Local Sports

Longshot winner Tay scores victory in season opener at Horseshoe Indianapolis

There is something special about winning the first race of meet. It sets the tone for the season. That is just what Tay did for the Scott Mullins Stable Tuesday at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Starting from the outside post six, Tay and jockey Alberto Burgos (photo) were in contention early on the outside of the five and one-half furlong event. Sacred Sky and Joe Ramos held down the early lead on the inside but around the final turn, Tay and veteran racehorse Double Tuff with Rodney Prescott moved as a team toward the leaders.

At the head of the stretch, those two began to put some distance between themselves and the remainder of the field. Midway through the stretch, Tay took over and was hand ridden to the wire for the three and three-quarter length win as the longest shot on the board.

Double Tuff was second over Sakic and Malcolm Franklin, who rallied up late for third.



“We gave him (Tay) some time off and he’s been training here all winter,” said Mullins. “This horse never left the state. He was born right down the road at our Sugar Creek Farm. It is a great feeling to win the first race. And I could not do any of this without Cynthia (Gastel). She works so hard for our stable.”

Tay paid $65.40 for the win. The four-year-old son of Deputy Storm was making his first start of 2023. It was his second career win in eight starts over the past two years. Unraced at two, Tay now has more than $42,000 on his card for the Mullins Stable, who also owns him.

It also marked a first for newcomer Burgos, who made his racing debut in the event.

“This is my first race here and it’s a great feeling to win this race,” said Burgos, a native of Puerto Rico. “I worked this horse a few times over the winter. He has been working well. I am very happy to be here and to get a win in my first race.”

Burgos comes in from riding at Presque Isle Downs last year. He is currently in his fifth year as a jockey and had six wins for the 2023 season to his credit prior to his win at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Overall, he has 104 wins and more than $2 millions in earnings.

Another horse adding to his bankroll was Ahardhabittobreak and Francisco Quintero, who won the first Quarter Horse race of the meet. The Tony Cunningham trained Indiana bred gelding was a winner by a neck over Heza Royal Wagon and Cesar Esqueda. I Beacha and Fernando Morin finished third.

Ahardhabittobreak, a three-year-old son of Habits Secret earned his first career win in his sixth career start. He is owned by Teresa and Mike Gross.

Wagering for the 10-race card topped $2.85 million, nearly $1 million ahead of last year’ season opener for handle.

Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.