by Bob Heyden
1. With Catch The Fire not among tonight’s field of 10, this marks the 20th defending Dan Patch champion who will not be in it the following season. No horse has ever won this back to back or twice.
2. Trace Tetrick will try to get on the Dan Patch board with his record 14th consecutive drive. He broke a tie with Ricky Macomber last year at 12 each.
3. The sport of harness racing did not have a sub-1:47 mile last year. Cattlewash came into the Dan Patch with a 1:46.4 mark set the year prior.
4. Tough race to win? Yes. Never has the Horse of the Year won the Dan Patch the same year he was voted the nation’s top horse.
In 1994, the 1993 HOY Staying Together was fourth.
In 2016, the 2015 HOY Wiggle It Jiggleit was the winner.
In 2016, the 2016 HOY Always B Miki was second.
In 2019, the 2019 HOY McWicked was second (also, third and fourth, the two previous years, respectively).
5. Other notables who did not win the Dan Patch:
Foiled Again. He has one try, at age 11 in 2015 and was sixth as the 302 favorite.
Freaky Feet Pete made two appearances and was sixth and ninth.
Western Dreamer, the 1997 Triple Crown winner, was last in 1998.
6. Track records set in the Dan Patch:
1:50 1995 Pacific Rocket.
1:49,4 1996 Jennas Beach Boy
1:48.2 1998 Pacific Fella
1:47.2 2014 Sweet Lou
These are outright new records only. Five horses currently co-hold the track standard at 1:47.2 and one of them set it in the Dan Patch — Little Rocket Man (2020)
7. The 1994 Dan Patch on Nov. 12 was the very first Hoosier Park race simulcast to other outlets (won by Ready To Rumble).
8. Dave Miller will celebrate a 25th anniversary of sorts when he drives in 2022. He was second in 1997 to Hot Lead with Armbro Operative.
9. Dexter Dunn was second with 4-5 favorite Bettors Wish in 2020. He will try and breakthrough in 2022 with Bulldog Hanover.
10. Shady Daisy would have been the lone female to go in the Dan Patch but was scratched in 1994.
11. Alvin Miller, trainer of Tellmeaboutit, had 12 years between Dan Patch starters from 2009 to 2021. He was fourth with Rocket Fuel and then second with longshot Tellmeaboutit, who came into the 2021 Dan Patch off a lifetime mark and very nearly pulled off the huge upset.
12. Mike Oosting debuted at age 59 last year with Tellmeaboutit (second). Veteran Sam Widger has driven the two longest shots in Dan Patch history.
13. Won The West had a record four straight Dan Patch appearances from 2008-2011 (1-7-2-6).
14. Favorites are 12-for-28 in the Dan Patch. Never have the three favorites gone 1-2-3 in any Dan Patch.
15. Yannick Gingras is the only driver to win this back to back and did it from post nine each time — 2017 with Check Six and 2018 with Lazarus N.
16. Thirty-six times a Breeders Crown winner has raced in the Dan Patch and eight have won.
17. Twenty-three different drivers have won a Dan Patch.
18. In 23 of the 28 Dan Patch editions, the first quarter was the fastest of the race — and only three of 23 held on to win.
19. Only once has a father-son combo each won the Dan Patch — 1998 Pacific Fella and 2007 Artistic Fella.
20. Ron Burke has twice before had five in the Dan Patch. 2015: 2-3-5-6-8 and 2020: 3-4-6-7-10.
He now will have started a record 35 in the Dan Patch.
21. Mickey Burke and Ron Burke have each won this twice. Maltese Artist 2005 and Won The West 2008 for dad and 2017 Check Six and 2014 Sweet Lou for Ron.
22. Record Dan Patch fractions:
:24.4 Filibuster Hanover fifth in 2019
:52.2 Izatiger eighth in 1998
1:20.1 Sweet Lou the 2014 winner
1:47.2 Sweet Lou in 2014 and Lather Up in 2019
23. Bulldog Hanover is going to try and duplicate what has been done twice — world record race mile and then set a track record.
In 1996, Jennas Beach Boy won with a 1:47.3 mile at the Meadowlands and then his next race was 14 days later in the Dan Patch where he lowered the track record 1/5th to 1:49.4.
In 2019, Lather Up tied the world race record of 1:46 at the Meadowlands on July 6, then 34 days later came to Hoosier Park and equaled the Sweet Lou stakes and track record of 1:47.2 winning the Dan Patch over soon-to-be HOY Always B Miki.
24. In both Ron Burke’s Dan Patch wins he went 1-2 or 1-2-3 in 2014 and 2017.
25. Bulldog Hanover is trying to become the first Dan Patch winner to be Horse of the Year the same year.
26. When Lather Up set his world record-tying 1:46 in July 2019, sitting right behind him in the three-hole was This Is The Plan who wound up second in a photo. The rare horse to compete against two world record setters.
27. Shark Gesture won by a stakes best 10 and a half lengths in 2010 for Ray/Larry Remmen.
28. Rosemary Noonan is the only female trainer to have won the Dan Patch 2004 Luckyisasluckydoes