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LEXINGTON, KY—The Always B Miki-Shebestingin colt Perfect Sting strides the Saturday (Oct. 10) Grand Circuit competition at The Red Mile with a perfect record to keep intact. Unbeaten in seven starts, the Joe Holloway prodigy fought gamely to win in Bluegrass action last week, holding off Summa Cum Laude by a half length in a 1:50 mile. The pair meets again in the second of three divisions for the $299,100 Betting Line International Stallion Stake Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace—sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm. David Miller will drive Perfect Sting from post 7 while Summa Cum Laude starts from post 5. Also joining the match up are Abuckabett Hanover, looking to rebound after finishing sixth as the 1-5 favorite in the $540,000 Metro Pace, and Bayfield Beach, who finished second in the Metro Pace. Metro Pace elimination winner Highlandbeachsbest competes in the opening division of the Betting Line following a second-place finish in the Bluegrass. The Nancy Takter-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt starts from post 3 with Tim Tetrick in the bike against Almanac, who scored a victory in the $50,000 Kentucky Commonwealth Final three weeks ago. Todd McCarthy drives that Brian Brown-trained A Rocknroll Dance colt from post 5. A pair of Bluegrass victors converge in the final Betting Line split. Southwind Gendry—an Always B Miki gelding—starts from post 6 as the 9-5 morning-line choice off a five-race win streak including a 1:50.2 victory over the Lexington oval last week. His stablemate, the Sweet Lou colt Lou’s Pearlman, draws post 8 following a 1:49.1 swoop with Matt Kakaley in the bike. Between the two starts the Somebeachsomewhere colt Exploit, the 35-1 winner in the Metro Pace, for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Andrew McCarthy. Freshmen trotting fillies share the spotlight with four divisions of the $304,000 International Moni International Stallion Stake—sponsored by the International Moni Syndicate & Hanover Shoe Farm. Insta Glam exits the Mohawk Million with a fourth-place finish and now starts from post 6 in the opening division of the International Moni. The Nancy Tatker-trained Father Patrick filly caught many eyes earlier in the year leading into the Jim Doherty Memorial, but a break as the 2-5 favorite in the elimination struck her out of the final. Yannick Gingras has the reins of the filly regaining her stride against Hello I Love You, the Tony Alagna-trained Trixton filly who won in Bluegrass action last week. Beautiful Game finished second to Hello I Love You as the 6-5 favorite and will try to hit the finish first in the second split of the International Moni. The Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee has held the honor of bridesmaid in six of her last nine starts with her lone homerun coming in a prelim of the Kentucky Sires Stakes in August. David Miller drives the Muscle Hill filly from post 3 as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, with Lucas Wallin trainee May Karp earning morning-line favoritism with an 8-5 listing from post 4. Anoka Hanover will aim to parlay her Bluegrass victory into the third division of the International Moni. The Noel Daley-trained Donato Hanover filly rolled off cover in the stretch to land on the line first in a 1:54 mile and now starts as the 7-5 morning-line choice. Todd McCarthy has the reins from post 3, directly outside of Julie Miller trainee Gotta Believe—a three-time starter with Andy Miller in the bike as she leaps into the Grand Circuit off a 1:53.1 win last week. Presto pounced on You Ato Dream to win the Bluegrass last week, but the Jeff Gregory-trained Donato Hanover filly will get a shot at redemption in the final division of the International Moni. Gregory rolled You Ato Dream to the lead last week but grew leg weary off quick fractions, giving way by a head in the stretch as Presto capitalized off a pocket trip. Presto will start inside of You Ato Dream from post 2 with trainer Ake Svanstedt in control of the Trixton filly. Bluegrass winner and Bar Hopping filly Pub Crawl also competes in the final division, drawing post 6 for trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller. The Saturday card features a total 11 races, seven of which being Grand Circuit contests. Racing gets underway with first-race post slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

The five-session harness racing Lexington Selected Yearling Sale has started and will run through Friday (Oct. 9) in Lexington, Kentucky.  Each session will get underway at 7 p.m.  In its entirety, the five-day yearling auction will feature Hips 1 through 860. The company’s mixed sale will follow on Saturday evening (Oct. 10). For additional information, please check out the sale website.        

LEXINGTON, KY--Grand Circuit action on Friday (Oct. 9) at The Red Mile will start with a bang as New York Sires Stakes champ Test Of Faith puts a six-race harness racing win streak on the table in a matchup against two fillies returning stateside. Test Of Faith starts from post 7 as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first of two divisions of the Arlene Siegel Memorial International Stallion Stake Two-Year-Old Filly Pace--sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms. The Brett Pelling-trained Art Major filly will contend against Cavairt Audrey--the Nancy Takter-trained Somebeachsomewhere filly exiting a 1:52.2 win in the $341,250 Shes A Great Lady Stakes--as well as Notorious Pink--the Shes A Great Lady runner-up conditioned by Tony Alagna. David Miller will have the reins on Test Of Faith while Yannick Gingras drives Caviart Audrey from post 5 and Tim Tetrick steers Notorious Pink from post 2. Kentucky Sires Stakes champ Blue Diamond Eyes will try to rebound off a second-place finish in the Bluegrass last week when she starts from post 5 in the second division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial. David Miller again has the assignment behind the Ron Burke-trained Captaintreacherous filly who suffered defeat last week to Fire Start Hanover, who starts from post 2 for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and driver Dexter Dunn. The Friday card also features three divisions for the $258,800 Six Pack International Stallion Stake Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, sponsored by the Six Pack Syndicate and Deo Volente Farms. Venerate leads the opening division from post 3 as he returns to the site of his Kentucky Sires Stakes crush after sliding to victory in the inaugural edition of the Mohawk Million. Andy Miller will drive the Love You colt--listed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite--for trainer Julie Miller against Ake Svanstedt trainee Southwind Tyrion, the William Wellwood Memorial runner-up who rallied with a :26.3 final quarter last week to finish third in the Bluegrass. Pennsylvania Sires Stakes runner-up In Range will also try to bounce back off a sixth-place effort as the odds-on choice in the Bluegrass. Making just his fourth start, aptly-named Svanstedt trainee Delayed Hanover heads into the second division of the Six Pack off a 1:53.4 victory in the Bluegrass last week--trotting a final quarter in :26.3. Svanstedt will again have the reins from post 6 and neighbors hometown favorite Cuatro De Julio, the Trixton colt trained by Marie Ortolan Bar and driven by Al Eferstein. The final split of the Six Pack pins Peter Haughton winner Zenith Stride against Moonstone S, runner-up in the Haughton and entering this race off a third-place rally in the Bluegrass. Brian Sears opts to drive the Mark Harder-trained Muscle Hill colt off a sixth-place finish over the Lexington oval last week and will start from post 2. David Miller nabs the drive on the Marcus Melander-trained Muscle Hill colt who starts from post 1. A total of five Grand Circuit events will go on the 11-race card. First-race post time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Coral Springs, FL - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) will host the next free harness racing handicapping contest on Scott Alberg's Facebook page Sunday, October Sunday, 11, at the Red Mile on Kentucky Futurity Day. One of the Red Mile races will be the special race that contestants will be challenged to handicap and entry is free of charge. There is no purchase necessary to play. All you have to do is select the correct exacta. (first two official finishers in the race. Must submit their starting post position by number). National USHWA is sponsoring the three prizes that will be given away. First place will receive a $150 gift card, second place a $75 gift card and third place a gift box with 30 different popular candy bars in it. Scott Alberg, the 2006 National Harness Handicapping Champion, who also has numerous other handicapping titles, has been a Standardbred owner in the past, and has agreed to partner with USHWA as the contest's title sponsor. To enter the free contest, fans must go to Scott Alberg's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/scott.alberg.3,, where the contest will be prominently displayed. Entries will be accepted beginning Friday, October 9. Alberg, as he has done in the past, will run the contest. Participants have until 10:00 am Sunday morning (Oct. 11) to enter the contest. All rules and regulations will be posted for the contest. Anyone who is not on Facebook can still enter the contest by sending in their selections via email to CustomerService@4NJPicks.com. USHWA members Garnet and Nicholas "Ace" Barnsdale will host the Facebook Live Drawing to determine the contest winners at 8:00 pm Sunday, October 11 at www.facebook.com/USHarnessWriters. For more information check out Scott Alberg's Facebook Page, USHWA's Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram accounts or the USHWA website at www.usharnesswriters.com. A list of prize winners is available anytime from either Scott Alberg's Facebook page or via email at CustomerService@4NJPicks.com. Sorry, but all current USHWA members are not eligible for this contest. By Steve Wolf, for USHWA  

LEXINGTON, KY--Game to the finish once again, Tall Dark Stranger withstood a late challenge from pocket-popper Captain Barbossa to pad his resume with a 1:48.3 harness racing victory in the final of three divisions for the $203,800 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace--sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on Sunday (Oct. 4) at The Red Mile. Unhurried from the pylon post to a :26.3 first quarter, driver Yannick Gingras angled Tall Dark Stranger off the pylons to brush for the lead moving into the backstretch. Early leader Captain Barbossa yielded for the pocket approaching a :55 half and remained in tow behind the Bettors Delight colt to three-quarters in 1:22.2. Spinning into the stretch, Captain Barbossa pulled for the attack and pressed Tall Dark Stranger for the lead into the final eighth. But Tall Dark Stranger fought back to the inside and edged away from Captain Barbossa to the finish to score his 17th victory from 19 starts. The Greek Freak finished third with Seriously Hanover fourth. "He makes it a little hard on my heart, really," said Gingras after the race of the colt's continual gutsiness. "I knew he was going to put up--and every time I've called on him he's always been there. He just makes anxious moments once in awhile, but he always [shows] up. Top of the stretch I called on him, and halfway through the stretch I knew [Captain Barbossa] wasn't going to go by me. I knew mine was fighting; he was still in front--usually they're by me at that point and he comes back and beat them. But this time I held them at bay." Amassing $1,775,445 in earnings for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger now has nine wins from 10 starts this year. Nancy Takter trains the James Avritt Sr.-bred colt who paid $2.10 to win. Captain Kirk set a quick pace with Cattlewash stalking second, but once driver David Miller pulled the Ron Burke trainee from the pocket he lifted flight and sprinted to a 1:46.4 victory in the opening division of the Captaintreacherous. With Captain Kirk clearing Cattlewash by a :27 first quarter, Captain Kirk continued to roll up the backstretch towards a :53.3 half and around the far turn to three-quarters in 1:20.3. Cattlewash revved out of the pocket spinning for the finish and swept past Captain Kirk with extended strides as Miller kept the reins high in the final-quarter sprint. The Somebeachsomewhere colt stopped the clock to match his sire's world record while winning by open lengths over Captain Kirk. Save Me A Dance closed for third with Sandbetweenmytoes fourth. Cattlewash sprinted to a 1:46.4 victory        --Amanda Stephens Photo Shaving nearly four seconds off his lifetime best, Cattlewash scored his third victory from 10 starts this season and his seventh from 23 overall, earning $551,502 for owner-breeder W. J. Donovan. He paid $5.60 to win. A seam to the inside gave Warrawee Vital open road in the stretch, and the Robert Fellows trainee flew through to snag the lead late and win the second division of the Captaintreacherous. Taking command to a :27 first quarter, Warrawee Vital let Fortify clear the lead into the backstretch while Capt Midnight looped from third to the lead approaching a :54.1 half. Tru Lou then leapt from sixth to the lead before the far turn, shuffling Warrawee Vital to fifth while also speeding to three-quarters in 1:20.3. Capt Midnight kicked from the pocket into the stretch and marched to the lead while Fortify fanned to the center of the course and Warawee Vital swooped into contention to the inside, vaulting by Capt Midnight in the final strides to stop the clock in 1:47.1. Capt Midnight settled for second with Fortify finishing third and Tru Lou foruth. Winning his seventh race from 11 starts this season and his eighth from 13 overall, Warrawee Vital has earned $141,607 for owners Blair Corbeil, Yolanda Fellows and M&S Racing Stable Inc. The Warrawee Farm-bred Captaintreacherous colt paid $6.60 to win. Grand Circuit competition resumes at The Red Mile on Friday (Oct. 9) with the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies. First-race post time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT).   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Party Girl Hill's undefeated campaign continued on Saturday (Oct. 4) at The Red Mile when the Captaintreacherous filly won the second of three divisions for the $236,600 American Ideal Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Pace--sponsored by Brittany Stallion Management--to collect her 12th-consecutive harness racing victory. Racing fourth to a :26.4 first quarter, driver Dexter Dunn dashed Party Girl Hill to the lead into the backstretch and took over the helm by a :54.4 half. Marloe Hanover gave chase from the pocket into the far turn while Lyons Sentinel tipped first over from seventh and progressed towards the top to three-quarters in 1:22.1. Lyons Sentinel made inroads on Marloe Hanover through the stretch, but Party Girl Hill scooted clear in the final quarter and opened her lead to the finish of a 1:48 mile. Candy On The Beach took fourth. "She's come a long way this season," Dexter Dunn said after the race. "She just keeps getting better and better. She's a real racehorse; you can do what you want with her--you can take her back, send her in, you can move her... her run today was great. I didn't think we've actually got to the bottom of her to be honest. She's never really been all out at the end of her miles. Two trips at Delaware [OH] and a trip today, she's had the plugs in all three times. She's exciting; she's a pleasure to sit behind." Earning $616,870 in her 12 starts, Party Girl Hill--a homebred for Tom Hill--races for trainer Chris Ryder. Sent the 1-9 favorite, she paid $2.10 to win. Nancy Takter trainee Peaky Sneaky set soft fractions but fired from the half to the finish, coasting to a 1:49.1 victory in the opening division of the American Ideal. Peaky Sneaky coasted to a 1:49.1 victory    --Amanda Stephens Photo By the quarter in :28, Peaky Sneaky led Baby Your The Best, Hen Party and Reflect With Me in a single-file stroll to a :56 half. Hen Party edged first over into the far turn but advanced through a quickening pace to three-quarters in 1:23.3 and began to falter into the stretch. Baby Your The Best gave pursuit to Peaky Sneaky from the pocket but settled for second three-and-three-quarter lengths behind. Reflect With Me rallied for third while stablemate Hen Party held fourth. "I've kind of been waiting for her to get the chance to win an actual stakes race because she's kind of been knocking at the door," Nancy Takter said after the race. "She's a super nice filly--she's a little bit of an overachiever; she gives you everything she's got every time she's on the track. There's nothing else I can say about her but good things." A daughter of Bettors Delight bred by White Birch Farm, Peaky Sneaky won her fourth race from 11 starts this season and his sixth from 20 overall, earning $247,499 for owners Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable. Scott Zeron steered the $10.40 winner. Takter also took the final division of the American Ideal with 1-2 favorite JK First Lady, who landed on the lead late to win in 1:49.2. Rocknificent swept to the lead with New Year settling into second and Lady Lou third heading to a :26.2 first quarter. JK First Lady, racing fifth, slid first over passing a :54.3 half and advanced towards the leader rounding the final turn. New Year vacated pocket to three-quarters in 1:22.4, forcing JK First Lady three wide for the stretch drive. Through the lane JK First Lady drew closer to late-leader New Year and, in the final sixteenth, downed that rival with Rocknificent in contention but finishing third. Blazin Grace blew from last for fourth. A homebred Western Ideal filly for 3 Brothers Stables out of former Nancy Takter pupil JK She'salady, JK First Lady collected her fourth win from nine starts this season and her ninth from 19 overall, earning $588,856. Yannick Gingras drove the $3.00 winner. Grand Circuit competition resumes at The Red Mile on Friday (Oct. 9) with the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies. First-race post time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT).   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Off a world record set in Delaware, OH, It's Academic powered to the lead, settled for the pocket and surged for the lead late to take the first of three harness racing divisions for the $211,700 Greenshoe Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot--sponsored by the Greenshoe Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm--in 1:50.3 on Sunday (Oct. 4) at The Red Mile. Driver Chris Page pushed It's Academic for the front from post 7 with EL Ideal also leaving to his inside. EL Ideal crossed to the cones and parked It's Academic by a :27.1 first quarter before letting the Uncle Peter colt clear command, but soon circled from second to the top heading to a :54.4 half. Beads, the 1-5 favorite, edged first over moving to the far turn and made slight gains to three-quarters in 1:23 but began to gallop into the stretch. EL Ideal held a slimming lead into the stretch as It's Academic angled out and bore down on the pacesetter, eventually sliding by to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths. King Alphonso finished third with Maesteraemon fourth. Returning $22.20 to win, It's Academic competes for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, W. J. Donovan, Joe Sbrocco and Hatfield Stables. The GBW Breeding Farms-bred colt collected his fifth win from 11 starts this season and his 11th from 21 overall, earning $339,784. Even-money choice Back Of The Neck zipped past even-money choice Amigo Volo to score in the second division of the Greenshoe. Amigo Volo brushed to the front past a :27.4 first quarter and softened the clip up the backstretch with the field single file to a :56.1 half. Capricornus--under a tight hold--rushed first over into the far turn to match strides with Amigo Volo by three-quarters in 1:25.3 but lost ground as Amigo Volo accelerated into the stretch. Room opened for Back Of The Neck to tip wide from second, and the Ready Cash colt gathered momentum before pushing past Amigo Volo into the final sixteenth and strolling to a 1:51.3 victory. Patriarch Hanover rallied for third with Third Shift finishing fourth. "[Svanstedt] tried pulling all four shoes on him today," winning driver Scott Zeron after the race. "[Svanstedt] told me--even in the post parade--said he sounds great, he'll be good. I feel like right now he's better--that was off of a layoff, so I'm only thinking he's going to get better and better. [Svanstedt] thinks he's the best horse in his barn, and he was right." Owned by breeder Order By Stable and co-owners Howard and Judith Taylor, Back Of The Neck won his third race from seven starts this season and his sixth from 16 overall, earning $441,270. Ake Svanstedt trains the $4.20 winner. Svanstedt trainees hit the track in the final division of the Greenshoe to snag three of the top four spots at the finish of a 1:52.3 mile, with 5-2 third choice Gangster Hanover holding on for victory. Hollywood Story hurried from post 4 to the lead while Jula Trix Treasure parked from post 8 in pursuit of the front. Past a :27.4 first quarter, Jula Trix Treasure took the lead. Stonefire US slid off the pylons from last moving up the backstretch and rolled outside before catching cover from Gangster Hanover by a :56.1 half. Gangster Hanover charged up to his stablemate's neck into the final turn and hustled to the lead by three-quarters in 1:25.1, gaining separation on the field into the stretch. Though the backfield began to rally, with Jula Trix Treasure fanning wide to give chase to Gangster Hanover but settle for second. Sermon slid up the inside for third while Coventry Hall, also trained by Svanstedt, finished fourth. Bred and co-owned by Brittany Farms along with partners Ake Svanstedt and S R F Stable, Gangster Hanover won his second race from five starts this season and his fifth from 11 overall, earning $239,223. Svanstedt drove the $7.40 winner. Grand Circuit competition resumes at The Red Mile on Friday (Oct. 9) with the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies. First-race post time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT).   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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 

Harness racing this week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky., and Dayton Pacing Derby, Dayton Trotting Derby, and Dayton Distaff Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Oct. 2) at the Red Mile and the Lexington oval will feature three divisions in the $316,300 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $268,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 3), Red Mile will offer the $350,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $300,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 4) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night (Oct. 3) will feature a trio of Grand Circuit stakes in the $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby for open pacers, the $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for open trotters and the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby for female pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Venerate and driver Andrew McCarthy powered off cover at the head of the stretch to win the $1 million Mohawk Million on Saturday night (Sept. 26) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A full field of ten rookie trotters, including three fillies, met in the inaugural Mohawk Million, a "buy-in" race with nine slots available for the purchase of $110,000 each and a final slot awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial. Venerate and driver Andrew McCarthy powered off cover at the head of the stretch to win the $1 million Mohawk Million. New Image Media photo. Racing in the slot of Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners, Venerate overcame a second-tier start with a perfect steer from McCarthy to win in 1:53.2. The Julie Miller trainee got away eighth and was able to follow the favorite Donna Soprano, eventually muscling by the previously undefeated filly to win by three-quarters of a length. "I was hoping I'd get out of there a little closer, but after scoring him down I knew I couldn't make him accelerate too fast, so I just wanted to get out of there upright," said McCarthy. "He's a very strong horse, I've seen that, I didn't really care how far back I got, just figured I'd have to get through that first turn and then worry about where I'm going from there. "The speed was pretty tough early, so it worked out where I could end up getting a pretty good trip, but when I looked up at the eighth-pole I was a long away back." The opening stages of the race saw several horses leaving hard, causing a four-wide push into the first turn. Altar cut a :27 opening quarter before handing the lead over to Wellwood winner On A Streak, who was four-wide entering the turn. Race-favorite Donna Soprano got away sixth, while Venerate was eighth. On A Streak led to the half in :56.1 just as Insta Glam came with a powerful rush to claim the top spot going into the final turn. Donna Soprano got her cue to go just before the half, as did Venerate and McCarthy seeing an opportunity to follow the favorite. Insta Glam trotted a strong third quarter to get the field to that station in 1:24 with a few lengths of separation. In the stretch, Donna Soprano and Venerate trotted by Insta Glam to set up a battle of their own. The filly Donna Soprano tried to hold on, but the colt Venerate was too much to handle, powering by to victory. On A Streak finished third, while Insta Glam was fourth. "I'm so thankful for Andy and Julie and Pinske Stable," said McCarthy. "And to Brad (Grant) for deciding to use me on this horse, I'm so thankful." A son of French stallion Love You, Venerate is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable. The connections negotiated a private deal with slot owner Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners to take a shot at the Mohawk Million. "It makes me look pretty smart I guess," laughed Grant. "We really believed in this race when we bought our slot. What Woodbine has done is something new and I think it's great, it had a buzz to it all year long." Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 645; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 414; 3. Dexter Dunn - 393; 4. Tim Tetrick - 336.5; 5. Bob McClure - 322. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 583; 2. Nancy Takter - 551.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 492; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 309; 5. Marcus Melander - 303. Owners: 1. Determination - 200; 2. Brad Grant - 160.1; 3. Caviart Farms - 152; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 135.8; 5. S R F Stable - 125.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. Featured at Red Mile will be the Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Lexington, KY - The Red Mile welcomes harness racing owners and trainers to bring their overnight horses to Lexington and race for competitive purses during the balance of the 2020 meet.   RACING: There will be no Late Closing program this year. In its place will be a variety of overnight classes with purses similar to the closers. These races have been designed to accommodate a wide spectrum of horses with an emphasis placed on opportunities for younger horses.   "We want to encourage owners and trainers participating in stakes to bring their young horses along. We recognize the negative economic impact the pandemic has placed on owners in 2020 and are responding by eliminating the cost of nominating horses to race in the closers this year," said Red Mile shareholder George Segal. "We'll provide unique opportunities to showcase their young horses and of course there's no better racing surface to do that on than at the Red Mile," he added. The condition sheets for the balance of the meet have been posted to the web well in advance in an effort to inform trainers of the classes available.   Live racing will be conducted on the following dates; October 2, 3 & 4 and October 9, 10 & 11 with all post times set at 1:00pm.   The Red Mile is also pleased to be able to welcome owners and a limited number of fans to enjoy the racing live at the track. Long a favorite destination of harness racing enthusiasts, Lexington in the fall is a tradition that we are determined to continue for our faithful.   SALES: The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale begins on the evening of Monday, October 5 at 7:00pm and will continue through Friday night. The mixed sale is back with a powerful catalog set to sell on Saturday night.   From The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--The Monday (Sept. 21) card at The Red Mile featured eight $50,000 finals of the Kentucky Commonwealth--a division for freshmen and sophomores of each sex and gait. Of the eight finals, the betting favorites managed to deliver in all but one. Trainer-driver Verlin Yoder vaulted Miss Vet Hanover out of the pocket into the stretch to post the lone upset in the final of the afternoon's Commonwealth events, the Two-Year-Old Filly Trot. At the start, 9-5 favorite Hey There Delilah broke stride with 3-1 second-choice Adirondack soon going into a gallop as the field entered the first turn. Princessa pushed to lead the field by the quarter in :28.3 with Miss Vet Hanover situated in the pocket. The field rolled in line to a :57.1 half and towards three-quarters in 1:26.2, setting up for a stretch-drive sprint. Yoder angled Miss Vet Hanover from the pocket and inched towards Princessa through the stretch as Argyle gained ground to the center of the track and Shape Of Beauty surged through a seam at the pylons. Miss Vet Hanover continued to dig into Princessa, who then gave way in the final strides of a 1:54.1 mile. Shape Of Beauty finished third with Argyle taking fourth. Returning $15.40 to win, Miss Vet Hanover has now banked $35,960 for owner Verlin Yoder following her maiden-breaking score. Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. bred the Yankee Glide filly. Driver Andrew McCarthy set sail with Sail By, motoring to the front early and crushing her rivals to win the Three-Year-Old Filly Pace in 1:50.4 while giving trainer Tony Alagna his first of three victories in the Commonwealth finals. Sent the 2-5 favorite, Sail By bolted to the lead from post 6, clearing Alleyesonme As to a :26.2. She kept her competition chasing while strolling through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.2 before opening her lead into the stretch. Pristine Beauty circled Alleyesonme As as they tired to the inside and chased the winner Sail By to finish second, seven-and-a-quarter lengths behind. Pure Decadence rallied for third. Bred and owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Sail By won her fifth race from eight starts this season and her seventh from 18 overall, earning $87,680. The Captaintreacherous filly paid $2.60 to win. Scott Zeron later steered Captain Video, taking the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace with the Tony Alagna trainee in 1:49.4. Floating to the lead after a :28 first quarter, Captain Video pocketed stablemate Major Risky moving for the backstretch and maintained his speed towards a :55.4 half. Starship edged first over from third circling the final turn with Mancrush in tow towards three-quarters in 1:23.1. Mancrush kicked off his cover into the stretch and stormed after Captain Video, who then repelled the late challenger to win by a neck. Major Risky finished third with Lottery Winner closing for fourth. Bred by Riverview Breeding LLC, Visionary Breeders LLC and Joseph Di Scala Jr., Captain Video competes for owners Riverview Racing LLC, Alagna Racing LLC and Joseph Di Scala Jr. The Captaintreacherous colt scored his fifth win from six starts this season and his seventh from 13 overall, pushing his bankroll to $49,700. He paid $3.00 to win. Driver Joe Bongiorno protected the lead with 1-5 favorite Lady Midnight to score a decisive victory in the Two-Year-Old Filly Pace and complete Alagna's afternoon hat trick. Circling by early leader Classicist after a :28 opening quarter, Lady Midnight kept her speed going to a :55.4 half as Beachblanketlindy mounted a first-over bid moving to the far turn. Beachblanketlady cruised closer to Lady Midnight as she decelerated to three-quarters in 1:24.1 but began spinning her wheels into the stretch as Lady Midnight sprinted away. The Captaintreacherous filly widened her lead in progress to a 1:51.4 score over stablemate Odds On Roxette rallying for second. Odds On Badd Bunny closed down the center of the track for third. Now a four-time winner from seven starts, Lady Midnight has banked $58,715 for owners and breeders Brittany Farms LLC and Marvin Katz along with co-owner Lynn Katz. She paid $2.40 to win. Almanac sat mid-pack through most of the mile before driver Andrew McCarthy let the A Rocknroll Dance colt loose and run down pacesetter Winner Is Coming to win the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace. Winner Is Coming cleared command from Beach Party by the quarter in :27.4 with Tarkio racing third and Almanac fourth. The field continued single file to the half in :56.3 and by three-quarters in 1:24.2, where McCarthy began to roll Alamanc. Through the stretch the Brian Brown trainee narrowed on Winner Is Coming's lead to land a head in front at the finish of a 1:51.2 mile. Beach Party gave chase in third with Red Right Hand taking fourth. Bred and owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Almanac won his third race from six starts, earning $46,123. He paid $3.00 to win. Odds-on favorite Molto Bene ranged towards the top, inherited control when the tempo setter lost stride and from there strode to a 1:53.2 victory in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. Aperfectcrystal took control to a :27.3 first quarter, but yielded for the pocket up the backstretch when Graceful Winner rushed out of third to the front before a :56 half. Driver Dexter Dunn pulled Molto Bene from fourth rounding the final turn as Graceful Winner broke stride, leaving Aperfectcrystal back on the lead. By three-quarters in 1:25.4, Molto Bene matched strides with Aperfectcrystal, who then started to gallop straightening for the finish. Molto Bene cruised on the lead to the finish with Watayankee two-and-three-quarter lengths behind closing for second. Fortune Telln Lady, off a pocket trip, took third. A Father Patrick filly bred by Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee and Marvin Katz, Molto Bene competes for owner Frederick Hertrich III. She collected her third win from nine starts this season and her fifth from 20 overall--earning $73,419--and paid $2.40 to win. Even-money choice Media Mogul swept to the front approaching the half and cruised to a 1:54.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Positioned third to a :28.1 first quarter, driver Scott Zeron zipped Media Mogul off the pylons and to the lead heading to a :56.4 half. Pocket-sitter Six O'Clock News began to lose ground on the leader into the final turn, prompting Lockbox to pull first over nearing three-quarters in 1:25.3. But Media Mogul widened his lead to three lengths entering the stretch with Flemsteen rallying from fifth to finish second, three-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner, in a photo with Lockbox. Owned by W. Donovan, Thomas Dillon, Purnel & Libby LLC and Joe Sbrocco, Media Mogul won his second race from seven starts, earning $68,044. The Muscle Hill colt--bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz--paid $4.00 to win. Sermon emerged from a pocket trip and ripped to the finish to post a 1:53.4 victory in the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Cupid Hanover cruised to the lead from post 8 heading to a :28.1 quarter, but faced pressure into the backstretch when Awesomedabra marched uncovered from fourth to the front. Approaching a :55.1 half, Awesomedabra broke stride, sliding to the center of the course before regaining his gait into the final turn. Meanwhile Cupid Hanover raced unchallenged to three-quarters in 1:24.4 until Sermon tipped out for the drive to the finish. Driver Kasper Forget sent the Muscle Hill gelding after the lead at the head of the lane and drew clear to win by four-and-a-quarter lengths over Generous Pour rallying for second, with Cupid Hanover faltering to third. Competing for owners Consus Racing Stable Inc. and Longbridge Trotting Inc., Sermon won his third race from 11 starts, earning $50,545. Per Engblom trains the $4.80 winner bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC and Melvin Hartman. The regular meet at The Red Mile concludes Tuesday (Sept. 22) with races scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Racing will resume at The Red Mile on Friday (Oct. 2) to start the six-day Grand Circuit meet, culminating to Kentucky Futurity Day on Sunday (Oct. 11). Racing begins each day of the Grand Circuit meeting also at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Perfect Sting remains undefeated after winning the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes Final for two year old pacing colts and geldings at the Red Mile today. After settling fourth, the son of Always B Miki made a move to the front during the 26.6 second quarter. He was challenged at the top of the home straight, but he responded to win going away by two and a half lengths. Perfect Sting is now a perfect six for six and has earnings of $194,400. His time today was 1:49.8 – his second sub 1:50 mile of the season. Perfect Sting is the third foal of the fast Bettors Delight mare Shebestingin 1:47. Interestingly there is a New Zealand connection with Mark and Pauline O’Connor owning Wantapieceofme, a half sister to Shebestingin. Always B Miki is the current leading first season sire in the US. While his book is full in Australia he is still available in New Zealand at a fee of $7,000 plus GST.

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