Day At The Track

Kentucky Sire Stakes contested at Red Mile

11:39 AM 16 Aug 2016 NZST
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Lexington, KY --- On Sunday (Aug. 14) evening, eight $15,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes events were contested at Red Mile. With divisions for 2- and 3-year-olds of both gaits, these races were the second preliminary leg of the series which culminates in lucrative harness racing finals worth a total of $1.4 million on Sunday (Aug. 21.).

Although there were some familiar faces in the field, such as defending champions Barryscourt and Lakeisha Hall, as well as last year’s runner-up in the freshman final, Cracker Cam, there were two youngsters that stole this evening’s show that could very well develop into future stars in He’s On A Mission and Mystic Stella.

He’s On A Mission, a son of Groton Hall-Lisas Mission kicked off the card, which was held over a surface that absorbed a considerable amount of rain earlier in the day, with a facile triumph in 2:02.1 for pilot Charlie Conrad and conditioner Stacey Ruddick. Co-owned by Ruddick and Denise Dennis, the 2-year-old trotting gelding went straight to the lead and was never threatened by his four other rivals in what was a rather leisurely journey over the red clay oval.

The prohibitive 1-9 favorite captured his second consecutive victory and the second win of his young career in his fourth start, all of which have been in Lexington. Stanford (Master Glide-Fortuna) and Father Julio (Tequila Spur-Cherry Tree Sara) were second and third.

It cannot be denied He’s On A Mission won with considerable ease, but Mystic Stellar served notice she could be a superstar in the making. The daughter of Groton Hall-Mia Stellina trotted immediately to the lead in the fourth race and nearly dragged reinsman Tom Jackson out of the bike with her willingness to separate herself from the rest of the field.

Before she even hit the first turn she was more than five lengths in front and after the first quarter-mile clock lit up with her fractional time of :27.3 Mystic Stella was already 14 lengths ahead of her rivals. Without any encouragement from her driver, the filly continued to pour it on and although her final margin of victory was 9-1/4 lengths she was wrapped up through the stretch.

Trained by Peter Foley and owned by All Star Racing, Mystic Stella trotted her mile in 1:57.4, a new lifetime mark and was the 1-9 public selection. This win, the second of her career, now sets her record at 4-2-1-0 and as track announcer Gabe Prewitt said, “It is like this filly is on another planet.”

Cassandra As (Allstar Hall-Cassie Aas and Almondy As (Allstar Hall-Marabou As) were second and third.

The 2-year-old colt and filly pace winners were V Power (Prince Chablis-Tm’s Go Go Scooter) and Al-mar-got-A Fever (Third Straight-Cheatin’ Hall). Both winners came from off the pace after turning for home to secure their spots in next week’s final with V Power being sent to post at odds of 14-1, while his filly counterpart was 3-2.

In the sophomore events, both defending champions completed their task to add another Kentucky title to their resumes. Barryscourt (Northern Kid-Katie Hall), owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Benjamin Graber, Bobby Brower and Victory Hill Farm, powered home to hit the wire in 1:55.3. Conditioned by Brower and steered by Josh Sutton, the trotting gelding appears to be poised to capture next week’s race, as the time Sunday night was a new speed standard and the trotter’s second win, to go along with a third, from three starts in 2016. Con Air Hall and Fetchit were second and third.

Lakeisha Hall did not allow Barryscourt to be the sole champion from last year to cruise into the finials. The daughter of Third Straight-Lantana Hall, owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, battled to the wire in the eighth race to just hold off Bellatricks by a head in 1:53.3, equaling her lifetime best. Moonshine Bliss was third.

Guided by Dave Palone, Lakeisha Hall will enter the $175,000 final for 3-year-old pacing fillies with a lifetime record of 12-8-2-0 and paced her swiftest mile last year in this very series.

The biggest surprise of the night was when Sea Shore won her contest for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The daughter of Tsunami Ranger-Baywatch, who is owned by Benjamin Graber and Bobby Brower, pressured favorite Barrys Gift nearly three-quarters of the journey to the finish line and then strode home with purpose to clearly prove the best over Erica America and Golden Genes Cash.

With Brower picking up the lines in addition to his training duties, Sea Shore’s win in the second race was the first in her four-race career. For that reason, she was sent off at 33-1 odds and paid $69.20 to win.

Cracker Cam was the exact opposite of Sea Shore in the 3-year-old colt pacing event as he was expected to win. The son of Cambest-Nasty As Can Be, who is owned by Peavyhouse Stables and trained by Bill Cottongim was the heavy favorite in race six. He was the public selection to take the championship last year and just missed.

With Trace Tetrick in the bike, Cracker Cam enjoyed a perfect pocket trip, slingshot to the lead at the top of the stretch and was well within himself all the way to the wire. The final time of 1:53.2 was a new career best. Best To Hurst and Thirdstraight Shot were second and third.

by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

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