born jockey is currently in third place in the standings with 71 wins and more than $2 million in purses. When asked about his exceptional year on the track, the humble Bermudez said, “There are no words how happy I am. I am very blessed.”