Day At The Track

Trotters set to open Red Mile Grand Circuit Meet

11:14 AM 25 Sep 2019 NZST
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LEXINGTON, KY--The annual fortnight of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile begins on Thursday, Sept. 26 with three divisions of the $315,500 Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old harness racing trotting colts.

Back Of The Neck fronts a field of seven in the opening Bluegrass division. The Marcus Melander-trained son of Ready Cash exits a third-place finish in the $277,500 William Wellwood Memorial after winning his elimination in 1:55. Mattias Melander will sit behind the winner of three races from six starts--with earnings surpassing $80,000--from post 5 for owners Order By Stable, Judith Taylor and Howard Taylor.

Expectations, also trained by Marcus Melander, competes against his stablemate from post 7. The Muscle Hill colt, owned by Vicky Trotting Inc., finished second in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final after winning in two prelims and finishing third two weeks prior in the $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial. Brian Sears will drive the winner of two races in seven starts and $139,399 in earnings.

Capricornus fronts the second division of Bluegrass. Another Marcus Melander trainee, the Cantab Hall colt rolled from off cover to finish second in the William Wellwood Memorial after winning his elimination by a neck in a lifetime-best 1:55.1. Jj Racing Stable Inc. owns the winner of three races from seven starts--with $155,458 banked--and will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky from post 2.

A winner in an elimination of the Peter Haughton Memorial, Per Engblom trainee Synergy will try to rebound from an eighth-place finish in the William Wellwood Memorial. The Father Patrick colt--owned by Brittany Farms LLC, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and David Anderson--trotted a lifetime-best 1:54.4 when winning his elimination of the Haughton but finished fifth in the final. Yannick Gingras drives the winner of three races in six starts and $102,895.

Engblom also conditions third-division frontman Ready For Moni, who enters off 1:54.1 victory in the Kentucky Sires Stakes Final. The son of Ready Cash failed to sweep the series--making a break in the first prelim--but has won in his other four starts, earning $161,500 for John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield. Yannick Gingras will drive from post 6.

The nine-race program to kickoff the Grand Circuit meet also features late-closing events for two-year-old pacing and trotting fillies. A $3,000 division of the Billings Amateur Trot starts the card with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).

By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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