(Manuelito gets up in time to capture Wednesday’s William Henry Harrison Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis / Coady Photography & courtesy of Horseshoe Indianapolis)

From the Horseshoe Indianapolis Media Team / Tammy Knox:

Manuelito and Josh Morales used every bit of the six furlongs in the 20th running of the $100,000 William Henry Harrison Wednesday, June 7. The five-year-old was in full gear as he chased down the leaders in the stretch to score the victory, his first win of 2023 and the first career premier racing win for Morales.


Manuelito was in the center of the gate when it sprung open and just as expected, several speed horses headed out to the lead. Mr Chaos had the early advantage inside, joined by Tay and Alberto Burgos on the outside through the early stages of the sprint. Around the turn, Too Bad Justice and Joe Ramos began moving up to challenge with Manuelito waiting patiently for the stretch before advancing.


In the stretch, Manuelito moved widest of all and had a straight shot to the finish line. He passed a few horses and appeared to take a breather before hitting yet another gear, striding out for the win by a neck over Mr Chaos. Tay finished third.


“He was very good at the break, and we knew there was a lot of speed, so we just took our time,” said Morales. “He came up on the outside and it probably looked like he stalled a little, but he just has a habit of staying with the horses. I had a lot of horse at that point and knew he had a lot left.”


Manuelito paid $22.40 for the win. The five-year-old son of Majestic Harbor is owned by Haran Thoroughbreds. Trainer John Haran purchased the Indiana sired gelding as a yearling from the ITOBA Fall Sale for $3,800 from breeder Dawn Martin. He now has more than $270,000 on his card with four career wins. Morales has ridden him to victory in three of his four career wins, but the win in the William Henry Harrison was the first time the two connected this season.


“I can see a big difference in him this year,” added Morales. “He’s a lot more mature and a lot more focused. I get on him a lot in the mornings and I can really see a difference.”


Morales and his wife, Sharien, live year-round in Shelbyville. Their son, Owenne, just completed first grade at Coulston Elementary. Morales was joined by his wife and sons, Owenne and Harlem, in the winner’s circle for the trophy presentation following the race.


The 21st season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Friday, Nov. 17. Live racing is held Tuesday through Thursday with Saturday racing added in during the summer months. First post Tuesday and Wednesday is 2:30 p.m. Thursday racing begins at 2:10 p.m. The Summer Saturday Racing Series includes five all-Quarter Horse dates July 1, July 22, Aug. 12, Sept. 2, and Oct. 7 beginning at 10:45 a.m. Indiana’s featured event, the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby is set for 12 p.m. Saturday, July 8. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visitwww.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.