Sam’s Escape and Don Eash are hoping for some good luck Saturday in the 13th edition of the $500,000 Hoosier Cup. Eash is making his first appearance in the Hoosier Cup. Sam’s Escape and Eash are the long shots in the race at odds of 20-1.
“I am very excited about racing in the Hoosier Cup,” said Eash. “You are always going to be excited when you are racing for that much money. As tough as this field is, though, I will be happy if we can just get a check (finish in the top five) out of this race. I feel good about him even though he’s a long shot or I wouldn’t have put him in the Hoosier Cup. Some of these horses are racing here for the first time. This isn’t their track, so I feel like that gives us an edge.”
Sam’s Escape and Eash have four wins in 10 starts this season with their best time recorded at Woodbine earlier in the year in 1:54.0. The 3-year-old son of Artiscape was raised by Eash and his wife, Rosie, at their Greenfield, Ind. farm that includes a five-eighths mile training track.
“With a 12-horse field, we might be able to sneak by and get a check,” said Eash. “I wish I could have drawn a better post position with Sam’s Escape, but you have to just deal with what you get. This horse isn’t strong enough to race on the outside. So, I want to try to get to the inside rail as soon as the gate opens up. The bad part about that is sitting in the fifth post position. You have three trailing horses coming on your inside. Hopefully, we can find an opportunity coming down the stretch to sneak by some of these horses.”
Sam’s Escape is by the dam Fox Valley Leota, who Eash raced during her career. The Incredible Finale mare won the $187,000 Grandma Ann stake in Chicago and also won the $50,000 Genesis Series at Hoosier Park. She completed her career with nearly $200,000 in earnings and a lifetime best of 1:52.2 before retiring as a brood mare for the Eash family. Sam’s Escape is the first foal from Fox Valley Leota.
“His mother, Fox Valley Leota, wasn’t that big of a horse, but she had a lot of heart,” said Eash. “Sam’s Escape is just like his mother when he is out there on the track. He isn’t the biggest guy out there, but he is a good 3-year-old colt.” (Hoosier Park)