Day At The Track

KYSS Consolations at The Red Mile

01:28 PM 15 Sep 2019 NZST
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Doc's Hooligan, harness racing Chief Mate, harness racing Jax Ready, harness racing
Doc's Hooligan beats Shipshape to the wire
Nigel Soult Photo
Chief Mate and driver Montrell Teague
Nigel Soult Photo
Jax Ready sneaks up the rail to beat Sheena Soldier
Nigel Soult Photo

Doc's Hooligan blew by the field to score in the $50,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes consolation for 3-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Saturday at the Red Mile.

Winning driver Elliott Deaton kept his gelding to task down the lane and got up to nab Shipshape in the final strides, stopping the clock in a lifetime-best 1:49.2. Military Secret was stepped around by the top two in the stretch, but held on for third.

Blacklight was sent to the engine early and hung 4/5 favorite Egomania out to dry as they headed to the quarter in :26.3. Aaron Merriman would then drive on with Egomania and wrested away control of the lead on the backstretch. He guided the field of seven to the half in :53.1 and then the three quarters in 1:21.1, but yielded to first Military Secret and then Shipshape as they straightened out and tired to finish sixth.

Shipshape put away Military Secret halfway down the stretch, but Doc's Hooligan would then rally from the backfield and get by for a final margin of victory of just a head. There were no other horses in contention as they entered the final sixteenth.

Doc's Hooligan's earnings will now top $60,000 as he picks up his fifth win from 23 starts for owner Chuck Grubbs. Top trainer Dan Noble conditioned the colt that paid $9.80 to win.

A race later, Jax Reddy would emerge victorious from a similar deep-stretch duel in another $50,000 KYSS consolation, this one for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

Sheena Soldier had grabbed the lead into the first turn for Josert Fonseca and had to defend against early pressure from first-up favourite King Slayer. Those two squabbled to the three-quarters and as they turned for home, Sheena Soldier vacated the rail for Jax Reddy, who put the leader under further duress. Jax Reddy reached up on the inside to give Deaton a driving double, and King Slayer finished third after being repelled. St Martins and Fire N Fury were off-stride at the start and finished well back.

Sheena Soldier was clocked at the quarter in :30.0, half in 1:00.3, three-quarters in 1:29.2, and Jax Reddy came home quickest of the field in :28.0. He earned a new lifetime mark of 1:57.3, dropping his previous one by almost seven seconds.

Jack Gray owns and trains the homebred by Dejarmbro. His horse has now won six races and raked in $43,500 from 10 starts. This is the first major Kentucky Sires Stakes event victory for the colt who had previously racked up several wins on the Kentucky fair circuit, including one he had won by 70 lengths.

The winner went off at 3/1 and paid $8.60.

Chief Mate was not forced to sweat out a battle to the line like the others as he won comfortably in the third $50,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes consolation for freshman pacing colts and geldings.

The 3/5 favorite opened up five lengths on the far turn and coasted to a 1:51.4 4¼ length win. Major Risky was game late and moved up for second, followed by Millennial in third.

Chief Mate found the lead going into the first bend and made driver Montrell Teague's job very easy from then on. He put up fractions of :28.3, :56.4, 1:24.2, and a final quarter of :27.2.

What the Luck pulled out as the eight-horse group approached the five-eighths, but he would never reach the leader's wheel disc and eventually dropped to fourth. Major Risky grabbed his cover and paced by foes to pick up a place check. Millennial also came from the outside flow but made little headway towards the second-place finisher and settled for the show spot.

This was Chief Mate's third win from six starts for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Brittany Farms. The son of Captaintreacherous' earnings will increase to $39,750. He had previously captured two Kindergarten events at the Meadowlands where he took a mark of 1:51.1.

He went off as the odds-on favourite and paid $3.40 to win.

Kentucky Sires Stakes action concludes Sunday, Sept. 15 with two more $50,000 consolations and eight $250,000 finals for each division of 2- and 3-year-old. First-race post is set for 3:00 p.m. (EDT).

By Nicholas Barnsdale, for The Red Mile
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