Lexington, KY – Three-year-old trotting colts, many of whom will compete next week in the Kentucky Futurity, were in the spotlight at Lexington’s Red Mile clay oval Saturday in three divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes.
The $86,500 first division saw Creatine ($3.00) and driver Mike Lachance hold on at the finish to win in 1:52.3 over Puxsutawney (Corey Callahan) and Dealiest Catch by a half length.
Lachance took Creatine right to the front from the start with Deadliest Catch grabbing the two-hole spot to the opening quarter mile in :28.2 and past the half in :56.2. It was late in the backstretch that Callahan came first-over with Punxsutawney and starting up against Creatine by the three-quarters in 1:25.
But in the stretch it was Creatine and Lachance holding off all contenders to the wire.
Sired by Andover Hall, Creatine is trained by Bob Stewart and was bred and is owned by the Diamond Creek Racing Stable of Wellsville, PA. It was his fifth win this year.
Corky was in the race but never was heard from and finished fifth.
“I really did not want to race him on the front end today,” Lachance said. “But the race did not set up for that. I tried to cut even fractions. I didn’t ask him for anything until the last turn and at the top of the stretch he was strong. He has been racing super every start. He always gives you everything he has.”
Driver Tim Tetrick made it a grand slam on the day with his fourth winner aboard Your So Vain ($2.20) in the $86,900 second division of the Bluegrass Stakes. And they did it with a dramatic closing effort from sixth place at the top of the stretch.
The headstrong Bluto and driver Andy Miller went right to the lead with Lindy’s Tru Grit (Scott Zeron) in the pocket seat to the opening quarter mile in :29.2. Yannick Gingras tried a quarter move first up with Vibe Blue Chip but Pluto would have nothing to do it with that and forced Gingras to take Vibe Blue Chip back to third place along the rail by the half mile in :57.1.
Heading into the final turn Pluto still controlled the race on the lead past the three-quarters in 1:25.3 with Your So Vain seemingly out of contention for Tetrick in sixth place, nearly eight lengths off the leaders.
Then in a classic stretch drive, Tetrick was able to urge Your So Vain on in the stretch to not only collar Bluto, but then pass by Lindy’s Tru Grit and Vibe Blue Chip to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. Lindy’s Tru Grit was second with Vibe Blue Chip third.
Trained by Bradley Maxwell, it was the fourth win this year for the son of Donato Hanover, who has now been first or second in his last five starts for the P G Van Camp Stables of Port Perry, Ontario.
“He just wants to put his nose out,” Said Tetrick. “I drove him a couple of times last year. He’s a nice nice horse, nothing flashy. Today he proved he can make up six-seven lengths in the lane. He was pretty awesome. He had to make up eight-nine lengths at the top of the stretch. At the quarter pole I was cussing myself for taking him back as far as I did with the slow fractions. I put a lot of trust in the horse. He shows he loves come home. He showed a lot of talent last year. I really liked him. He’s come back strong this year and he is really sound.
“I think they are going to race him next week in the Futurity,” Tetrick said. “They came here to race. This track is really kind to the owners and the way he races he may only have to go a couple of quarters. Going heats may not hurt this horse at all. When you let the race come to him and he is 12 lengths back you still have a shot.”
Spider Blue Chip was the fastest of the three divisional winners Sunday, setting the track record for three-year-old gelding with a 1:51.3 lifetime mark for driver Ron Pierce.
Pierce left with Spider Blue Chip ($6.40) and took the lead away from All Laid Out (Yannick Gingras) by the opening quarter mile in :28. Master Of Law (Scott Zeron) had tried coming first-over but went off-stride.
Spider Blue Chip was then able to hold the field at bay to the half in :55.1 and then by the three-quarters in 1:24.2 Pine Credit moved out of third place for driver Corey Callahan to mount a challenge as the field turned for home. But it was too little too late as Spider Blue Chip was the strong horse and won with ease by three-quarters of a length. Pine Credit was second with All Laid Out third.
It was the eighth win this year for the son of Andover Hall. He is trained by Chuck Sylvester for owners David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ontario.
“Today was the first time this year that he raced with open bridle,” said Chuck Sylvester. “So I expected he may do that (look around). He has made a lot of money this year and he battles with the best of them. He is a very nice horse. He has the Futurity next week and hope we can get by that and then to the Breeders Crown.”
By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com