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LEXINGTON, KY-- At the site of his sire's and dam's world-record miles, the Always B Miki-Shebestingin colt Perfect Sting remained undefeated with a 1:50 performance in the third of three harness racing divisions for the $359,300 Stay Hungry Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace--presented by the Stay Hungry Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on Saturday (Oct. 3) at The Red Mile. Away third to a :27.4 first quarter, Perfect Sting swooped to the front and grabbed the lead from Summa Cum Laude before a :55.1 half. Always A Miki raced third and angled first over as Straight Talk advanced uncovered to the far turn. Perfect Sting kept Always A Miki at bay to three-quarters in 1:23.3 and easily turned away that challenger into the stretch. Summa Cum Laude stuck to the pylons and gave pursuit to Perfect Sting as the pair paced clear of the competition. Perfect Sting drifted off the pylons as Summa Cum Laude sprinted a straight course to the inside, but the Joe Holloway trainee dug in and held off the late challenger to win in 1:50. Always A Miki finished third with Pirate Hanover taking fourth. "I said back in about March or April--he's got the potential to be the best horse I've ever had, and I think he is," said Holloway, who conditioned both the winner's sire and dam. "Nobody was this advanced at two. Always B Miki wasn't this advanced, Jenna's Beach Boy wasn't. I was 38-years-old when I had Jenna and I thought they'd come along all the time. I now realize they don't come around that often. He's getting there, and he's still learning. He dug in, came [home] in :26.2... does what he has to do." Victorious in seven starts, Perfect Sting has accrued $254,450 for owners and breeders Brittany Farms LLC and Val D'Or Farms. David Miller drove the $2.10 winner. .............................................. A :52.4 half set by One Eight Hundred poised 8-5 favorite Lou's Pearlman for a stretch-drive burst, as the Sweet Lou colt scored in the opening division of the Stay Hungry in 1:49.1--a fifth of a second off the world record. One Eight Hundred led a four-horse charge into the first turn. Fulsome landed in the pocket with Literl Lad Hanover third and Commanding Officer fourth to a :26 first quarter. Lou's Pearlman raced fifth into the backstretch while One Eight Hundred chugged towards the half but quickly backed through the field to three-quarters in 1:21.3. Commanding Officer angled off the pylons as the pace slowed into the stretch and rushed to the lead. Lou's Pearlman advanced in tow before angling off cover and sliding by Commanding Officer. Literl Lad Hanover, finding room after the field bunched at headstretch, ripped down the center of the course to finish second behind his stablemate. Commanding Officer finished third with Captains Place taking fourth. "That was a dream trip for sure," winning driver Matt Kakaley said after the race. "We thought he was something special right away [but] he got a little sick--had a little problem here and there. He didn't finish the PA Sires [Stakes] the way we hoped [fourth in Championship], but he's bounced back and Ronnie [Burke]'s done a good job getting him back to the way he was at the beginning of the year." Collecting his fifth win from nine starts, Lou's Pearlman grew his bankroll to $191,318 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Elizabeth Novak and Howard Taylor. The homebred paid $5.20 to win. Lou's Pearlman ......................................... Southwind Gendry strolled to the front and held firm to the finish when taking the second division of the Stay Hungry as the 1-2 favorite in 1:50.2. Away fourth to a :28 first quarter, driver Yannick Gingras angled Southwind Gendry off the pegs and ranged towards the lead before a :55.4 half. Billy Clyde edged first over from eighth up the backstretch and flushed cover, with Red Right Hand tipping wide from fifth and Southwind Petyr catching that cover to the far turn. Red Right Hand rolled towards Southwind Gendry pacing to three-quarters in 1:23.4 but folded into the stretch. Southwind Gendry gained separation as Highlandbeachslover shook loose from the pocket entering the final eighth, but only narrowed the leader's margin to settle for second. Shakespeare shot through a seam at the pylons to take third with Southwind Petyr taking fourth. "We got him started a little big late this year and it maybe actually helped him," trainer Ron Burke said after the race. "He got very sick when he came up from Florida, so we maybe missed one Sire Stake and only had one qualifier. He's actually been a pleasant surprise--training down we really just thought he was just middle of the road. We gelded him because all he wanted to do his fight and not race. Since then he's improved tremendously and now I think he is a top colt." Now winning five straight and his seventh from nine starts overall, Southwind Gendry has banked $359,419 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, Knox Services, J&T Silva and Purnel & Libby. The Southwind Farms-bred Always B Miki gelding paid $3.00 to win. Southwind Gendry ................................................................... Presto Pops In Bluegrass Upset Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt pounced 10-1 shot Presto from the pocket and powered past 9-5 second choice You Ato Dream to win the first division of the $349,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Trot on Saturday (Oct. 3) at The Red Mile. Svanstedt sent Presto for the lead from post 7, but yielded control as You Ato Dream brushed from third to the lead by a :27.3 first quarter. You Ato Dream maintained her speed up the backstretch with a strung-out field chasing the pacesetter to a :54.4 half. To the far turn You Ato Dream continued uncontested, though the tempo softened as Presto veered out of the pocket by three-quarters in 1:23.4 and dug into the leader through the stretch, edging a nose in front to the finish of a 1:53 mile. Rose Run Whitney rallied from the back for third with Chablis closing for fourth. “She is good so far,” Svanstedt said after the race. “She’s doing good every time. It’s only in the race that she’s nice to drive—she’s a puller when we train her at home. But she’s a real racehorse. She [left] fast and came home good.” A Trixton filly bred by William Jones and Steve Stewart, Presto won her third race from five starts, earning $96,800 for owner Brixton Medical Inc. She paid $22.60 to win. ............................................... Pub Crawl scooted through an opening at the pylons to pull a 15-1 upset in the second division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial. Eazy Pass cleared command before a :28 first quarter with 4-5 favorite Flawless Country racing second and 9-5 second choice Iteration sitting third. Past the half in :56.1, Lindys Dollywood tipped first over from fifth moving to the far turn and flushed cover when Flawless Country vacated the pocket moving to three-quarters in 1:24.3. Tiring in the stretch, Eazy Pass gave way to Flawless Country. Iteration fanned off the pylons but had no clearance while Pub Crawl weaved by Eazy Pass and stormed up the cones entering the final sixteenth, sliding by Flawless Country to stop the clock in 1:53.4. Iteration, finding room late, finished third with Eazy Pass settling for fourth. Returning $32.80 to win, Pub Crawl collected her fourth win from 10 starts, earning $176,263 for owners Andy Miller Stable, Louis Willinger, Kapildeo Singh & Legendary Standardbred Farm. Andy Miller drove the Bar Hopping filly for trainer Julie Miller. ............................................... Hello I Love You lunged off a helmet to best even-money favorite Beautiful Game in a stretch-drive sprint to the end of a 1:54.2 mile in the third division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial. Sweeping Rainbow swooped to the lead past a :28 first quarter after being carried three wide around the first turn. Beautiful Game secured the pocket into the backstretch with Hello I Love You racing third and Frankly My Dear fourth. Past the half in :56.1, Frankly My Dear pulled first over and progressed towards the leader circling the final turn. Aunt Irene, the 8-5 second choice, followed cover loosely from second over to three-quarters in 1:26 but lost stride turning into the stretch. Beautiful Game edged out of the pocket as Frankly My Dear took the lead from Sweeping Rainbow into the stretch. Hello I Love You rode the favorite’s helmet but dove to the inside while Beautiful Game rallied to the center of the track. Beautiful Game got a jump on Hello I Love You moving to the eighth pole, but the Tony Alagna trainee accelerated towards the lead late to snag her second victory from seven starts. Frankly My Dear held third with Contested Hanover taking fourth. Bred by Docs Farm Inc., Hello I Love You has earned $58,200 for owners Let It Ride Stables, M T Pockets Stables, Alagna Racing and Marvin Katz. Joe Bongiorno drove the Trixton filly who paid $10.20 to win. ........................................................... Anoka Hanover nailed tempo-setter May Karp in the final strides of a 1:54 mile to win the last division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial. May Karp cleared the lead to a :28.3 first quarter while 6-5 favorite Darlene Hanover raced fifth into the backstretch before edging first over and marching towards May Karp past a :57.2 half. Darlene Hanover pressed May Karp to three-quarters in 1:25.3 but ducked to the inside as May Karp extended her lead into the stretch. The backfield fanned across the track as May Karp veered off the pylons clinging to the lead in the final eighth. Anoka Hanover gathered the most momentum from third over and fired through the stretch to take the lead late and win. Hot As Hill finished third with Splash Blue Chip charging from last for fourth. “A couple got away pretty good early there and I didn’t want to push [Anoka Hanover] too much,” winning driver Todd McCarthy said after the race. “When we settled where we did, it kind of looked like I was going to get a good trip into it. I know she’s got a lot of trot late and just was going to hope we’d have enough to get there.” Co-owned by trainer Noel Daley with L A Express Stable LLC and Caviart Farms, Anoka Hanover won her fifth race from nine starts, earning $177,216. The Hanover Shoe Farms-bred Donato Hanover filly paid $7.20 to win. Each division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial was sponsored by the Arden Homestead Stable, ET Gerry and Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menahmmar Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables and Lawrence DeVan. Grand Circuit competition continues at The Red Mile on Sunday (Oct. 4) with a total 12 divisions of Bluegrass Stakes—three divisions for sophomores of each sex and gait. The 15-race card, which includes two non-betting races at 12:15 p.m. (EDT), is slated to start at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill leads the Alagna Armada's charge on Sunday (Oct. 4) at The Red Mile, where the champion harness racing filly will race in the final of a total 12 divisions of Bluegrass Stakes. Ramona Hill, conditioned by The Red Mile's leading trainer Tony Alagna, will start from post 7 in the third of three divisions of the $209,600 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Trot, sponsored by the Bar Hopping Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm. The Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy filly enters the race the 8-5 morning line favorite and on a six-race win streak with 12 wins overall from 14 starts and $1.3 million banked. Regular pilot Andrew McCarthy will have the reins as she competes against Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Crucial, who starts from post 5 for trainer Ron Burke and driver David Miller. The opening division of the Bar Hopping sees Nancy Takter trainee Panem finally shake away from the top fillies of the division. Finishing third in the Hambletonian Oaks, the Father Patrick filly has since taken residency at the Lexington oval competing in Kentucky Sires Stakes and finishing second in the $250,000 final. Dexter Dunn will steer the three-time winner with over $300,000 earned from post 3 against Sans Defaut, who enters off a win in the $83,800 Old Oaken Bucket, and New York Sires Stakes star Love A Good Story. Hambletonian Oaks champ Sorella returns stateside in the second Bar Hopping division following a third-place finish in the $266,000 Elegantimage at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Yannick Gingras drives the Muscle Hill filly for trainer Nancy Takter as she matches up with Elegantimage runner-up Sister Sledge--starting from post 7 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Tim Tetrick--and Oaks runner-up Hypnotic AM--starting from post 5 for trainer Marcus Melander and driver Brian Sears. Alagna sends Captain Kirk in the opening Bluegrass Stakes division on the day, the first of three splits for the $203,800 Captaintreacherous Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace--sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms. Sired by the star Alagna pupil and the stake's namesake, Captain Kirk enters off a third-place finish to Tall Dark Stranger in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes Final. Joe Bongiorno drives the only horse to beat Tall Dark Stranger this year from post 4 against Little Brown Jug-heat winner Sandbetweenmytoes and Jug runner-up Cattlewash. Capt Midnight later goes for Alagna in the second Captaintreacherous division. Another sired by Captaintreacherous, Capt Midnight nears $500,000 in earnings after finishing third in the first heat of the Little Brown Jug, but then scratching from the final. Andrew McCarthy will drive from post 1 against world champion and Ohio Sires Stakes-star Elver Hanover, Grand Circuit-upstart Warrawee Vital and Kentucky Sires Stakes runner-up Fortify. Tall Dark Stranger leads the final division of the Captaintreacherous as the 3-2 morning line favorite. The millionaire son of Bettors Delight has only lost twice in 18 starts and accrued $1.7 million in earnings from wins including in the Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace and North America Cup. Yannick Gingras drives the colt from post 1 for trainer Nancy Takter as they face Captain Barbossa, starting from post 6 for trainer Tony Alagna fresh off a win in the Little Brown Jug. Per Engblom trainee Beads looks to continue his trail of improvement in the first of three divisions for the $211,700 Greenshoe Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, sponsored by the Greenshoe Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms. The Archangel colt was aimed earlier in the year for the Hambletonian but failed to make the final. Once adding Lasix on Hambletonian Day, the Archangel colt has yet to lose and will carry a five-race win streak into Sunday with Brian Sears at the helm from post 5. Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champ Amigo Volo returns to the site of his coming-out in the second Greenshoe division. Last year, the Father Patrick gelding shipped to Lexington and won his division of Bluegrass by seven lengths and the next week, despite making a break in the race, won in a division of International Stallion Stakes. The Richard "Nifty" Norman trainee parlayed those performances into a win in the Breeders Crown and has since also finished fourth from post 10 in the Hambletonian and won the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. Dexter Dunn drives the near millionaire from post 7. Norman later sends Chestnut Hill, off a 60-1 upset in the Canadian Trotting Classic, in the final division of the Greenshoe. The Muscle Hill colt had, prior to his Grand Circuit victory, strolled to a 1:53.2 win in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Consolation. David Miller gets the reins back as Chestnut Hill starts from post 5 in a field which includes an Ake Svanstedt-trained trio: Gangster Hanover from post 1, Coventry Hall from post 6 and Jula Trix Treasure from post 8. Alagna sends a pair in the first of three divisions of the $236,600 American Ideal Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Pace, sponsored by Brittany Stallion Management. Reflect With Me, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, enters the 2-1 morning line favorite off a second-place finish in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes Final to Baby Your The Best--who starts from post 1. Andrew McCarthy again drives the filly while her stablemate, New York Sires Stakes champ Hen Party, starts from post 3 with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. Sail By steps up into Grand Circuit company for trainer Tony Alagna in the second American Ideal division off a 1:50.4 romp in the Kentucky Commonwealth Final. Andrew McCarthy will drive the Captaintreacherous filly from post 8 as she competes against the likely favorite in the race Party Girl Hill, who enters undefeated in 11 starts and off a victory in the Jugette. Dexter Dunn drives the 2-1 morning line choice for trainer Chris Ryder. Runner-up to Party Girl Hill in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, JK First Lady will start from post 2 in the final division of the American Ideal. The Nancy Takter trainee, out of former pupil JK Shesalady, enters off a 1:49.1 victory in an overnight race at the Meadowlands in the middle of September. Yannick Gingras drives the Western Ideal filly against a field including Alagna trainee Lady Lou from post 5, Jugette runner-up New Year from post 6 and Linda Toscano trainee Rocknificent from post 7. The stakes-laden 15-race card gets underway with first-race post time slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile    

LEXINGTON, KY-- Dancinginthedark M looped to the top through slow fractions and accelerated under minimal encouragement to a 1:52.2 victory in the first harness racing division of the $316,300 Muscle Hill Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot--sponsored by Southwind Farms--on Friday (Oct. 2) at The Red Mile. Cuatro De Julio cleared control to the first turn with Magical Muscle Man securing the pocket and Dacinginthedark M floating into third. By the first quarter in :28.3, Cuatro De Julio kept the tempo tepid heading to a :57.1 half, prompting driver Tim Tetrick to slide Dancinginthedark M off the pylons and towards the lead. Dancinginthedark M cruised around the final turn to three-quarters in 1:25.2 as Cuatro De Julio readied to pull pocket for the stretch drive. However Cuatro De Julio stalled through the stretch as Dancinginthedark M strode to the finish in hand. Southwind Tyrion ripped down the center of the course to take third with 8-5 favorite Arnold N Dicky settling for fourth. "He's always had tons of ability," Tetrick said after the race. "His mind will once in awhile take over his gait and he kind of overtries to trot himself and he'll make a mistake. But today we sent him in pretty good, but he was starting to get aggressive and we had to make a move. We've been trying to teach him to race the right way. I was just trying to let him have a good day over this beautiful dirt and hopefully he likes it, and next time he'll come back and remember that and be happier for it." Bred and owned by Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Dancinginthedark M collected his third win from six starts, earning $91,961. Marcus Melander trains the Readly Express colt who paid $7.80 to win. With 1-5 favorite In Range out of contention through slow fractions, Take All Comers ranged first over to nail Fly Light at the finish of a 1:52.3 mile in the second division of the Muscle Hill. Johan Palema powered to the front with stablemate Fly Light settling into a loose pocket. Take All Comers sat third to a :28 first quarter with Moonstone US racing fourth and the favorite In Range fifth. Lined single file to a :56.3 half, Johan Palema continued unchallenged to the far turn as Take All Comers edged first over with Moonstone US and In Range in tow to three-quarters. Johan Palema clipped three-quarters in 1:25 but shortened stride in the stretch. Fly Light lunged from the pocket to contest for the lead while Take All Comers continued to press for the lead to the outside. The pair sprinted to the finish but Take All Comers put a head in front and kept Fly Light at bay to break his maiden in his seventh start. Moonstone US finished third while his stablemate, In Range, finished sixth. "My theory is, especially with trotters... if they're messing up because they've got other things on their mind, you're better off gelding them if you want them to win here in Kentucky and in October," trainer Jim Campbell said after the race of the freshly-gelded son of Creatine. "And this colt... he was like that. He wasn't a mean horse, but he was a big horse and just had other things on his mind and as soon as we gelded him it just turned a corner for him. "He's been a colt - like Dave Miller said before he got on him - he said 'I'm looking forward to racing him today,'" Campbell also said. "Dave only drove him one time [at The Meadows]. He's a horse that's big but has speed, and I think the five-eighths tracks just kind of hindered him a little bit. We got a chance to see what he can do on a big track today." Earning $121,982 for owner Runthetable Stables, who bred the gelding with Chelsea Batelli, Take All Comers paid $40.80 to win. Delayed Hanover took command, yielded for the pocket then retook command to maintain a firm lead through the stretch and finish of a 1:53.4 mile in the final Muscle Hill division. Sweeping to the lead from post 3, Delayed Hanover let Jack Fire clear the top past a :28.1 opening quarter. Sonofamistery raced third into the backstretch and started to pull off the pylons, but lost stride in tight quarters as Delayed Hanover vacated pocket and circled to the lead. From there, trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt controlled the tempo to a :57.2 half and to three-quarters in 1:27.1 before speeding the Southwind Frank colt to the finish to cap the mile with a :26.3 final quarter. Jack Fire held second while Locatelli took third and Swingforthefences finished fourth. "He trained as good as the best horses in the whole spring," Svanstedt said after the race. "I expect a lot out of this horse. Southwind Frank can be a good stud. He had a good pedigree and was a very good horse. This horse is a good-looking horse also." Owned by Mellby Gard Inc. and Ake Svanstedt Inc., Delayed Hanover won his first race from three starts, earning $60,800. The Hanover Shoe Farms-bred colt, who began his career late due to sustaining an injury in the paddock earlier this year, paid $5.20 to win. Grand Circuit competition resumes at The Red Mile on Saturday (Oct. 3) with three divisions of the $359,300 Stay Hungry Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace -- presented by the Stay Hungry Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms -- and four divisions of the $349,000 Norman Woolworth Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Trot -- presented by Arden Homestead Stable, ET Gerry & Peter Gerry, Maragareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables and Lawrence DeVan. Racing gets underway for the 13-race card at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--With just one blemish in her eight-race resume, Test Of Faith cruised to her sixth-consecutive harness racing victory when winning the first of two divisions of the $268,000 Artspeak Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Pace -- sponsored by the Artspeak Syndicate and Winbak Farm -- on Friday (Oct. 2) at The Red Mile. Marsala Hanover hustled for the lead from post 8 and took the field by the opening quarter in :28. Test Of Faith landed in fourth moving to the first turn and started to edge off the pylons while Marsala Hanover sped to a :55.4 half. Into the far turn Test Of Faith committed to race first over and inched towards the pacesetter heading to three-quarters in 1:24. Marsala Hanover clung to a diminishing lead in the stretch as Test Of Faith charged to her side and then right on by to win in a lifetime-best 1:50.3. JK Alwaysbalady closed from second over for third with Lady Midnight taking fourth. "We really think she's a special filly," said Ken Jackson of Kentuckiana Horse Farms. "When Melvin [Segal] bought this one, Brett [Pelling] loved her and we decided we'd come in with him and he was generous enough to let us in. When we started going to New York, Brett was pretty adamant that we had the best two-year-old pacing filly in the country and definitely in New York. And maybe it's truly the case." An Art Major filly out of the Cams Card Shark mare Cannae Cammie, Test Of Faith has banked $434,500 for owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran. Brett Pelling conditions the Fred Hertrich III-bred filly while David Miller sat in the sulky. She paid $2.40 to win. Fire Start Hanover fired from the pocket at the top of the stretch and strode in hand to a 1:50.4 victory in the second division of the Artspeak. Clearing command by a :28.2 opening quarter, Fire Start Hanover yielded the lead moving up the backside to 7-5 favorite Blue Diamond Eyes, who crossed over to the top past a :56.1 half. Making Waves angled first over rolling to the final turn and gained ground on Blue Diamond Eyes to three-quarters in 1:23.4, but Fire Start Hanover had enough room at the top of the stretch to peer out of her seat. The Richard "Nifty" Norman trainee powered to the lead entering the final eighth and strolled to the finish under wraps over Blue Diamond Eyes. Lindy At The Beach finished third with Making Waves taking fourth. "I know nothing about training a horse -- I only watch -- but she's done really well the last month," co-owner Marlys Pinske said after the race. "We love The Red Mile. We've come to The Red Mile for probably 40 years; we're always here." Co-owned by the Pinske Stables with David Hoese and Lawrence Means, Fire Start Hanover won her fifth race from eight starts, earning $145,836. Dexter Dunn drove the Hanover Shoe Farms-bred Somebeachsomewhere filly who paid $9.60 to win. Grand Circuit competition resumes at The Red Mile on Saturday (Oct. 3) with three divisions of the $359,300 Stay Hungry Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace -- presented by the Stay Hungry Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms -- and four divisions of the $349,000 Norman Woolworth Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Trot -- presented by Arden Homestead Stable, ET Gerry & Peter Gerry, Maragareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables and Lawrence DeVan. Racing gets underway for the 13-race card at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Rick Wahlstedt owns fine-dining restaurants across the U.S., so his ownership of harness racing horses provides a welcome distraction from the demands of his everyday business life. Even if it's not always a relaxing distraction. "I'm more nervous at a horse race than I am opening a restaurant," Wahlstedt said with a laugh. "The restaurant, I can control. I can't control the horse. "But it's a great hobby. I was brought up with it. I enjoy speaking to my partners about it in the racing business, and I enjoy speaking to the trainers. I guess you could say it's a bit of a therapy from the restaurant world." Wahlstedt is among the owners of 2-year-old male trotter In Range, who competes in Friday's second of three Bluegrass Stakes divisions for freshman colt-and-gelding trotters at the Red Mile. In Range, trained by Marcus Melander, has won four of six races this season and finished second twice, most recently in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship behind undefeated Captain Corey. A 58-year-old native of Sweden, Wahlstedt began following harness racing as a child. "My dad used to take me as a little boy to our small country track," Wahlstedt said. "First, it was just to go to the track, have a nice lunch, do some gambling. Then my father started to buy some horses, and I followed that." Participation in another sport, squash, brought Wahlstedt to the U.S. when he was in his early 20s and, ultimately, led to his career as a restauranteur. Wahlstedt was playing squash professionally and visited New York for the U.S. Open Squash Championships, after which he was offered a job in Dallas as a teaching pro. "I had nothing better to do at the time, so I did that," Wahlstedt said. "I moved back to New York after about a year and continued playing the (squash) tour. Squash sort of brought me into the restaurant business. I was teaching an English guy, a great restauranteur in New York, Keith McNally. He loved squash. He was a client of mine and he gave me my first job in the restaurant industry. "It was perfect. I could work at the restaurants late at night and make some money and during the day I was practicing and training for the tournaments on the weekends. It was a perfect combination. I took a liking to it and started to open my own restaurants in the late 1980s. They're all fine-dining restaurants of different types." Wahlstedt's involvement in harness racing lapsed but he returned to the sport a decade ago when he partnered with a cousin to start a stable in Sweden. In 2016, his trainer, Reijo Liljendahl, bought filly trotter Bay View at the Lexington Selected Sale and asked Wahlstedt if he wanted to join the ownership group. The horse went to Melander, who was in his second year as a trainer in the U.S., and launched Wahlstedt's involvement in the States. "Marcus has done great," Wahlstedt said. "He's a talented young man, and a modest young man. When I started with him, he had just started with the farm. He's done very well. The proof is in the pudding with horses like In Range." In Range is a son of Bar Hopping out of Ilia. He was purchased for $185,000 at last November's Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes Grand Circuit stakes winner Long Tom, who was trained by Melander, and state-bred stakes winner Tight Lines. All his races this season have been Pennsylvania state-bred stakes. Now on the Grand Circuit, he is eligible to the International Stallion and Breeders Crown in addition to Friday's Bluegrass Stakes. "In Range is not that focused before a race, but once the race starts, he certainly knows where the finish line is, and he certainly likes to pass horses," Wahlstedt said. "A horse that knows where the finish line is and wants to be the first over the finish line is something special. I think he might be one of them. I'm not sure we've seen everything he can do. I think he can do better than what we've seen so far." In addition to following his horses and running his restaurants, Wahlstedt continues to play squash. In March, he won his age group's title at the U.S. Squash Doubles Championships in Minnesota. "I'm still competitive," Wahlstedt said, adding with a laugh, "I probably want to win more than ever. The older you get, the more of a sore loser you are." As for his hectic schedule and love of racing, he said, "I'm busy, but it's a good busy. I've been fortunate. The racing stable in Sweden has done well, and when I say well, I mean it breaks even or makes a little bit of money. If you can break even, for me, that's a big win and it brings a lot of pleasure and excitement. "I'm really enjoying the racing in America. I'm not a big gambler, have never been. Racing for me, it's about the beauty of the horse. In the old days, I was taking my kids out to see them train. There is something very special about that. It's more about the excitement of racing, and winning, than it is about making money. Once you start to think you're going to make money with it, or you are going to get upset because you are losing money, then it is probably time to exit." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) at Red Mile. For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

LEXINGTON, KY -- Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry took control early and turned away all challengers with a swift final quarter to win the first of two harness racing divisions of the $218,000 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes--sponsored by the Bar Hopping Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on the Sunday, Sept. 29 program at The Red Mile. Driver Simon Allard sent the Muscle Hill filly to the point from post 6 while pylon-starter Golden Tricks pushed for the pocket. When Dovescry led uncontested through a :27.1 first quarter and :55.3 half before facing first-over pressure from Fade Into You rounding the final turn. Fade Into You, tracked by 3-5 favorite Millies Possesion, drew within a length of the lead passing three-quarters in 1:23.4 but quickly retreated entering the stretch. Golden Tricks gave chase from second while Millies Possesion attempted to recoup lost ground in third while the Rene Allard trainee floated to a 1:50.1 mile. "You know what, she trained me," Rene Allard said after the race. "When you get a horse like that, they're just so special. To be able to buy one like that and have it, she makes my job so easy. Probably anybody can do what she's doing; it's her, not me. "Late in the mile she drifts out a little bit but we're going to make a little adjustment on the equipment," Allard also said. "We've been playing with the Murphy blind a little bit. If you put it too close to her eyes she'll run in and if you put it too far she runs out." Bred by William Weaver III and owned by Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain, When Dovescry won her ninth race from 16 starts, earning $696,226. She paid $4.80 to win. Beautiful Sin pulled an 11-1 upset when getting a neck up on Asiago in a 1:50.4 mile to take the other division of the Bar Hopping. In her first start for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, Beautiful Sin sat third throughout while Starita posted fractions of :27.4, :56 and 1:24.1 on the lead. Asiago, sitting the pocket, pulled wide passing three-quarters with Beautiful Sin following that move as they straightened for the finish. Beautiful Sin then fanned wide of Asiago through the stretch and edged past in the final strides to win while even-money favorite Evident Beauty, from third over, finished three lengths father back in third. "They didn't tell me so much but she did hurt her front leg last year," Svanstedt said after the race. "A little special training and nursing has made it much better. She has a very good race head; she was a winner. She was really sharp when she went behind the gate. I hope she can be a little bit faster [for the Filly Futurity]." Returning $24.60 to win, Beautiful Sin now races for the SRF Stable. The Muscle Hill filly--bred by Jeff Gural and Moon Goddess LLC--won her fourth race in 13 starts, earning $237,367. Beautiful Sin Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Thursday, Oct. 3 with the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY -- Entering from several off-the-board finishes, the harness racing Brian Brown trainee, Workin Ona Mystery, catapulted off cover to pace the quickest mile of the three divisions of the $267,400 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes--sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on Sunday, Sept. 29 at The Red Mile. Semi Tough took command from Dancin Lou entering the first turn and led the field to a :27.1 opening quarter while 4-5 favorite Captain Crunch sat fourth with Workin Ona Mystery on his back. The favorite then tipped from the pylons passing a :54.4 half and ranged towards the pacesetter while supplying cover to Workin Ona Mystery heading to three-quarters in 1:21.4. Captain Crunch took command from Semi Tough through the stretch but could not withstand Workin Ona Mystery as he darted past to a two-length victory in 1:48.1. Dancin Lou, off a pocket trip, finished third. "It's been a two-month struggle," Brian Brown said after the race. "It's like every time you turned around, there was something else wrong blood related--some infection; the white count was out of whack and then it'd knock his red count, his hemoglobin, out of whack. Just something all the time with him--and he's finally getting healthy again. Tim [Tetrick]'s helped with getting him rigged up. He's behaving much better; he's more relaxed. Hats off to his groom, his trainer--they've helped me get this horse back going." Bred by White Birch Farm and owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith and Wingfield Brothers LLC, Workin Ona Mystery won his ninth race from 17 starts, earning $430,341. Tim Tetrick drove the Captaintreacherous colt who paid $4.60 to win. American Mercury motored off a pocket trip to a 1:49.3 victory in the second division of the Captaintreacherous. Driver Tyler Buter pushed for the front with American Mercury heading to the first turn but yielded command to Can't Beach That after a :27 first quarter. American Mercury stayed in the pocket through a :55 half and three-quarters in 1:23.3 while Can't Beach That endured far-turn pressure from De Los Cielos Deo. But De Los Cielos Deo faltered into the stretch, leaving room for American Mercury to slingshot from the pocket and to the lead through the stretch. He hit the finish two lengths better than Fabrice Hanover, who tracked De Los Cielos Deo's cover for second, with Can't Beach That finishing third. Winning his 10th race from 20 starts, American Mercury--sired by American Ideal--has earned $631,443 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice. Chris Oakes trains the $3.40 winner bred by Steve Stewart, Julie Nash and Charles Nash. American Mercury Bettor's Wish brushed past tiring horses circling the final turn to take the final Captaintreacherous split. The Chris Ryder trainee raced fourth while Air Force Hanover took control before a :26.4 first quarter. Pyro then pulled wide from third and surged to the lead nearing a :53.4 half but soon decelerated heading to the final turn. Driver Dexter Dunn angled Bettor's Wish from fourth and blitzed the pacesetter as he slowed to three-quarters in 1:22, then opened a four-length margin on the field through the lane. Air Force Hanover gave pursuit from second while Shake That House closed from third over to finish third in a 1:48.3 mile. "He impressed me even this week," Ryder said after the race. "I was saying to myself [that] he feels fresh; he doesn't feel tired. I had a little bit of trouble with him in the stall--he keeps spinning around; he's just got so much energy the last two or three weeks. He wanted to go race; he didn't want to be locked up. That's just the way he is." Accruing $1,426,000 in earnings for owners Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor's Wish--a son of Bettor's Delight bred by Brittany Farms--collected his 15th victory from 26 starts. He paid $2.20 to win. "This horse he has such a great personality; he's what I look for in a yearling," said Art Zubrod, co-owner through Fair Island Farm, after the race. "Every time you put him in the paddock with somebody he was the same... he just can't wait to get to the racetrack. Bettor's Wish "Last year I thought he was a top colt," Zubrod also said, "and Chris [Ryder] called me this winter, he said 'We've been offered quite a bit of money, what do you think?' And I said 'Man, I'm going to be honest with you: I know this horse is top three. Paul MacDonell last year took such good care of this horse--had a couple of races that he could've won if he went to the stick but he didn't go to the stick and I think it's really helped us this year." Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Thursday, Oct. 3 with the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY -- Surpassing $1 million in earnings, Greenshoe coasted to a 1:49.4 victory in the first of two divisions of the $192,200 International Moni Bluegrass Stakes--sponsored by the International Moni Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm--as harness racing trainer Marcus Melander swept the pair of sophomore trotting events Sunday, Sept. 29 at The Red Mile. Greenshoe raced third to a :26.3 first quarter set by Chin Chin Hall with Union Forces sitting in the pocket. Driver Brian Sears kept Greenshoe in third through a :55.2 half before pulling wide and cruising to the top rounding the final turn. The Father Patrick colt--sent the 1-9 favorite--strode past three-quarters in 1:23 and sprinted to the finish in :26.4 under pursuit from stablemate Gimpanzee in second. Chin Chin Hall settled for third. "He's been behaving the whole year," Melander said after the race. "He's been here almost for three weeks now and he's very relaxed on this track. I'm always a little bit nervous when he goes out on the track to see how he behaves. But he's been behaving every start so I cannot complain. "I think he can go [1]:48," Melander also said. "If he gets a faster half or faster three-quarters. But he's so fast that he can do that for sure." Winning his 11th race from 15 starts, Greenshoe has $1,016,273 banked for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli. Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz bred the $2.10 winner. Melander's other star pupil, millionaire Green Manalishi S, delivered as the 4-5 favorite in the second International Moni division. Green Manalishi S Marseille moved for the top heading to a :27.1 first quarter while Osterc protected the pocket. Driver Tim Tetrick angled Green Manalishi S first over nearing a :55.4 half and ranged towards the pacesetter with Pilot Discretion in tow approaching three-quarters in 1:23. Green Manalishi S took command entering the stretch as Marseille battled towards the pylons and Pilot Discretion kicked off cover to give chase. The Melander-trained Muscle Hill colt stopped the clock in 1:50.4 and finished one length better than Pilot Discretion with Marseille holding third. "[Greenshoe's] probably a little better at the end of the day but [Green Manalishi S] keeps showing up and has put a lot of dollars on that right column," Tetrick said after the race. "My horse likes sitting on the outside there and grinding it out. He's never winning by four or five; he makes it close, but he will fight them." a Bred by Ab Svensk Reklamfinans and owned by Courant Inc., Green Manalishi S won his 11th race from 20 starts, amassing $1,149,395. He paid $3.60 to win. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Thursday, Oct. 3 with the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Elver Hanover stayed unbeaten when popping pocket to win the $80,950 first division of the $324,800 Stay Hungry Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt Pace--sponsored by the Stay Hungry Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--with a world-record 1:48.3 effort on Saturday, Sept. 28 at The Red Mile. Odds-on favorite Catch The Fire led through a quarter in :27, half in :54 and three-quarters in 1:21.2 before Elver Hanover popped the pocket on the final turn and swept by to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths. Put To Right tipped three wide off of the winner's cover as the field entered the stretch and passed Catch The Fire for second. "[Elver Hanover] felt really really good in the hole," winning driver Yannick Gingras said after the race, "and [Catch The Fire] put up some hot fractions so I was content to sit there. When I called on him up the stretch, he was still full of pace." The son of Yankee Cruiser, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, is now eight-for-eight for trainer Ron Burke and his racing stable, as well as the partnership group of Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, J & T Silva and Purnel & Libby. The victory today brings the gelding's earnings above $325,000. He equaled the world record for a pacing two-year-old, set by stablemate Warrawee Ubeaut last year, and set a new mark for a two-year-old male. A win ticket returned $6.20. Captain Barbosa took the $80,950 second division by a one-length margin. A Positive Hanover went forward early and grabbed the lead as they hit the quarter in :28.1. Captain Barbosa then brushed past on the backside and led every remaining step, hitting the half in :56.3, three-quarters in 1:24.4 and crossing the line in 1:51.2 under mild urging from driver Andrew McCarthy. Opportune Hanover slid up the pylons from the backfield and snatched second from A Positive Hanover. Seeyou At Thebeach, sent the 1-5 favorite, broke stride while moving into the outer flow at the five-eighths and finished last. "Early in the [year] he was balking at the gate a little bit, and he was out of position, and I had the same trouble with him," McCarthy said after the race. "But he's getting smarter about that and I can get him a little more forwardly-placed now. He definitely wants to go to work and do his job; I think it's more the fact that he's getting into the race a little bit now that he's getting off the gate better." The Tony Alagna trainee adds a second win from ten starts to his tally, and has now earned more than $90,000 for owners Alagnafrankinthegym Stables and Robert J. The Steiner Stock Farm-bred colt paid $15.30 to win. Alagna confirmed that the Breeders Crown is a possibility for the colt. "We'll race him back next week in the Grand Circuit and see how he is," Alagna said after the race. "If he seems okay, and we're still going forward based on what else we're going to take to Canada, we'll take [him into] consideration for the Breeders Crown." Cattlewash won in the $80,950 third division after taking command in the second quarter and gliding home. Esai Hanover floated off the gate and hit the top through the first fraction in :27.1, but soon yielded command to Cattlewash. Driver Yannick Gingras managed the tempo from there, bringing the group of eight to the half in :55.1, three-quarters in 1:23.1 and finished the job in 1:50.3. Manticore came second over as the backfield got moving in the third split and rallied for second, two lengths adrift of the victor. Fortify also came past tired foes, finishing third. Father Nuno challenged first-over into the final turn but did not bother the eventual winner. Cattlewash's earnings now total just under $150,000 with his fourth win from eight outings for owner-breeder William Donovan and gave the Burke-Gingras team two wins on the day. He paid $7.40 to win. In the $81,950 fourth division, Roll With JR fended off late challenger Team Best in a wire-to-wire win. Driver Doug McNair sent the colt to the front in a :27 opening clip and was unhurried to a :55.3 half. He then repelled a first-up bid from favorite Chief Mate through three-quarters in 1:23.2 and battled to the wire for a 1:50.4 lifetime-best victory. Team Best sat in the pocket for most of the mile and had his go in the lane, finishing second behind a half length. Tell Them Lou charged from the backfield late and finished third. "[The horses] relax, and the track is second-to-none," winning trainer Jeff Cullipher said of the track after the race. "This is a really big colt, and he was able to stretch out a little bit here." He co-owns $15,000 yearling purchase with Tom Pollack. The son of Roll With Joe has now amassed more than $140,000 in earnings and won three of his nine races. The colt bred by Robert Brady, Rebecca Brady, Kenneth Jackson and Lisa Jackson paid $10.00 to win. Cullipher recalled giving Pollack free reign on making the purchase. "I was eating a sandwich and I looked up and he was buying the horse," he said. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 28 with seven total Bluegrass dashes. The sophomore pacing colts compete in three divisions of the $267,400 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes while the three-year-old trotting colts race in two divisions of the $192,200 International Moni Bluegrass Stakes and the three-year-old trotting fillies race in two divisions of the $218,000 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Nicholas Barnsdale, for The Red Mile                      

LEXINGTON, KY-- Treacherous Reign overpowered her harness racing competition in the $163,100 American Ideal Bluegrass Stakes  for three-year-old pacing fillies, sponsored by Brittany Stallion Management, on Saturday, Sept. 28 at The Red Mile as she grounded out a first-over trip to win by a length. Beautyonthebeach was sent forward from post 6, but 4-5 favorite Tall Drink Hanover quickly swooped by just after a :26.2 opening quarter. She maintained the lead to the half in :54.1 and three-quarters in 1:22.1 but could do little to resist Treacherous Reign as the field of 11 turned for home. Driver Dexter Dunn kept the Tony Alagna trainee to task down the lane and held off Beautyonthebeach to stop the clock in 1:49.4. Queen Of The Pride had late pace and moved up for third. Tall Drink Hanover, who Alagna also trains, faded and finished seventh. "A lot of people forget that she did win the Fan Hanover, defeating Warrawee Ubeaut," Alagna said after the race. "Of course, Warrawee Ubeaut has gotten better over the course of the year, but this is a very nice filly in her own right. The other filly got used pretty good--Tall Drink Hanover--to get to the front, but she definitely didn't look like she was on her game today. Not to take anything away from this filly; she came first over the hard way at the half and got the job done." The $50,000 Lexington Select yearling purchase collected her 11th win from 26 starts, and she has now earned more than $680,000 for Alagna Racing, Big Al's Stables, Let It Ride Stables, and Dana L. The daughter of Captaintreacherous, bred by White Birch Farm, paid $12.20 to win. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 28 with seven total Bluegrass dashes. The sophomore pacing colts compete in three divisions of the $267,400 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes while the three-year-old trotting colts race in two divisions of the $192,200 International Moni Bluegrass Stakes and the three-year-old trotting fillies race in two divisions of the $218,000 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Nicholas Barnsdale, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY--Sent the 1-5 favorite, Ramona Hill sat second through the mile before tipping from the pocket and striding to a 1:52.4 victory under a hand drive in the final of four harness racing divisions for the $330,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes on Friday, Sept. 27. Panem pushed for the front moving to a :28 opening quarter with Ramona Hill floating into the pocket. Madame Sherry sat third up the backstretch as the field raced single file towards a :55.4 half. Ramona Hill then edged from the pocket passing three-quarters in 1:24.4 and lunged to the lead through the stretch as Madame Sherry gave chase in second and Panem settled for third. "We trained the mare, Lock Down Lindy, and this filly had a very similar frame to Lock Down Lindy, but she was an end-of-May foal so she was very immature at the sale but had a great look to her," trainer Tony Alagna said after the race on purchasing Ramona Hill for $70,000 at the Lexington Yearling Sale last fall. "Knowing how fast the mare was, I thought I'd take a shot at that number. "I didn't stake her to the [Jim] Doherty at the Meadowlands because she was a late foal and I told the partnership that I think this filly's special, but I don't want to push her early because I want to make sure we have a great three-year-old. That's what we've done by design and so far she's paying us off." Co-owned by breeder Crawford Farms with Brad Grant, Robert LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners, Ramona Hill has won in all four of her starts, earning $66,000. Andrew McCarthy drove the $2.40 winner. Shishito took the lead early and strode to a 1:53 victory in the opening division of the Bluegrass filly trot. Dune Hill dashed to the front moving to a :28 first quarter before yielding command to even-money favorite Shishito moving to the backside. Second-betting choice Senorita Rita angled first over from fifth passing a :56 half and ranged towards the pacesetter nearing three-quarters in 1:24.3. Senorita Rita continued to dig into Shishito through the stretch but could only manage second while Dune Hill gave pursuit from third. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC and owned by Black Horse Racing and John Fielding, Shishito won her fourth race from eight starts, earning $222,776. Dexter Dunn drove the $4.00 winner for trainer Per Engblom. Common Sense S handed 1-2 favorite Sister Sledge her first loss when wining the second Bluegrass split. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt snagged the pocket with Common Sense S while Hello Tomorrow led the field to a :28.1 first quarter. Sister Sledge slid first over from fourth passing a :56.2 half and drew alongside Hello Tomorrow approaching three-quarters in 1:25.2. Hello Tomorrow kept Sister Sledge at bay through the lane but drifted from the pylons enough to create a seam for Common Sense S to shoot through late in the mile to win in 1:53.3. Sister Sledge settled for third. "I bought her in Sweden on a sale," Svanstedt said after the race. "It was because I trained her mother and grandmother and they were very successful--they made around a half- to two-million Swedish kronas. [Coming from the small tracks], it's good for them to come here and stretch out here on the big track." Co-owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc. with S R F Stable, Common Sense S won her fifth race from nine starts, earning $122,600. The Menhammer Stuteri Ab-bred Trixton filly paid $12.20 to win. Love A Good Story surged past 3-5 favorite Ms Savannah Belle late in the stretch to take the third Bluegrass split. In control through a :28.1 first quarter, Love A Good Story settled for the pocket past a :55.4 half after Ms Savannah Belle pushed first over for the front nearing the final turn. Seventimesalady floated first over approaching three-quarters in 1:26 but forced Love A Good Story to pop pocket heading for the top of the stretch. Seventimesalady lost ground and gave chase as Love A Good Story and Ms Savannah Belle matched strides towards the finish, with the favorite giving way in the final sixteenth to the Julie Miller-trained Chapter Seven filly in a 1:52.2 mile. Winning her seventh race from nine starts, Love A Good Story--bred by Celebrity Farms--has earned $216,187 for owners Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe. Andy Miller piloted the $17.80 winner. Each division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial was sponsored by Arden Homestead Stables, Et Gerry & Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables and Lawrence S. Devan. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile on Saturday, Sept. 28 with four divisions of the $324,800 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt Pace and a single $163,100 Bluegrass division for three-year-old pacing fillies. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- After winning in his harness racing Grand Circuit debut yesterday, 24-year-old trainer Carter Pinske sent both winners in the $280,500 Artspeak Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies--sponsored by the Artspeak Syndicate and Winbak Farms--on the Friday, Sept. 27 card at The Red Mile. Marloe Hanover made her way to the top early and withstood the backfield's late rally to take the $139,750 opening Bluegrass division in a lifetime-best 1:50.4. Driver David Miller brushed the Carter Pinske trainee to the front past a :27.4 first quarter while Shouldabeenatd raced second. Beyond Ecstasy, the 6-5 favorite, angled first over from fourth heading to a :56 half and progressed towards the pacesetter while carrying Lady Lou on cover rounding the final turn. Beyond Ecstasy stalled passing three-quarters in 1:24 and retreated through the stretch as Marloe Hanover sprinted for the finish. Shouldabeenatd gave chase to secure second while Lady Lou kicked off cover for third. Winning her second race from seven starts, Marloe Hanover has earned $124,279 for owners Pinske Stables, David Hoese and Bridgette Jablonsky. She paid $12.40 to win. Sitting behind dueling favorites around the final turn, driver Dexter Dunn pulled Annabelle Hanover from the pylons and darted past 8-5 favorites Baby Your The Best and Gai Waterhouse to take the second Bluegrass division. Gai Waterhouse took command from Annabelle Hanover moving to a :27.4 opening quarter but soon bore a first-over challenge from Baby Your The Best heading up the backstretch. Baby Your The Best crossed over to control after a :55.3 half, leaving Love For Sail uncovered and Blood Red gapping from second over rounding the final turn. Annabelle Hanover wove through the two-wide gap passing three-quarters in 1:23.1 and surged by Baby Your The Best through the stretch to win drawing away in a 1:50.2 mile. Gai Waterhouse settled for third. "[She's] just a real gamey-looking filly," trainer Carter Pinske said after the race. "Just the right size, right build; [it's] what we look for in a Somebeach[somewhere]. There's a pretty big story behind this horse--it's about one of the craziest breaking stories ever... just to have her here is awesome. It took until about February until she was broke good. I just have to say thanks to Erv Miller and everybody down in Florida that helped get her to the track, let alone here." Owned by Pinske Stables, Lawrence Means and Curly Tall Curly Small, Annabelle Hnaover broke her maiden in her sixth start, collecting $115,233. The Somebeachsomewhere filly paid $7.20 to win. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile on Saturday, Sept. 28 with four divisions of the $324,800 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt Pace and a single $163,100 Bluegrass division for three-year-old pacing fillies. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--The nation's top harness racing three-year-olds will compete on the Sunday, Sept. 29 card at The Red Mile, which features three Bluegrass Stakes divisions for sophomore pacing colts and two splits for both three-year-old trotting colts and fillies. Tot.al purses are more than $677,000 Saturday North America Cup winner Captain Crunch fronts the opening division of the $267,400 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes, sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms. The millionaire Captaintreacherous colt looks to rebound off a fourth-place finish in the $253,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. Scott Zeron steers the Nancy Johansson trainee from post 5 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Messenger Stakes champ American Mercury tops the second Bluegrass colt pace division off a third-place effort in the $384,000 second heat of the Little Brown Jug. With over $500,000 earned for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice, the American Ideal gelding trained by Chris Oakes races from post 3 in rein to Tyler Buter. Bettor's Wish, another millionaire, starts from post 6 in the third division. The Chris Ryder-trained son of Bettor's Delight failed to qualify for the Little Brown Jug after finishing second in the Messenger Stakes. He rebounded two weeks later with a three-length 1:48.1 victory in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes Final. Regular pilot Dexter Dunn sits in the bike for owners Chris Ryder, Bell Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners. Hambletonian Oaks favorite and runner-up Millies Possesion will rematch Oaks winner When Dovescry in the first of two divisions for the $218,000 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes, sponsored by the Bar Hopping Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms. Nearing $500,000 in earnings, Millies Possesion has one loss from 11 starts, which came when chasing When Dovescry in a 1:50.2 mile on the first Saturday in August. She returned to the races to cap a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes sweep with a 1:53.4 mile in the $253,000 championship. Jim Campbell conditions the daughter of Possess The Will for owner-breeder Fashion Farms LLC. Dexter Dunn sits in the sulky. When Dovescry returned to the track one month after winning the Hambletonian Oaks, taking a $63,772 Simcoe Stakes division going wire to wire in 1:54.4. She raced first over as the odds-on favorite in the $282,000 Elegantimage Final but faltered to third in her most recent mile. Simon Allard will drive the Muscle Hill filly from post 6 for trainer and brother Rene Allard, who conditions the winner of $641,976 for owners Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain. Evident Beauty leads the second Bar Hopping division off back-to-back Grand Circuit victories. Winning the Elegantimage final from off the speed, the Trixton filly shipped south to Hoosier Park, where she won as the 1-2 favorite in the $135,000 Moni Maker Trot. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains the winner of $735,398 for owners Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and R A W Equine Inc. David Miller will drive from post 3. The first division of the $192,200 International Moni Bluegrass Stakes--sponsored by the International Moni Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--features Marcus Melander's star Greenshoe, who would become a millionaire with a victory in the $96,100 opening split. The Father Patrick colt has won his three starts following a runner-up finish in the $1,000,000 Hambletonian; his most recent victory being a 1:50.3 effort in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final. Greenshoe races for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli, and will have Brian Sears in the bike from post 3. Melander's other trotting star, Green Manalishi S, starts from post 6 in the second split of the International Moni. The Muscle Hill colt, owned by Courant Inc., surpassed $1,000,000 in earnings with a 1:52.4 victory in the $453,750 Canadian Trotting Classic final. Tim Tetrick will guide Green Manalishi S from post 6 as he competes against Pilot Discretion, the Tony Alagna-trained Muscle Hill colt who finished second in the Canadian Trotting Classic. Andrew McCarthy drives Pilot Discretion from post 8 for owners Robert Leblanc, David Anderson and John Fodera. The 10-race card Sunday at The Red Mile opens with three late-closing events, two on the pace and one on the trot. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Hightstown, NJ -- In mythology, the manticore was a fearsome creature with the head of a man, the body of a lion and the tail of a scorpion. On the racetrack, Manticore is a 2-year-old harness racing colt pacer. Like his legendary counterpart, he is proving to be formidable. Manticore, trained by Bruce Saunders for owners M And L of Delaware and M & M Harness Racing, enters Saturday's (Sept. 28) Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers at Red Mile with three wins in eight races and no finishes worse than third. He is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the third of four Bluegrass divisions, starting from post three with driver Brian Sears. Already a Grand Circuit winner, Manticore heads to the race off a second-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. "He's a very nice colt," said M And L of Delaware's Doug Paul. "He was a late foal, born June 5 (2017), and he's just coming into himself. But he started out early and hasn't missed a beat. He's really consistent. He can leave, he can follow, he can cut the mile; he's just very versatile." Manticore is a son of Western Ideal out of the McArdle-sired mare Southwind Piaya. He was purchased under the name Keystone Pablo for $20,000 at the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale. "What we liked about him is that he was a Western Ideal out of a McArdle mare and he was late in the sale," Paul said. "Our rationale was that (2018 Horse of the Year) McWicked is a McArdle out of a Western Ideal mare, so we reversed it. "He was a very correct colt. Not the biggest colt but correct and substantially built. We had luck with Western Ideal the year before with (stakes-winner) Mangogh. They've always been nice horses." The Paul family traditionally incorporates either "man" or "lady" into the names of its horses. In addition to the mythological manticore, the television series "Game of Thrones" referenced insects called manticores, which contributed to the renaming of Keystone Pablo to Manticore. "It just fit, especially with how popular 'Game of Thrones' was at the time we were naming him," Paul said. Manticore is eligible to all the major stakes remaining this season, but Paul said the connections are taking a wait-and-see approach to deciding his future. "We'll see how he is in Lexington," Paul said. "So far he hasn't disappointed us in any race yet." In the first Bluegrass division, Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Catch The Fire is the 8-5 morning line favorite over undefeated Ohio Sire Stakes champion Elver Hanover at 2-1. Catch The Fire, trained by John Ackley, starts from post four with driver Mike Wilder. Elver Hanover, who is 7-for-7 for trainer Ron Burke, leaves from post two with Yannick Gingras. Seeyou At Thebeach is the 6-5 favorite in the second division. The Brian Brown-trained colt heads to the race off a fourth-place finish in the Metro Pace and starts from post three with Tim Tetrick. Tony Alagna's Captain Barbossa, with Andy McCarthy in the sulky, is the 3-1 second choice. He enters the race off a victory in the Kindergarten Classic Series. Kentucky Sire Stakes final runner-up Roll With Jr is the 3-1 choice in the fourth and final Bluegrass division. He is trained by Jeff Cullipher and will be driven by Doug McNair from post two. In addition to the stakes for 2-year-olds, there is a single 12-horse Bluegrass event for 3-year-old female pacers. Tall Drink Hanover, with McCarthy at the lines for trainer Alagna, is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. She brings a five-race win streak to the race, with her victories including the Shady Daisy and Simcoe. The race also includes Fan Hanover winner Treacherous Reign and sire stakes champions Zero Tolerance (New York), Queen Of The Pride (Ohio), and Beautyonthebeach (Kentucky). Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Red Mile. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

LEXINGTON, KY--Making his first foray into harness racing Grand Circuit company, Carter Pinske trainee Amigo Volo vaulted to the top entering the stretch to win in a world-record 1:52.3 when taking the third of three divisions of the $315,500 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot--sponsored by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz--on Thursday, Sept. 26 at The Red Mile. Odds-on favorite Ready For Moni floated to the front passing a :28 opening quarter while King Alphonso yielded for the pocket and Amigo Volo raced third. Ontopofthehill, positioned fifth, tipped first over into a :56.3 half and flushed Amigo Volo two wide into the final turn. Amigo Volo advanced to match strides with Ready For Moni passing three-quarters in 1:25.4 while King Alphonso slid from the pocket through a gap in cover straightening for the finish. Both King Alphonso and Ready For Moni lost stride through the lane as Amgio Volo strode clear of his competition, chased by Cafe Americano in second and Rome Pays Off in third. "He always showed talent down in Florida," Pinske said after the race. "He just lacked maturity. He's a little funky with his mouth; a little funky with his shoeing and stuff like that. It was one of those things where he'd train good one week and then he'd have a poor week. When we got him up north and we got him gelded, he turned into a horse then." Owned by the Pinske Stables and David J. Miller, Amigo Volo won his third race from seven starts, earning $168,646. The Father Patrick gelding was bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre had Dexter Dunn in the bike and paid $14.40 to win. The prior world record for a two-year-old trotting gelding was 1:53.1 co-held by Outburst (2013) and Real Cool Sam (2019). Gangster Hanover hustled past 4-5 favorite Back Of The Neck to win the $104,500 opening Bluegrass division drawing away in a 1:52.3 mile. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt sat fourth with Gangster Hanover while Back Of The Neck led the field to a :27.1 opening quarter with stablemate Expectations sliding into the pocket. Svanstedt floated the Father Patrick colt from the cones passing a :55.4 half and blitzed Back Of The Neck circling the final turn. Gangster Hanover struck the front past three-quarters in 1:25.4 and widened his lead through the stretch as Stonefire US, off at 97-1, rallied towards the center of the course for second. Hobbs snagged third from Back Of The Neck fading to fourth. Co-owned by Svanstedt with S R F Stables and breeder Brittany Farms (which bought into 25 percent of the colt as a yearling after the Harrisburg Sale), Gangster Hanover won his third race from five starts, earning $114,522. He paid $18.20 to win. "It's the only horse I bought at Harrisburg," George Segal of Brittany Farms said after the race. "I liked the pedigree; I liked the horse. My advisors helped me and everything worked out fine. Normally [these horses] show their best right here. [Ake Svanstedt's a] great trainer. He's got great horses that he's developed here--Six Pack among others." Dexter Dunn also drove Svanstedt trainee EL Ideal to a maiden-breaking 1:52.2 mile when taking the second division of Bluegrass. It's Academic swept to the front from the outermost post in the field of eight while EL Ideal sat second to a :27.1 first quarter. Berkery J, racing third to the backside, pulled first over and crossed over to control passing a :55.4 half before It's Academic tipped from second to retake command rounding the final turn. EL Ideal tracked the pocket-popper's move and ranged past the new leader through three-quarters in 1:25. The Muscle Hill colt maintained command through the lane while pursued by 1-2 favorite Capricornus in second. Big Oil kicked off cover for third. "He's been in some really good races as a two-year-old," Dunn said after the race. "He was a little off his game last out but Ake and Sarah said that today he felt great and he showed it. He's a big-strong guy and the big track definitely felt like it helped him a lot." Bred by Erkki Laakkonen and owned by Emp Invest Oy, EL Ideal has earned $122,682 from six starts. He paid $18.20 to win. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile on Friday, Sept. 27 with a nine-race card highlighted by four divisions of the $330,000 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Trot and two divisions of the $280,500 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Pace. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Baby Your The Best was not at her best in her most recent harness racing start, but her second-place finish behind Gai Waterhouse in the Kentucky Sire Stakes final that day only added to trainer Linda Toscano's level of appreciation for the 2-year-old filly pacer. "I love her," Toscano said about Baby Your The Best, who suffered from muscle cramping in the KYSS final on Sept. 15 and was beaten by three-quarters of a length after leading into the stretch. "She doesn't do anything wrong. She tied up badly in her last start and she was really good in spite of it. Hopefully, we've got that behind us and she can go out and do what I know she can do." Baby Your The Best is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in Friday's (Sept. 27) second of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 2-year-old filly pacers at Lexington's Red Mile. Gai Waterhouse, trained by Domenico Cecere, is the 5-2 second choice, followed by Carter Pinkse's Annabelle Hanover at 4-1. Purchased as a yearling under the name Emissary for $225,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale, Baby Your The Best is a daughter of Captaintreacherous-Dolphins Can Talk from the family of Dan Patch Award-winner Put On A Show. Her second dam, Stienam's Place, is in the Hall of Fame as a broodmare and her half-brother Flipper J was a stakes winner. Richard Young and Joanne Young, who own Put On A Show, own Baby Your The Best. Baby Your The Best has won two of seven races and finished second in the remaining five. Two of her runner-up performances came to multiple-stakes-winner Lyons Sentinel, including in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. Baby Your The Best's two victories came in preliminary rounds of the Kentucky Sire Stakes series at Red Mile. "She's big, she's beautiful, she's great gaited, she's got a big pedigree, and she seems to not know the end of the mile," Toscano said. "There is nothing not to like about her." Toscano also has a starter, Rocknificent, in the first Bluegrass division for 2-year-old filly pacers. Rocknificent, who has won three of six races, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite. The filly is coming off a fourth-place finish, her only finish worse than third this season, in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. Rocknificent, by Captaintreacherous, was the first foal out of Dan Patch Award-winner Rocklamation. Purchased under the name Deo's Proclamation for $145,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, she is owned by Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables, and Little E. "She's been a fun horse to race this year," Toscano said. "She's gone some really tough trips; she had to be first-over way more than I would like it. She's a nice filly. I'm looking forward to racing her. Hopefully she will get a really nice trip and finish up good." Toscano's Friday will get underway with Senorita Rita in the first of four Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 2-year-old filly trotters. Senorita Rita, who is 2-for-2 this season, is 6-1 on the morning line. Kentucky Sire Stakes runner-up Shishito is the 5-2 favorite. Senorita Rita won her debut in a division of the New York Sire Stakes on July 4 at Tioga Downs but did not race again until winning a conditioned race Sept. 12 at Red Mile. "She's a really nice filly," Toscano said. "I had to back off with her a little bit because she needed a little bit of time after I got her qualified and raced at Tioga. It's kind of a big test to go from a qualifier and an overnight into the Grand Circuit at this point when the others are so seasoned. But I think she has enough talent, so we'll try." Originally named Seven Links, Senorita Rita was purchased for $285,000 by Ken Jacobs at the Lexington Selected Sale. She is by Chapter Seven out of Lindys Head Nurse. "She's great looking," Toscano said. "I thought I was training three really nice trotting fillies this year. One disappointed, but (Dip Me Hanover) won the Peaceful Way and this one could trot right with her. I thought she was the best training down, so we'll see." In the second Bluegrass filly trot, undefeated Sister Sledge is the 8-5 favorite. She is 7-for-7 this season and enters Friday's start for trainer Ron Burke off a win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. Peaceful Way runner-up Hello Tomorrow, from the stable of trainer Per Engblom, is the 2-1 second choice. Engblom's Ms Savannah Belle is the 6-5 favorite in the third division. She was winless in her first three starts but has since put together a three-race win streak including the Kentucky Sire Stakes final. Ramona Hill, unbeaten in three career races for trainer Tony Alagna, is the even-money choice in the fourth and final division. She has won two preliminary rounds of the Kindergarten Classic Series and the consolation division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management. Stakes-winner Panem, trained by Nancy Johansson, is the 5-2 second pick. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Red Mile. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

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