Day At The Track

Upset in International Stallion Stakes

09:14 AM 05 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Violet Stride, harness racing Sherry Lyns Lady, harness racing Madame Sherry, harness racing Ramona Hill, harness racing
Violet Stride and driver Tyler Buter
Nigel Soult Photo
Sherry Lyns Lady and driver Tim Tetrick
Nigel Soult Photo
Madame Sherry
Nigel Soult Photo
Ramona Hill and driver Andy MacCarthy
Nigel Soult Photo
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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

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