Day At The Track

Ariana G gleams in $255,000 Stallion Stakes

09:48 AM 08 Oct 2016 NZDT
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Ariana G Treviso Temple Ruins, Ice Attraction
Ariana G, by Muscle Hill out of the Cantab Hall mare Cantab It All
Nigel Soult Photo
Treviso is by Muscle Massive out of the Taurus Dream mare Valbonela
Nigel Soult Photo
Temple Ruins, by Donato Hanover out of the Muscles Yankee mare Temple Of Heaven
Nigel Soult Photo
Ice Attraction, by Muscle Hill out of the Conway Hall mare The Ice Queen
Nigel Soult Photo
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LEXINGTON, KY-- Overtaking pacesetter Cool Cates after the half, Ariana G strolled around the far turn and through the stretch to win one of four divisions of the $255,000 International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile for the harness racing two-year-old trotting fillies in 1:51.3.

Setting splits of :27.4 and :55.4, Cool Cates led before losing the lead to Ariana G, who was flushed first over by Chezatter approaching the final turn. Ariana G parked Chezatter passing three quarters, timed in 1:24.2. Driver Yannick Gingras had Ariana G under a hand drive in the stretch while Chezatter attempted to pursue her on the outside. She hit the line nearly two lengths in front of Chezatter, while Evelyn trotted down the center of the track to take third.

Trained by Jimmy Takter, Ariana G, by Muscle Hill out of the Cantab Hall mare Cantab It All, won her eighth race in nine starts this year, compiling $438,967 in earnings for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. She paid $2.40 to win.

"This is really thrilling for both myself and Al," Marvin Katz said. "Jimmy has done a fabulous, fabulous job, but this is as exciting as it has ever been for us. She's our filly; we bred her through our program and we're so proud of it. It shows that we're really producing top-flight horses."

"She showed some ability in the paddock," Al Libfeld said on the two's decision to keep Ariana G. "It was not a hard choice to make."

"That was very impressive; this filly is really scary," Jimmy Takter said. "Yannick said that he shut her down through the whole stretch; if he would've let her go a little bit and pick up a gear for the record, he said she would've trotted way under 1:51."

Treviso tracked Hillarmbro as she sped around the course before slinging out of the pocket and edging to victory in 1:53.1.

Senia Hanover grabbed command and led through a :28.3 opening quarter before yielding to Hillarmbro into the backstretch. Flushed out by Treviso, Hillarmbro extended to a wide enough lead for Treviso to tuck into the pocket, and Hillarmbro held control through a :55.1 half. The two drew away from Senia Hanover as she faltered around the turn. The 3-5 favorite Thats All Moni had to circle by her from fourth heading to three quarters, already trailing Hillarmbro and Treviso by four lengths through three quarters in 1:23.2.

Hillarmbro maintained control as Treviso stalled to her outside. By the eighth pole, she began advancing towards Hillarmbro, soon matching strides with her in the final yards before pushing herself in front at the wire.

By Muscle Massive out of the Taurus Dream mare Valbonela, Treviso won her fifth start in nine this year, earning $144,569 for owners Kils Brothers Stable and Carrie Norris. Trained and driven by Charlie Norris, she paid $8.20.

"I thought for sure Trond [Smedshammer on Hillarmbro] would leave," Charlie Norris said. "I didn't mind following her after the way she raced last week, but Andy [Miller on Senia Hanover] kind of surprised me; we were trotting pretty fast. She was relaxed; most [horses] aren't relaxed going that fast. Last week she was a little grabby, but today she was two fingers."

"She's definitely going [to the Breeders Crown]," Norris also said.

Diving the cones as the stretch-battling leaders tired, Temple Ruins squeezed to a 1:54.4 win over Feed Your Head and Overdraft Volo.

The even-money favorite Dream Baby Dream set the pace through fractions of :28.3 and :57.2. Pocket-sitter Overdraft Volo pulled first over entering the final turn and was tracked by Feed Your Head. Temple Ruins trotted fourth through three quarters in 1:26 as Overdraft Volo edged to the lead. Feed Your Head struggled to pass to her outside and Temple Ruins began to trot towards the leaders, moving to the pylons and surging to the top. Feed Your Head managed to take second and Overdraft Volo was third.

Winning his third race in 10 starts this year, Temple Ruins, by Donato Hanover out of the Muscles Yankee mare Temple Of Heaven, has earned $176,885 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Michelle Yanek, Paul Treiber, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She is trained by Ron Burke, was driven by Brian Sears, and paid $30.60 to win.

Last week she still had a lot of trot finishing," Brian Sears said. "She really doesn't have that high speed that a lot of these [fillies] here do have, but she definitely keeps going and doesn't get that tired."

"She had a little trot; I was gaining some ground, so if I had room [I felt I could get up]," Sears also said. "It was pretty tight at the wire, but I was glad to see us come up a winner."

Ice Attraction moved to the lead after the quarter and remained in front to win her International Stallion Stakes division in 1:53.3.

Dangle Then Deke launched of the gate to take the lead, soon losing it as Ice Attraction edged out of the pocket and towards the top through a :28.4 first quarter. She was in front through a :56.3 half as Fine Tuned Lady, sent the 6-5 favorite, was flushed first over by Broadway Idole. Fine Tuned Lady pressured Ice Attraction heading to three quarters, but soon dropped back as Ice Attraction drew away by two lengths through a 1:25 third-quarter.

Pursued by Broadway Idole fanning wide of Fine Tuned Lady and Myammie Drama towards the center of the track, Ice Attraction remained in front. Broadway Idole took second, and Myammie Drama finished third.

Ice Attraction, by Muscle Hill out of the Conway Hall mare The Ice Queen, won her third race in seven starts this year, earning $67,175 for owners Ake Svanstedt, Douglas Sipple, Mal & Janet Burroughs and Little E LLC. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, she paid $6.40 to win.

"I've gone in with Ake on a couple of horses," part-owner Jeff Gural said. "When he came over, he actually bought a horse I bred, so I walked over to thank him and that's how I met him. I told him if he needed a partner on any horses to give me a call, and I've been lucky to tell you the truth. I'm partners on a few, but three of them raced here so far and I've got a first, a second, and a third."

"A lot of [Ake's] horses got sick, including this one," Gural also said. "We had hoped to race last week, but we were out 31 days so we had to qualify. I was anxious to see her race because I saw her baby race and I thought she was a good filly, but then she got sick and I was kind of disappointed. It looks like Ake's got her on the right track."

"I make sure my horses win at the tracks I own, otherwise it's a problem," Gural also said jokingly about Ice Attraction's recent wins in a $28,410 Tompkins-Geers division and a $29,190 Reynolds division at Tioga Downs.

Live racing from The Red Mile resumes on Saturday, October 8, with four divisions of the $260,000 International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies and four divisions of the $262,000 International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. First race post for the 10-race program is set for 1:00pm.

By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile


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