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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - A recall did not hamper the groove of EL Ideal as the late-blooming Ake Svanstedt trainee cruised to a 1:53.1 harness racing victory in the $251,460 Kindergarten Classic Colt and Gelding Trot Final--sponsored by Diamond Creek Farm--on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Meadowlands.   Beyond Kronos, sent at odds of 69-1, blasted from post 8 to the front while Sky Castles also showed speed but began to gallop rounding the first turn. Even-money favorite EL Ideal, away second, soon circled to the front passing a :27.1 opening quarter and continued unchallenged to a :56.2 half before a Melander flow crept forward.   Back Of The Neck, trained by Marcus Melander, marched first over to pressure EL Ideal with stablemate Maesteraemon in tow. EL Ideal maintained control through three-quarters in 1:24.4 and edged away from his competition in progress to a 1:53.1 victory. Beyond Kronos clung to second as Chestnut Hill rolled from the backfield for third and Maesteraemon circumvented his tiring stablemate for fourth.   "He's very good and does a great job with the horses he's got and it's always fun to drive for him," driver Andy Miller said of driving for Svanstedt after the race.   When asked about what changed in EL Ideal late in the season, Miller said the colt has "Just a lot of maturity. Ake's done a great job bringing him along slow and getting him ready at the right time. He was a little more keyed up after [the recall] but then once he got to the front he was settled down and was really good."   EL Ideal, a two-year-old colt by Muscle Hill owned by Emp Invest Oy, won his third race from nine starts and has earned $276,437. He paid $4.00 to win.   Trainer Linda Toscano claimed the top two spots in the $251,020 Kindergarten Classic Filly Trot Final--sponsored by Svanstedt Stable--with 1-2 favorite Senorita Rita winning in a career-best mile of 1:53.2 over stablemate Dip Me Hanover.   Senorita Rita and driver Scott Zeron                                                                      --Lisa photo   Driver Scott Zeron sent Senorita Rita for the lead as Hall Of Am S protected position from the pylon post and Dip Me Hanover secured a spot from post 10 in third circling the first turn. Trotting the first quarter in :27.4, Senorita Rita held an uncontested lead to a :56.3 half and past three-quarters in 1:25.1.   Creature Of Habit mounted a mild first-over bid around the final turn but lost ground through the stretch, leaving room for Hall Of Am S to vacate pocket and challenge the leader late. However Senorita Rita kept her lead intact while Hall Of Am S lost stride nearing the finish, giving Dip Me Hanover second while Creature Of Habit took third via placing. Hall Of Am S, with a lapped-on break finishing third, was disqualified to fourth.   "Tonight I let her see what we can do and down the lane asked her and she maintained her speed right to the wire," Zeron said after the race. "She's really a sensational horse. Linda's been patient with her all year. I've been on the front end but that's just because she's so easy to drive and I just want to stay out of trouble, but she's versatile. I'm excited for next year and maybe she'll have a little bit more left this year.   With five victories from seven starts, Senorita Rita has banked $190,710 for owner Kenneth Jacobs. Though she started her career late, Toscano left open the possibility of sending her two-year-old Chapter Seven filly deeper into the Grand Circuit with the Goldsmith Maid coming up at the Meadowlands.   "I think they either have or they don't, and she has it," Toscano said after the race. "I believe she's a quality filly--I've believed all along she's a quality filly. If she comes out of this race well, that's where she'll be going.   Senorita Rita paid $3.00 to win.   By Ray Cotolo, for the Meadowlands      

MILTON, ON - October 18, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park-based harness racing trainer Blake MacIntosh sends a four-pronged contingent into the Breeders Crown eliminations as he attempts to get his first shot to compete in the year-end championship. MacIntosh, whose stable has strengthened into a Grand Circuit force, rides a career-best season entering the Breeders Crown eliminations. Though he has started many in the Breeders Crown eliminations, MacIntosh has yet to send one in a final. "It'd just be a cherry on top of the sundae for the year," MacIntosh said on potentially winning a Breeders Crown. "We're close to a hundred wins and $2.6 million so winning a Breeders Crown would just be something special, especially at Mohawk--it's our home track. Winning the [Canadian Pacing] Derby this year was my biggest thrill but winning a Breeders Crown at Mohawk would probably be a little bit bigger of a thrill. They're all big wins but it'd be very special." Team Best opens MacIntosh's 'Crown' contingent on Friday (October 17) in the lone elimination for the Two-Year-Old Colt Pace. The son of Somebeachsomewhere--racing for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Touchstone Farms Inc. and Daniel Plouffe--debuted a winner at Mohawk in late June but missed some of the summer due to sickness, with which MacIntosh had to deal most of the summer. "It wasn't just the Canadian barn or the American barn--both barns seemed to get [sick] at the same time," MacIntosh said. "It was an obstacle, we worked around it [and] the horses all seem to be coming around right now. The last six weeks everything's seemed to have just gone the right way and we're pretty happy with it." Finishing seventh in the $750,000 Metro Pace final, Team Best shipped to Lexington where he finished second in a division of the Bluegrass but tried racing first over the next week in the International Stallion Stakes and folded in the final quarter. He moves into the Crown off a 1:52.1 runner-up mile in a preliminary for the Kindergarten at the Meadowlands. "We were trying to decide if we were going to go to the Breeders Crown or stay in the Kindergarten with him," MacIntosh said. "But after he raced last week, I decided to give him a shot against the top colts this week. "He doesn't like a lot of air--like if you can keep him on a helmet he will follow all day long," MacIntosh also said. "If you give him a little too much air he gets a little sulky [but] he's learning more and more every start. If he gets the right trip, there's no doubt in my mind he'll be right there at the end of the mile. James MacDonald will drive Team Best--who's 15-1 on the morning line--from post 2 against Metro Pace winner and the 7-5 morning line favourite Tall Dark Stranger. Metro Pace runner-up Papi Rob Hanover is also in the field. Sweet Chapter starts MacIntosh's Saturday-night duties as she competes against the top four competitors in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. Her regular pilot Matt Kakaley stays in the bike as the daughter of Chapter Seven starts from post 1 against Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry, runner-up Millies Possesion, third-place finisher Asiago and Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Beautiful Sin. "She can trot with them," MacIntosh said of Sweet Chapter, "and she's always right there; always gets you a cheque. I just thought that she deserved a shot to prove it again. Like in the Hambo Oaks--she was going to get a cheque but then Dave [Miller and Evident Beauty] broke and took her out and that cost her fourth or fifth. We'll hope she [can] draw well and if she can get away the way she can then she'll be right there." Earning over $200,000 from 24 starts for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh and Mortgage Boys Stable, Sweet Chapter has one other Grand Circuit mile this season: a wire-to-wire 1:54.2 victory in a $30,000 division of the Simpson Memorial. "I always thought she was a nice filly--that's why she got paid into so much because I had faith in her," MacIntosh said. "She's right on track where I think she should be and [I'm] very, very happy with her." Covered Bridge completes MacIntosh's Crown-elim starters as he competes in the second elimination for the Three-Year-Old Colt Pace. The American Ideal colt--owned by David B. Smith and James Giannuzzi--makes his second start in the MacIntosh barn after racing his other 28 starts for the Okuskos. "They just called me--they wanted him to come up to Canada and see if he's good enough for the Breeders Crown," MacIntosh said on acquiring the colt. "I trained for Jim and Dave for the last couple years. I was the underbidder on this colt as a yearling. I trained him down at Lexington before I brought him home--I made a shoeing change on him. He's a nice colt--Howie and Jessica [Okusko] did a great job with him training down and racing him for the last two years. It's made my job easier. While MacIntosh did not tinker much with equipment on Covered Bridge, the colt rebounded in his first start for the barn last week against conditioned horses at Mohawk. He popped pocket to pull a 19-1 upset in 1:50.4 under wraps and convinced MacIntosh to try the colt in the Breeders Crown. "It's a $7,500 (CAD) stake payment so it's not something cheap," MacIntosh said on deciding to try the colt in the Crown. "So I was very happy with him and I called the owners after the race and said 'I think we can go--it's up to you guys but I think at this point this group looks a little tired. At this point right now there's no standout other than Ryder's horse [Bettors Wish] and I think he can go with the rest of them so let's give it a shot.'" Covered Bridge will race against 7-5 morning line favourite Bettors Wish from post 5 with James MacDonald in the sulky. Crown supplement and Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi also competes in the second elimination from post 3 as the 9-5 second choice on the morning line. Though not entered in an elimination, Courtly Choice will prep for the Open Pace on Saturday when he starts from post 8 in the $34,000 Preferred. The four-year-old son of Art Major also battled sickness during the summer but returned to form with a 34-1 upset in the Canadian Pacing Derby. Yet he comes into Saturday making his second start after scratching sick from the Dayton Pacing Derby. "When he shipped into Lexington [for the Dayton Pacing Derby] I don't know what happened--he caught a fever of 102.5 so we scratched him," MacIntosh said. "He probably could've raced at Dayton but we wanted to race him the following week for sure. He just wasn't right that week--it's totally separate from [his earlier sickness]. His blood's back to normal now--at least back to where we want it. I don't know if he just caught something shipping from Harrington to home to Lexington--these aged horses do a lot of travelling, so they're bound to pick something up every now and then. Prior to Saturday's start Courtly Choice returned to the track in the $186,000 Allerage but faltered through the stretch in a 1:47.2 mile to finish eighth. "We wanted to make sure we had him tight for next week," MacIntosh said. "He seems to race better when he's at least had a little prep before the races like for the Canadian Pacing Derby--he raced two weeks before that." Woodbine Mohawk Park hosts two nights of eliminations for the Breeders Crown with the freshmen racing on Friday (October 18) and the sophomores and aged horses competing on Saturday (October 19). Friday's 12-race card starts at 7:50 p.m. (EDT) while Saturday's 13-race card gets underway at the regular post time of 7:10 p.m. (EDT). by Ray Cotolo for Woodbine.com    

LEXINGTON, KY--Chris Ryder harness racing trainee Bettor's Wish ground first over into the final turn and withstood a late rush from pocket-popper Captain Crunch to take the second of two divisions of the $540,000 Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace--sponsored by Michelle and Albert Crawford--on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Captain Crunch led the field to a :26.3 first quarter but settled for the pocket moving up the backstretch as American Mercury brushed from third to the lead past a :55 half. Bettor's Wish, racing fifth, followed that move but raced uncovered upon the lead change into the final turn. The son of Bettor's Delight pressed forward through three-quarters in 1:21.3 and put away American Mercury straightening for the finish. Captain Crunch vacated pocket and rallied inside of Bettor's Wish late but only gave chase from second. Air Force Hanover took third. "I was concerned about Captain Crunch," Chris Ryder said after the race. "He was second last week but he raced well. He made us go, so it was a little anxious absolutely. But we held on. There's really not much to say. [Bettor's Wish] was a nice two-year-old and he's just improved. The time off or whatever from two to three--he's just a faster animal." Co-owned by Chris Ryder with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor's Wish won his 16th race from 27 starts, earning $1,561,000. Dexter Dunn, who became the leading driver of the Grand Circuit meeting, piloted the $2.60 winner. Dexter Dunn                               --Lisa photo Dancin Lou lunged inside of 1-9 favorite Southwind Ozzi late in the stretch to take the other division of the Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace. Driver Dexter Dunn dashed Dancin Lou to the lead while U S Captain settled for the pocket moving to a :27 first quarter. Southwind Ozzi, sitting third, soon tipped wide and brushed to the top entering the backside, leading the field past the half in :54.3. Can't Beach That flushed first over from fourth moving into the final turn, tracked by Shake That House, but stalled past three-quarters in 1:23. Southwind Ozzi clung to command as he floated off the pegs through the stretch. Dancin Lou darted through the late opening and slid past the Little Brown Jug winner to stop the clock in 1:49.4. Shake That House kicked off cover for third. "This is a dream come true I just can't believe it," said winning trainer Tahnee Camilleri, an Australian native in her first year training stateside. "I'm in shock--I'm shaking. You normally don't find me tongue tied but, oh my God. I'm just thankful [my owners] decided to give an Aussie girl chasing the American dream a shot. "He really likes the big track and I think he likes the clay surface," Camilleri also said. "He stays like a mother in law so the big track suits him." Bred by Anvil & Lace Farm and owned by David Kryway and 1362313 Ontario Ltd., Dancin Lou won his 10th race from 26 starts, earning $265,859. The Sweet Lou colt bound for the Breeders Crown paid $20.40 to win.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--In her second start for trainer Ake Svanstedt Beautiful Sin pounced from a pocket trip to win the 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity--a $267,000 single dash sponsored by the Father Patrick Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farm--on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. When Dovescry, sent the 3-5 favorite, left for the lead from the center of the gate while Svanstedt tucked Beautiful Sin onto the pacesetter's helmet heading to a :27.1 opening quarter. Golden Tricks, stablemate to Beautiful Sin, progressed uncovered from sixth up the backstretch and flushed cover from Millies Possesion moving to a :55.2 half. Millies Possesion stalled circling the final turn as When Dovescry accelerated to three-quarters in 1:22.2 and retreated into the stretch. Beautiful Sin angled from the pocket while When Dovescry drifted and tired, leaving a gap for The Ice Dutchess to shoot through. The Ice Dutchess gave late pursuit to new leader Beautiful Sin into the final eighth but settled for second. When Dovescry held third. "It's a total surprise compared to my thinking two months ago; I'm really shocked by this," said Lennart Agren, who owns Beautiful Sin through S R F Stable. "I thought I had to [switch trainers] before the four-year-old season. [Ake Svanstedt] said she was nice but he had some issues to fix. She was a really nice filly two years ago in the sales ring." Topping the 2017 Lexington Yearling Sale, Beautiful Sin--bred by Jeff Gural and Moon Goddess LLC--sold for $480,000. The sophomore daughter of Muscle Hill has five victories from 14 starts and has earned $372,867. She paid $9.00 to win. by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt darted Six Pack to the lead moving to the final turn and raced the clock to a 1:49.2 world-record harness racing victory in the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Open Trot--sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural--on Saturday, Oct. 5 at The Red Mile. Following two recalls caused by equipment issues with Trolley the starting gate sent the field to race. Eurobond left for the lead from post 4 and took the field past a :27 first quarter while Lindy The Great raced second and Crystal Fashion sat third. Svanstedt sent Six Pack from fourth nearing a :54.2 and dashed to the front rounding the final turn, opening his lead towards three-quarters in 1:21.3. Through the stretch Svanstedt urged Six Pack as the four-year-old Muscle Mass colt won by open lengths over Lindy The Great with Mission Accepted finishing third. "He had been sick for about a month but [his] last race was good--he came home fast," Svanstedt said after the race of his return to the races in the Caesars Trotting Classic. The 1:49.2 mile bests the previous record for a four-year-old trotting stallion of 1:50.1 set by Chapter Seven in 2012 and equaled by Eurobond and Southwind Chrome. "Today I thought we were going to break the record [but] he needed a little bit of help," Svanstedt also said. "It was a little bit slow but he came home good. He's a little lazy when he's on the front [but] I tried." Co-owned by Svanstedt with Little E LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmar and Lawrence Berg, Six Pack won his 18th race from 33 starts, earning $1,658,105. "It was a little nerve-racking with the recalls to tell you the truth," said Jeff Gural, who co-owns Six Pack through Little E LLC. "I've actually dreamed of giving myself a trophy because I've never done it. I've given the Hambletonian trophy the last five, six years and the trophy for this race so it's a real thrill. This horse has had a lot of bad posts and he's cut most of the miles where he got beat--he got beat at the wire. He did all the work but then somebody else gets a record. So I was really happy for him today." Six Pack paid $5.00 to win. Grand Circuit action concludes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which goes as a single heat with a field of 12 for $450,000. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single dash with an 11-horse draw for $267,000. Two divisions of the $540,000 Tattersalls Pace, the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Trot and $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Pace will also go on the eight-race card. Racing gets underway for the season finale with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full results and entries, click here.  By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Metro Pace winner Tall Dark Stranger collected his seventh-consecutive harness racing victory to maintain his perfect record with a 1:50 victory in the third of four divisions for the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes--sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on the Saturday, Oct. 5 card at The Red Mile. Leaving from post 1, Tall Dark Stranger sat fourth to a :28.1 first quarter set by Tell Them Lou before driver Yannick Gingras angled the 1-9 favorite from the cones to pursue the lead. The Nancy Johansson-trained son of Bettor's Delight overtook the helm before a :55.1 half and faced little challenge through three-quarters in 1:23.1 in progress to a two-length victory over pocket-sitter Captain Barbosa. Father Nuno closed for third. "He had just had great presence when he was brought out for us to look at [as a yearling]," Johansson said after the race. "I think charisma is one of the most important attributes a racehorse can have. He was very easy to work with, very willing to please, always showed tremendous speed...it was pretty easy to train him down. He was strong across the wire [today]--Yannick [Gingras] said he had plenty of pace left." Earning $411,265, Tall Dark Stranger races for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. Yannick Gingras steered the colt bred by James Avritt Sr. who paid $2.10 to win. "I think people here are knowledgeable and understanding this horse is doing this very easily--it's spectacular," co-owner Marvin Katz said after the race. "I listened to Jimmy Takter [when] he said 'This is the best horse [at the Lexington Sale and] you got to be in' and I said I was in. That was it. It didn't take much thinking--when Jimmy said you got to be in, that was it." World-record holder Elver Hanover also remained undefeated when winning his Betting Line division in 1:50.3. Driver Chris Page placed the 1-9 favorite fourth as Seeyou At Thebeach led the field to a :27.3 first quarter. Page pulled Elver Hanover from fourth soon after and swept to the front before a :55.3 half. From there the Yankee Cruiser gelding slowed the tempo to three-quarters in 1:24 while pressed by Team Best moving to headstretch, but promptly turned away that rival as well as a pocket-popping move from Seeyou At Thebeach in the final eighth to win. Seeyou At Thebeach settled for second while Captain Groovy took third. "The opportunity was presented in front of me and just like anything else you've got to take the reins," Page said of driving a Grand Circuit-caliber horse after the race. "I'd like to thank all the owners and Ronnie [Burke] and the whole staff to have the faith in me to guide these nice horses which are high-priced investments. I was joking with the groom coming out here [and said] if every horse was like this horse it would make our jobs easy. The horse is a complete professional and does nothing wrong. He drives with two fingers and definitely makes my job easy." Victorious in nine starts, Elver Hanover--bred by Hanover Shoe Farms--has earned $397,825 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. "It's been the best experience of our lives," said Purnel of Purnel & Libby after the race on owning stakes-winning horses with Ron Burke and the partnership of Weaver Bruscemi. "Obviously Ronnie's the best trainer in the business. Without them, I don't know...it's great." Capt Midnight rebounded from a third-place finish in the $562,500 Metro Pace with a 1:49.4 victory in the opening division of the Betting Line. Roll With JR took command into the first turn while Catch The Fire dove into the pocket and Capt Midnight floated into third. He led the field through a :27.2 opening quarter but yielded the lead as Capt Midnight pulled wide and brushed to control through a :55.2 half. The Captaintreacherous colt continued to lead through three-quarters in 1:23 and strode clear of his competition to win by three lengths. Fortify closed for second and Roll With JR gave chase for third. "I definitely don't think we left [the Metro Pace] redfaced [sic] that night," driver Andrew McCarthy said after the race. "He raced terrific...I had to use him hard there in the second quarter and it caught up to us midstretch, but that's fine--he still paced [1]:49 and change so I knew what I had today. "I was hoping to just sit and wait today but Dougie [McNair on Roll With JR] was slowing down there to the half and I figured I might as well get going; it wouldn't be too taxing to get him there. It worked our great--I kicked the earplugs out at the head of the stretch and he did his job. He's come a long way. I think he's going to be a top three-year-old for sure." Winning his sixth race from nine starts, Capt Midnight has accrued $255,839 for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing. Hanover Shoe Farms bred the Tony Alagna trainee and the Breeders Crown-bound colt paid $2.40 to win. "My partners are awesome and I'm very happy that we had a nice victory at The Red Mile and hopefully he'll be as successful [at the Breeders Crown]," said Myron Bell after the race, who co-owns Capt Midnight through Capt Midnight racing. Major Betts vaulted to the front in a swift pace and sustained his speed through the finish to pace a 1:49.1 mile in the second division of the Betting Line. Genius Man pushed for the lead wide of Moneyman Hill circling the first turn. Driver Dexter Dunn positioned Major Betts fourth through a :26.2 first quarter and sent the Art Major colt after Genius Man heading to a :53.4 half. From there the Mark Harder trainee separated himself from the competition moving to three-quarters in 1:21.2 and turned for home with an open lead. Put To Right, the 6-5 favorite, rallied from the backfield through the center of the course to take second with 3-2 second choice Cattlewash taking third. "I think last week was an aberration," trainer Mark Harder said after the race of Major Bett's miscue last week in the Bluegrass. "He had a bad day--for whatever reason, I don't know. I just told Dexter [to] forget about last week [and] race the colt--[Dexter's] always liked him [so] I said 'Race him like you still like him.' He's beaten some really good colts and gotten locked in in New York a couple of races there; he just never got a chance to race. He showed what he's made of today. I hope [he's Breeders Crown material]." Paying $26.20 to win, Major Betts--bred by Southwind Farms--collected his third victory from seven starts, earning $86,460 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Deena Frost. Grand Circuit action concludes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which goes as a single heat with a field of 12 for $450,000. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single dash with an 11-horse draw for $267,000. Two divisions of the $540,000 Tattersalls Pace, the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Trot and $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Pace will also go on the eight-race card. Racing gets underway for the season finale with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full results and entries, click here. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY--Violet Stride strung out 1-2 favorite Love A Good Story past the half before yielding for the pocket and shooting out into the stretch to pull a 16-1 upset in the first Muscle Hill harness racing division of the $290,200 International Stallion Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday, Oct. 4 at The Red Mile. Driver Tyler Buter sent the Mark Harder-trained Trixton filly to the front with Queso Fresco pushing for the pocket heading to a :28 first quarter. Love A Good Story, racing fourth, angled from the pegs up the backstretch but worked to clear command from Violet Stride passing a :55.2 half. Queso Fresco faltered entering the final turn, forcing the backfield to tip wide and recoup lost ground while Love A Good Story and Violet Stride led by a wide margin through three-quarters in 1:24. Buter popped Violet Stride from the pocket straightening for the finish and slid past Love A Good Story to win while Crucial kicked down the center of the track for third. "She's been good all along, I wouldn't say it's the track that's done it," Harder said after the race. "She hasn't had a lot of chances in races and today she got given a real-good chance. We will now [go to the Breeders Crown] for sure." Returning $35.60 to win, Violet Stride collected her third win from nine starts, earning $96,790 for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati. Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. bred the $280,000 Lexington yearling purchase. Ramona Hill remained unbeaten when holding off a late charge from pocket-sitter Sister Sledge in the first Walner split. Sister Sledge slid from the pylon post towards the top heading to the first turn as Ramona Hill unhurriedly progressed towards the top from post 8 moving to a :27.4 first quarter. Ramona Hill continued to lead under minimal pressure through a :55.3 half and three-quarters in 1:24.4 before scooting to a three-length lead as Sister Sledge threw some bad steps when edging from the pocket. Sister Sledge soon hit her best stride and closed ground on Ramona Hill nearing the wire but finished a neck shy of the winner. Shishito, stalking the top two, took third. "Around March [or] April when [Tony Alagna] was training her down [that] he said she's very talented," said Albert Crawford, co-owner of Ramona Hill through Crawford Farms Racing. "When he qualified her--I think it was a [1]:55, [1]:56 [mile] with a big last quarter--he said she's a special filly." Winning all five of her starts, Ramona Hill has earned $112,400 for breeder Crawford Farms, which co-owns the Muscle Hill filly as Crawford Farms Racing with Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc and In The Gym Partners. Tony Alagna conditions the $3.80 winner and Andrew McCarthy sat in the bike. Runner-up to Ramona Hill in the Bluegrass, Madame Sherry prevailed as the 8-5 second choice in the second division of the Muscle Hill. Queen Of The Hill kicked for the front from post 7 while Heaven ducked for the pocket and Madame Sherry raced third to a :28.4 first quarter. Driver Tim Tetrick then angled Madame Sherry from third and swept the Jim Campbell trainee to the top before a :56.2 half. Common Sense S, sent the 6-5 favorite, pulled first over from fifth moving to the final turn. She slowly advanced towards the leader obtained cover passing three-quarters in 1:25.4 as Queen Of The Hill vacated pocket for the stretch drive. Madame Sherry drifted slightly from the cones through the lane, leaving a slim seam for Heaven to slip through nearing the finish. However Madame Sherry held off Heaven, winning by a head in 1:54.1 with Queen Of The Hill third. A Kentuckiana Farms LLC-bred filly by Father Patrick, Madame Sherry won her second race from six starts, earning $89,773 for owner Coyote Wynd Farms. She paid $5.20 to win. Sherry Lyns Lady lunged off cover to take the second division of the Walner. Sent the 6-5 favorite, Sherry Lyns Lady raced fourth to a :28.3 opening quarter as the other 6-5 choice Senorita Rita headed the helm into the backstretch. Panem, caught wide around the first turn, continued to race uncovered while stalled wide of Sherry Lyns Lady through a :56.1 half. Panem backtracked moving into the final turn while Senorita Rita raced unpressured past three-quarters in 1:25. Dune Hill, sitting the pocket, floated wide as Sherry Lyns Lady angled wider into the stretch. Senorita Rita clung to control through the lane but got outkicked by Sherry Lyns Lady in the final sixteenth and settled for second. Rebecca Clark, at 46-1, skimmed the pylons to snag third. "Hats off to [Coyote Wynd Farms] because they did all the homework in selecting these two fillies," Campbell said after the race, "and I was just blessed enough to be the one that gets to train them. Sometimes we get fooled... I told John [Floren of Coyote Wynd Farms] the other night 'I gave you all good training reports--I'm just glad [the horses] backed it up because it doesn't always work that way. We always say that when you go baby race the first couple of starts it pretty much tells the truth and these fillies lived up to that. Giving Jim Campbell a training double, Sherry Lyns Lady also races for the Coyote Wynd Farms. The Steve Stewart and Timot Stable Inc.-bred Father Patrick filly collected her third victory from 10 starts and bankrolled $310,554. Tim Tetrick drove the $4.40 winner. "She was sitting good--Timmy [Tetrick] knows her because he drove her from the very beginning in her baby races," Campbell also said of the race. "He just angled her out and she did the rest. Down by the wire, she was trotting strong." Each division of the Muscle Hill International Stallion Stakes was sponsored by Southwind Farms while each division of the Walner was sponsored by the Walner Syndicate. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Saturday, Oct. 5 with four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts (sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms), the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial (sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms) for sophomore pacing fillies, the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace (sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds) and the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Trot (sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural). Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile Lexington, Ky----For many years the Grand Circuit meet at the Red Mile always made available a race for amateur drivers and this season was no exception. Today (Oct. 4) a 7-horse field was sent to post at 12:30pm prior to the betting card getting underway and when the judges hung the official sign, the veteran trotter, Inukchuk Chuck, once again showed his heels to the field when Kiara Morgan guided the 6-year-old gelding to a 1:56.2 triumph, his fourth consecutive victory since September 26; two were at Delaware, Ohio followed by two now at the Red Mile and all four wins came at the hands of lady drivers. Hannah Miller won the Delaware trots and now Kiara Morgan has made it two-in-a-row here at Lexington After starting from post six Ms Morgan sent Inukchuk Chuck toward the front but settled in the three- hole as Ms Miller and Jacks To Open challenged Fairground Drama (Richard Roach) for the lead which she obtained before the halfway point. But as Hannah's trotter settled on top she had to contend with Ms Morgan's charge who began to rally. and when he did, Inukchuk Chuck took command and survived a late charge from Utopia and driver Steve Oldford to notch his ninth seasonal triumph. Third place went to Security Guard who was driven by Dein Spriggs.. The winner is owned by Cliff Grundy and trained by Nick Surick. by John Manzi, for amateur driving everywhere

LEXINGTON, KY--The two harness racing divisions for the $239,000 Arlene Siegel Memorial International Stallion Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies--sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms--saw the heavy favorites get beat. Making her fourth start, 10-1 shot New Year hit the Grand Circuit winner's circle with a first-over grind to take the opening division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial. The Bethinator shot for the front moving to the first turn with 6-5 favorite Reflect With Me floating into the pocket before circling to the top past a :28.4 first quarter. New Year, sitting fourth, tipped first over as the field sped to a :56.2 half and ranged towards the pacesetter to then match strides with Reflect With Me passing three-quarters in 1:24.1. The Somebeachsomewhere filly dug into Reflect With Me entering the stretch and lunged past to lead approaching the finish. Jk First Lady, swooping from third over, rallied widest on the track to finish second while Reflect With Me held third. "The owners are very patient and they agree that the less you do at two, the more you get at three and I'm at the same mindset," trainer Ross Croghan said after the race on bringing New Year to the races so late in the season. "This filly was very heavy as an early two-year-old; she carried a massive amount of weight. A nice, hot summer helped us slowly peel that off into racing condition. She's always shown a little bit of grit. Out of the world-champion mare Drop The Ball, New Year collected her third victory while earning $83,680 for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Mr Dana Parham, who also bred the $22.80 winner. Corey Callahan sat in the bike behind the possible Breeders Crown starter. "I'll talk to the owners--[the Breeders Crown's] all she has left," Croghan said. "If they want to go, and she comes out of this race good, she'll go." Nancy Johansson trainee Peaky Sneaky surged first over around the final turn and edged to a 1:50.3 victory in the second division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial. Rocknificent, sent the 6-5 favorite, led the field past a :26.4 first quarter with Hidden Cove sitting in the pocket and 8-5 second choice Gai Waterhouse racing third. Gai Waterhouse then angled from third and brushed to the front passing a :55.3 half but soon yielded command to Lady Lou--carrying Peaky Sneaky on cover--entering the final turn. Peaky Sneaky continued to advance when uncovered approaching three-quarters in 1:23.1. The Bettor's Delight filly drew alongside Lady Lou entering the stretch and dug into the late leader before slipping by late in the stretch to win. Lady Lou held second from Rocknificent, who rallied wide for third. "We started off kind of slow [in Ontario] and then we moved her into the Ontario Sires Stakes and the Champlain and she kept surprising me," Johansson said after the race. "So I let her go in the She's A Great Lady. [It was] a far way for a two-year-old filly to go, especially when she had been racing four weeks in a row--which I really don't ever do. But she was racing well and is kind of easy on herself between the races, so we gave her the shot. She definitely needed that week off after the She's A Great Lady. "She's been racing really good and getting some tough trips, but she's very honest," Johansson also said. "I told Dexter [Dunn] before she went onto the track [that] she's going to give you all she has; she always does." Bred by White Birch Farm and owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable, Peaky Sneaky won her second race from eight starts, earning $100,377. Dexter Dunn drove the $14.60 winner. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Saturday, Oct. 5 with four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts (sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms), the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial (sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms) for sophomore pacing fillies, the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace (sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds) and the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Trot (sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural). Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY --After two weeks of stakes competition, The Red Mile will close the annual Grand Circuit fortnight on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th edition of the Kentucky Futurity capping the program. Marcus Melander's trotting triage leads the field for the $450,000 Kentucky Futurity, which drew 12 horses and will go as a single dash. The Father Patrick colt Greenshoe--whose brother sold for a record $1.1 million on night one of the Lexington Yearling Sale--will start from post 4, inside of stablemates Gimpanzee and Green Manalishi S. The millionaire colt, with 11 wins from 15 starts, competes for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli, and will have Brian Sears in the bike. Gimpanzee, starting from post 6, enters from a second-place finish to Greenshoe in his 1:49.4 mile last week at Lexington. The Chapter Seven colt--with $1.2 million earned for owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable--will have David Miller driving. Green Manalishi S--a Muscle Hill colt also with nearly $1.2 million earned--competes for Courant Inc. and will have Tim Tetrick in the bike from post 8 off a 1:50.4 victory in a $96,100 division of Bluegrass. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single $267,000 dash. Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry leaves from post 4 off a 1:50.1 victory in a $108,500 division of Bluegrass. The Rene Allard-trained Muscle Hill filly approaches $700,000 in earnings for owners Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain and will have brother Simon Allard steering. Millies Possesion starts directly inside of When Dovescry, who has handed the previously undefeated Jim Campbell trainee her only losses. Unraced as a two-year-old and racing 12 times this year, the Possess The Will filly has earned nearly $500,000 for owner-breeder Fashion Farms and will have regular pilot Dexter Dunn at the reins. Sophomore pacing colts also compete in a pair of $270,000 divisions for the $540,000 Tattersalls. Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi paid the $45,000 supplement and draws post 3 in the first division. The Bill Mac Kenzie-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt has won nine races from 11 starts this season and banked $771,263 in his career for owners Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice and will have Brian Sears in the bike. Bettor's Wish and Captain Crunch compete against each other for the first time since the Cane Pace in the second Tattersalls division. Captain Crunch--a Nancy Johansson-trained son of Captaintreacherous--bested Bettor's Wish in the $285,362 Cane Pace by a neck in 1:48 but has not won a race since. The winner of $1.3 million will have Scott Zeron in the sulky from post 5 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Bettor's Wish has only lost one race since the Cane Pace, finishing second in the $500,000 Messenger Pace to American Mercury (who starts from post 2). The Chris Ryder-trained Bettor's Delight colt--co-owned by Ryder with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners--has earned over $1.1 million from 14 starts this season (finishing no worse than second in all) and has $1.4 million earned in his career. Dexter Dunn sits in the bike from post 6. Shartin N fronts the $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Open Pace. Winning 40 races from 52 starts, the six-year-old Tintin In America mare nears $2 million in earnings and rides a 14-race win streak for trainer Jim King Jr. Tim Tetrick co-owns Shartin N and will drive her from post 4 for partners Richard Poillucci and Joanne Looney-King. Aged trotting mares also race on the closing-day card with the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Trot starting the Sunday stakes action. The four-year-old Muscle Hill mare Manchego leads the eight-mare charge off a nine-length blowout against the boys in the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby last week. Nancy Johansson conditions the winner of $1.8 million for owner Black Horse Racing. Ake Svanstedt sends a speedy pair with Plunge Blue Chip, who equaled her 1:49.4 world record in last year in the Filly Futurity, and Darling Mearas S, who trotted a 1:49.4 mile at the Meadowlands earlier this season. Plunge Blue Chip--recently surpassing $1 million in earnings for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and Tomas Andersson, will have trainer Svanstedt in the sulky from post 5. Darling Mearas S, a six-year-old mare by Cantab Hall, approaches $1 million in earnings for owner Snogarps Gard and will have Andy Miller driving from post 8. The closing-day program gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Real Cool Sam remains undefeated from nine starts but hit the finish line inseparably with 32-1 Big Oil in the third of three harness racing divisions of the $276,300 Trixton International Stallion Stakes on Thursday, Oct. 3 at The Red Mile. Big Oil sat third to a :27.2 first quarter set by second-choice Gangster Hanover with Capricornus sitting the pocket. Real Cool Sam, sent the 1-2 favorite, raced fourth up the backstretch before driver David Miller slowly edged from the pylons through a :55.3. Real Cool Sam ranged closer to Gangster Hanover circling the final turn but Capricornus had room to pull from the pocket passing three-quarters in 1:24. Capricornus took a narrow lead through the stretch while Big Oil circumvented Gangster Hanover towards the inside and sprinted towards the front as Real Cool Sam rallied three wide. Real Cool Sam ground past Capricornus in the final strides to hit the finish in tandem with Big Oil, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. A gelding by Muscle Hill, Real Cool Sam lowered the world record for a two-year-old trotting gelding of 1:52.3 set by Amigo Volo last week at The Red Mile. "When [the photo] was taking so long, I was hopeful for a dead-heat but I didn't think we got it," trainer Jim Campbell said after the race. "Today was his ninth start and I didn't want to come out of here with 10 starts and then--the plan is, if everything's okay, to go to the Breeders Crown. I didn't want him getting used hard; [it's] been over three weeks since he raced last at Chester. When they hadn't raced like that and you go abuse them too much too soon [then] they don't race the way you want them to. This way it worked out perfectly--Dave gave him a good drive; the way you'd want the colt driven" Real Cool Sam, a homebred for Fashion Farms, has earned $443,063. He paid $2.20 to win. Big Oil, a colt by Father Patrick, won his second race from eight starts, earning $91,605 for owner-breeder Jason and Douglas Allen and co-owner Ron Allen. The 1:52.1 mile lowers the Julie Miller trainee's lifetime mark. "Last week we kind of used as a confidence booster for him," Julie Miller said after the race. "I thought Andy raced him real well and we thought today to give him a chance. I'm leaning towards [not sending him to the Breeders Crown]. We may put him away and have a great three-year-old." Andy Miller piloted the $16.60 winner. King Alphonso wired his competition with a 1:52 mile in the opening division of the Trixton. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt swept King Alphonso past pylon-starter Beyond Kronos to take the lead into the Tattersalls turn. Even-money favorite Rome Pays Off, rough-gaited at the start, raced last of the seven through a :27.1 opening quarter before angling first over into the backside. Rome Pays Off marched into a :55.2 half to race at King Alphonso's wheel circling the final turn but began to retreat past three-quarters in 1:24.1. King Alphonso strolled through the stretch with wide strides pursued by pocket-sitter Beyond Kronos in second. It's Academic rolled down the center of the course for third. A colt by Muscle Hill bred by Order By Stable, King Alphonso won his second race from seven starts, earning $128,395 for owners Ake Svanstedt, Bender Sweden, Little E LLC and Douglas Sipple. He paid $6.80 to win. Taken to the center of the course after trotting a bad step, Amigo Volo quickly regained his footing and surged past his competition to equal his then-1:52.3 world record when winning the second division of the Trixton. Driver Dexter Dunn floated Amigo Volo from post 7 into fourth rounding the first turn while EL Ideal led the field through the first quarter in :26.4. EL Ideal decelerated up the backstretch as Amigo Volo nearly broke into a gallop but kept his stride as Dunn veered the Father Patrick gelding to the center of the track. Past a :55.3 half, Amigo Volo progressed uncovered towards the leader. "It wasn't his gait--he was sort of running out a touch there," Dunn said after the race. "He was playing around with his head a little bit. It was more like he lost a little bit of concentration there and threw himself off stride. [So I] sort of moved him out of the way and he just hit his gait straight away." EL Ideal clung to command as Amigo Volo matched strides passing three-quarters in 1:24. Amigo Volo then lunged to the lead straightening for the finish and strode clear of EL Ideal with Synergy taking third. "He did it really nicely," Dunn also said. "Those plugs are still in." Winning his fourth race from eight starts, Amigo Volo has won $214,696 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Carter Pinske conditions the gelding bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. He paid $3.40 to win. Each division of the Trixton International Stallion Stakes was sponsored by Deo Volente Farms, where 2014 Hambletonian Winner Trixton stands stud. "This is truly a special place. It's an honor and a pleasure to be here," said Mike Gulotta, CEO of Deo Volente Farms in the winner's circle after Race 3. "I love the crowd; I love the racing. Together with the sale, it's a perfect venue. It's a place to showcase some great, great horses." Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Friday, Oct. 4 with four divisions of the $290,200 Muscle Hill International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies--sponsored by Southwind Farms--and two divisions of the $239,000 Arlene Siegel Memorial International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies--sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- With 12 dropping in the entry box Thursday morning, the harness racing draw for the $450,000 Kentucky Futurity Final was conducted during the Thursday (Oct. 3) card at The Red Mile. Off a 1:49.4 mile under wraps in his Bluegrass division, Greenshoe fronts the field of 12. The Father Patrick colt recently surpassed $1 million in earnings for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli. He leads a Melander triage into the 127th renewal of the trotting triple crown classic with stablemates Gimpanzee and Green Manalishi S also entering. The draw for the 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity was also conducted. A total of 11 fillies dropped into the box with Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry back to rematch Millies Posession. Below are the fields for the Kentucky Futurity and the Filly Futurity: Race 8 | $450,000 127th Kentucky Futurity Post-Name-Trainer 1-Chin Chin Hall-Richard "Nifty" Norman 2-Marseille-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Super Schissel-Per Engblom 4-Greenshoe-Marcus Melander 5-Don't Let'em-Nancy Johansson 6-Gimpanzee-Marcus Melander 7-Mass Fortune K-Norm Parker 8-Green Manalishi S-Marcus Melander 9-Pilot Discretion-Tony Alagna 10-Soul Strong-Ake Svanstedt 11-Goes Down Smooth-Ron Burke 12-Union Forces-Julie Miller Race 6 | $267,000 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity Post-Name-Trainer 1-Weslynn Quest-Christopher Beaver 2-The Ice Dutchess-Nancy Johansson 3-Millies Posession-Jim Campbell 4-When Dovescry-Rene Allard 5-Starita-Joe Holloway 6-Seaside Bliss-Paul Kelley 7-Miss Trixton-Marcus Melander 8-Princess Deo-Lucas Wallin 9-Beautiful Sin-Ake Svanstedt 10-Golden Tricks-Ake Svanstedt 11-Asiago-Per Engblom An eight-race card caps the Grand Circuit fortnight at The Red Mile and also features the Tattersalls Pace and the mare divisions of the Allerage Farms. The closing-day card gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile    

LEXINGTON, KY--The Saturday, Oct. 5 card at The Red Mile--the second to last harness racing program of the Grand Circuit meet--draws four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts, a single soph-filly pace dash for the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial and the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace. Off a third-place performance in the $562,500 Metro Pace, Capt Midnight returns to the track in the first division of the Betting Line, sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms. The Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous colt rode a five-race win streak entering the Metro Final, but brushed prematurely to the front through quick fractions and faltered through the lane as the odds-on favorite. The winner of $221,464 starts from post 4 with Andrew McCarthy in the bike for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing. Roll With JR starts directly left of Capt Midnight after winning an $81,950 Bluegrass division going wire to wire in 1:50.4. The Roll With Joe colt, who finished second in the Kentucky Sires Stakes championship, has accrued $142,891 in earnings for Pollack Racing LLC and trainer Jeff Cullipher. Doug McNair will again drive the Roll With Joe colt. Cattlewash tops the second Betting Line split off a 1:50.3 victory in an $80,950 division of Bluegrass. The Ron Burke-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt has four wins, which came in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, from eight starts and $141,502 earned for owner William Donovan. Yannick Gingras sits in the bike from post 4 for trainer Ron Burke. Metro Pace winner Tall Dark Stranger enters the third Betting Line division undefeated. In six starts, the Bettor's Delight colt has amassed $376,890 in earnings for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The Nancy Johansson trainee makes his third start on the Grand Circuit and will have Yannick Gingras in the sulky from post 1. Another undefeated pacer, Elver Hanover, leads the fourth Betting Line split. The Yankee Cruiser gelding broke the two-year-old pacing world record set by stable mate Warrawee Ubeaut last year when popping pocket to a 1:48.3 victory in an $80,950 division of Bluegrass. The Ron Burke trainee--owned by Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby--has Chris Page in the bike as he tries to stay unbeaten from nine starts. The top sophomore pacing fillies in the country meet in the Glen Garnsey Memorial Tattersalls Pace, sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms. World-champion Warrawee Ubeaut rides a five-race win streak, including blowouts in both heats of the Jugette. The Ron Burke-trained daughter of Sweet Lou has over $1.1 million earned for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi and will have Yannick Gingras driving from post 3. Fan Hanover champion Treacherous Reign starts from post 9 off a 1:49.4 far-turn swoop in a $163,100 division of Bluegrass. The Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous filly finished third in her start prior to Warrawee Ubeaut in the second heat of the Jugette after winning in her first-heat elimination. Dexter Dunn steers the winner of $686,187 for owners Alagna Racing, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables and Mr. Dana Parham. Stonebridge Soul, who rose to prominence among the sophomore pacing filly ranks when winning the James Lynch Memorial and Mistletoe Shalee, will have to overcome post 10. The Chris Ryder-trained Somebeachsomewhere filly ships from a fifth-place finish in the Jugette Final after finishing second to Warrawee Ubeaut in her elimination. Tim Tetrick drives the winner of $530,301 for owners Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo. In the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace, sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds, Mcwicked--the richest stallion in harness racing history--will try to add to his record-setting bankroll. Earning over $4.6 million, the eight-year-old McArdle stallion has four wins from 13 starts this season and enters off a second-place finish in the $151,750 Dayton Pacing Derby. Casie Coleman trains Mcwicked for owner S S G Stables and will have Brian Sears driving. Free-for-all trotters also race on the Saturday card in the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Open, sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural. Kentucky Futurity winner Six Pack, starting from post 7, returns to the scene of his 1:49.1 world record. The four-year-old son of Muscle Mass makes his second start in a month, with his return to the track coming with a fourth-place finish in the $230,000 Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park. With $1.5 million earned from 32 starts, Six Pack will have trainer and co-owner Ake Svanstedt in the sulky for partners Little E LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmar and Lawrence Berg. Crystal Fashion, who finished fourth as the 9-5 favorite in the $450,000 Maple Leaf Trot, starts from post 3. The four-year-old Cantab Hall gelding approaches $2 million in earnings for owner Fashion Farms LLC thanks to victories this season in the Hambletonian Maturity and John Cashman Memorial along with a million-dollar sophomore campaign. David Miller guides the Jim Campbell trainee from post 3. The 10-race program Saturday also features two late-closing events for freshman pacing colts and a sole late-closing event for trotting fillies and mares. Racing gets underway Saturday with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full race results and entries click here. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY-- A total of six divisions of International Stallion Stakes (ISS) compose part of the harness racing card at The Red Mile Friday, Oct. 4. Freshman trotting fillies compete in four divisions of the $290,200 ISS while the freshman pacing fillies race in two divisions of the $239,000 ISS. Love A Good Story, off a victory in an $83,000 division of Bluegrass, starts from the pylons in the first division of the filly trot. The Chapter Seven filly--owned by Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe--collected her seventh victory from nine starts when hitting the finish in 1:52.2 to pull a 7-1 upset last week. The winner of $216,187 will have Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Julie Miller. Crucial, a three-quarter sister to Ineffable (who sold for $600,000 at night one of the Lexington Selected Sale), will compete against Love A Good Story from post 3. The Ron Burke-trained daughter of Father Patrick enters off consecutive third-place finishes in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes Final and the $215,000 Kentuckiana at Hoosier Park. Chris Page steers the winner of $127,023 for owners Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, J&T Silve-Prunel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. Ramona Hill races widest of her seven foes in the second ISS split as she puts her unbeaten record on the line against Sister Sledge, who starts from post 1 after losing for the first time in eight starts last week. Trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert Leblanc and In The Gym Partners, Ramona Hill blasted off a pocket trip under a hand drive to a 1:52.4 win in an $82,000 division of Bluegrass. The winner of $66,000 will try to stay undefeated in her fifth pari-mutuel bow and will have Andrew McCarthy in the sulky. Sister Sledge added Lasix when racing as the 1-2 favorite in an $82,000 division of Bluegrass but flattened through the lane and settled for third in a 1:54.1 mile. The Ron Burke-trained daughter of Father Patrick--who has banked $274,402 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi--neighbors on the gate the Per Engblom trainee Shishito, who won an $83,000 division of Bluegrass in 1:52 to up her bankroll to $222,776 for owners Black Horse Racing and John Fielding. Yannick Gingras drives Sister Sledge while Dexter Dunn drives Shishito. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt sends Common Sense S from post 8 in the third ISS division off a 1:53.3 win in an $82,000 division of Bluegrass where she bested Sister Sledge. Co-owned by Svanstedt Inc. with the S R F Stable, the Trixton filly has five wins to her credit from nine starts and $122,600 earned. Erv Miller upgrades Heaven to Grand Circuit company in the same division after the Father Patrick filly won a late-closing event last week at Lexington going wire to wire in 1:55.1 to break her maiden in her 11th start. Owned by Ervin Miller Stable, Louis Willinger, George Golemes and Happy Hour Racing, Heaven has earned $34,942 and will start from post 5 in rein to Marcus Miller. Doherty Memorial runner-up Sherry Lyns Lady leads the final ISS filly trot off a 1:54.2 victory in the Kentuckiana at Hoosier Park. Hitting the board in eight of nine starts but winning only twice, the Jim Campbell-trained Father Patrick filly has accrued $264,154 in earnings for owners Coyote Wynd Farms and will start from post 3 with Tim Tetrick driving. In the earlier division of ISS for two-year-old pacing fillies, Reflect With Me looks to reenter the winner's circle off two check-earning finishes in the She's A Great Lady. The Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous filly--with $156,225 earned for owners Brittany Farms LLC and Brad Grant--will start from post 2 with Andrew McCarthy in the bike. Flanking the likely favorite, Looksgoodinaromper makes her first Grand Circuit foray. The Pet Rock filly thrived on the Ohio Sires Stakes circuit, hitting the board in all seven starts while collecting five victories and amassing $273,650 in earnings for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Chris Page drives the Ohio Sires Stakes champ from post 3 for trainer Ron Burke. Kentucky Sires Stakes champ Gai Waterhouse will attempt to rebound in the later ISS frosh-filly pace dash. The Domenico Cecere trainee--entering from a 1:50.3 pocket-popping score in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes championship--stalked the pacesetter again but gave chase to finish third as the 8-5 favorite in a $140,750 division of Bluegrass. The daughter of Western Ideal--earning $171,890 for owner Lindy Farms of Connecticut--will have Yannick Gingras in the sulky. The nine-race program also features two late-closing events for two-year-old trotting colts and a single late-closing dash for pacing fillies and mares. Racing gets underway Friday with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). by Ray Cotolo, for the Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- A seven-race harness racing card starts the second week of the Grand Circuit fortnight at The Red Mile with three divisions of the $276,300 International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts highlighting the Thursday, Oct. 3 card. Rome Pays Off leads the opening division after finishing third in a $105,500 division of Bluegrass. The Marcus Melander-trained Muscle Hill colt closed from last with a :27.1 final quarter to finish eight lengths behind the winner. Brother Mattias Melander stays in the sulky as he pilots the winner of $177,494 for owner S R F Stable. Amigo Volo, who gave trainer Carter Pinske his first Grand Circuit victory, starts from the outermost post in the field of seven composing the second Stallion Stake split. Dexter Dunn piloted the Father Patrick gelding to a seven-length victory in a division of the Bluegrass and stopped the clock in 1:52.3, lowering the world record for a freshman trotting gelding. Dunn will again drive the winner of $168,646 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Dunn also drove E L Ideal, racing from post 3 in the second division, to a maiden-breaking 1:52.2 victory in the Bluegrass last week. The Ake Svanstedt-trained Muscle Hill colt, racing for Emp Invest Oy, will have Andy Miller in the bike. Real Cool Sam fronts the final division as he tries to stay unbeaten in nine starts. With victories including a 1:53.1 victory in the $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial and--more recently--a 1:53.4 win in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, the Fashion Farms homebred has accrued $420,038 in earnings. David Miller will maintain the reins as he steers the Jim Campbell trainee from post 5. Gangster Hanover, romping by nine-and-a-quarter lengths in his Bluegrass split, will start from post 7 in the final division. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt launched the Father Patrick colt after the pacesetter circling the final turn and sprinted to the finish in :26.2 to win in a lifetime-best 1:52.3 last week. Svanstedt, who co-owns the colt, stays in the bike behind the winner of $114,522 for co-owners S R F Stable and Brittany Farms. Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Ready For Moni will try to rebound as he faces Real Cool Sam from post 3. The Per Engblom-trained colt by Ready Cash led most of the mile in his $105,500 division of Bluegrass last week before jumping and veering into the safety lane through the stretch. He has earned $161,500 from six starts for owners John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield, and will have Jimmy Takter in the bike. The Thursday, Oct. 3 program also features three late-closing events for two-year-old trotting fillies and a single late-closing race for two-year-old pacing fillies. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY -- Entering from several off-the-board finishes, the harness racing Brian Brown trainee, Workin Ona Mystery, catapulted off cover to pace the quickest mile of the three divisions of the $267,400 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes--sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on Sunday, Sept. 29 at The Red Mile. Semi Tough took command from Dancin Lou entering the first turn and led the field to a :27.1 opening quarter while 4-5 favorite Captain Crunch sat fourth with Workin Ona Mystery on his back. The favorite then tipped from the pylons passing a :54.4 half and ranged towards the pacesetter while supplying cover to Workin Ona Mystery heading to three-quarters in 1:21.4. Captain Crunch took command from Semi Tough through the stretch but could not withstand Workin Ona Mystery as he darted past to a two-length victory in 1:48.1. Dancin Lou, off a pocket trip, finished third. "It's been a two-month struggle," Brian Brown said after the race. "It's like every time you turned around, there was something else wrong blood related--some infection; the white count was out of whack and then it'd knock his red count, his hemoglobin, out of whack. Just something all the time with him--and he's finally getting healthy again. Tim [Tetrick]'s helped with getting him rigged up. He's behaving much better; he's more relaxed. Hats off to his groom, his trainer--they've helped me get this horse back going." Bred by White Birch Farm and owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith and Wingfield Brothers LLC, Workin Ona Mystery won his ninth race from 17 starts, earning $430,341. Tim Tetrick drove the Captaintreacherous colt who paid $4.60 to win. American Mercury motored off a pocket trip to a 1:49.3 victory in the second division of the Captaintreacherous. Driver Tyler Buter pushed for the front with American Mercury heading to the first turn but yielded command to Can't Beach That after a :27 first quarter. American Mercury stayed in the pocket through a :55 half and three-quarters in 1:23.3 while Can't Beach That endured far-turn pressure from De Los Cielos Deo. But De Los Cielos Deo faltered into the stretch, leaving room for American Mercury to slingshot from the pocket and to the lead through the stretch. He hit the finish two lengths better than Fabrice Hanover, who tracked De Los Cielos Deo's cover for second, with Can't Beach That finishing third. Winning his 10th race from 20 starts, American Mercury--sired by American Ideal--has earned $631,443 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice. Chris Oakes trains the $3.40 winner bred by Steve Stewart, Julie Nash and Charles Nash. American Mercury Bettor's Wish brushed past tiring horses circling the final turn to take the final Captaintreacherous split. The Chris Ryder trainee raced fourth while Air Force Hanover took control before a :26.4 first quarter. Pyro then pulled wide from third and surged to the lead nearing a :53.4 half but soon decelerated heading to the final turn. Driver Dexter Dunn angled Bettor's Wish from fourth and blitzed the pacesetter as he slowed to three-quarters in 1:22, then opened a four-length margin on the field through the lane. Air Force Hanover gave pursuit from second while Shake That House closed from third over to finish third in a 1:48.3 mile. "He impressed me even this week," Ryder said after the race. "I was saying to myself [that] he feels fresh; he doesn't feel tired. I had a little bit of trouble with him in the stall--he keeps spinning around; he's just got so much energy the last two or three weeks. He wanted to go race; he didn't want to be locked up. That's just the way he is." Accruing $1,426,000 in earnings for owners Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor's Wish--a son of Bettor's Delight bred by Brittany Farms--collected his 15th victory from 26 starts. He paid $2.20 to win. "This horse he has such a great personality; he's what I look for in a yearling," said Art Zubrod, co-owner through Fair Island Farm, after the race. "Every time you put him in the paddock with somebody he was the same... he just can't wait to get to the racetrack. Bettor's Wish "Last year I thought he was a top colt," Zubrod also said, "and Chris [Ryder] called me this winter, he said 'We've been offered quite a bit of money, what do you think?' And I said 'Man, I'm going to be honest with you: I know this horse is top three. Paul MacDonell last year took such good care of this horse--had a couple of races that he could've won if he went to the stick but he didn't go to the stick and I think it's really helped us this year." Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Thursday, Oct. 3 with the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY -- Surpassing $1 million in earnings, Greenshoe coasted to a 1:49.4 victory in the first of two divisions of the $192,200 International Moni Bluegrass Stakes--sponsored by the International Moni Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm--as harness racing trainer Marcus Melander swept the pair of sophomore trotting events Sunday, Sept. 29 at The Red Mile. Greenshoe raced third to a :26.3 first quarter set by Chin Chin Hall with Union Forces sitting in the pocket. Driver Brian Sears kept Greenshoe in third through a :55.2 half before pulling wide and cruising to the top rounding the final turn. The Father Patrick colt--sent the 1-9 favorite--strode past three-quarters in 1:23 and sprinted to the finish in :26.4 under pursuit from stablemate Gimpanzee in second. Chin Chin Hall settled for third. "He's been behaving the whole year," Melander said after the race. "He's been here almost for three weeks now and he's very relaxed on this track. I'm always a little bit nervous when he goes out on the track to see how he behaves. But he's been behaving every start so I cannot complain. "I think he can go [1]:48," Melander also said. "If he gets a faster half or faster three-quarters. But he's so fast that he can do that for sure." Winning his 11th race from 15 starts, Greenshoe has $1,016,273 banked for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli. Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz bred the $2.10 winner. Melander's other star pupil, millionaire Green Manalishi S, delivered as the 4-5 favorite in the second International Moni division. Green Manalishi S Marseille moved for the top heading to a :27.1 first quarter while Osterc protected the pocket. Driver Tim Tetrick angled Green Manalishi S first over nearing a :55.4 half and ranged towards the pacesetter with Pilot Discretion in tow approaching three-quarters in 1:23. Green Manalishi S took command entering the stretch as Marseille battled towards the pylons and Pilot Discretion kicked off cover to give chase. The Melander-trained Muscle Hill colt stopped the clock in 1:50.4 and finished one length better than Pilot Discretion with Marseille holding third. "[Greenshoe's] probably a little better at the end of the day but [Green Manalishi S] keeps showing up and has put a lot of dollars on that right column," Tetrick said after the race. "My horse likes sitting on the outside there and grinding it out. He's never winning by four or five; he makes it close, but he will fight them." a Bred by Ab Svensk Reklamfinans and owned by Courant Inc., Green Manalishi S won his 11th race from 20 starts, amassing $1,149,395. He paid $3.60 to win. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Thursday, Oct. 3 with the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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