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LEXINGTON, KY -- Glamour-boy phenom Tall Dark Stranger continued his winning ways when holding off stablemate Fortify to win the $250,000 Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace Final of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS), which was one of eight harness racing divisions on the $2-million championship card Sunday (Sept. 20) at The Red Mile. Securing the pocket to a :26.1 first quarter, Tall Dark Stranger slid off the pylons and around early leader Caliber to lead the field by the half in :54.2. The North America Cup champ continued on a loose lead to three-quarters in 1:21.3 as Fortify mounted a late-race challenge from pocket turning for the finish. The Nancy Takter-trained pair raced on equal terms to mid-stretch but Tall Dark Stranger surged back to the front to win by a neck in 1:48. Captain Kirk finished third with Sea Of Life fourth. Passing $1 million in earnings this season and padding his career earnings to $1,741,645 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger won his eighth race from nine starts this season and his 16th from 18 overall. Yannick Gingras drove the Bettors Delight colt--bred by James Avritt Sr. out of his mare Precocious Beauty--who paid $2.10 to win. Driver David Miller began his big day with Blue Diamond Eyes, besting 2-5 favorite Making Waves in a 1:51 mile to win the Two-Year-Old Filly Pace and his first of four finals on the afternoon. Away third as Making Waves paced to the quarter in :28.3, Blue Diamond Eyes edged off the pylons moving to the backstretch and brushed to the top heading towards a :56.4 half. Making Waves tracked the leader tightly from the pocket rounding the final turn to three-quarters in 1:24.3, where the public choice angled outside for the attack. Through the stretch Making Waves dug into Blue Diamond Eyes, but the Ron Burke trainee repelled the pocket popper and hold sway by one-and-a-half lengths. Making Waves settled for second with High Minded sliding up the pegs for third and Single Girl snagging fourth. Off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, Blue Diamond Eyes added a fourth win to her seven-start resume and pushed her bankroll to $317,042 for owners Thomas and Scott Dillon. The Brittany Farms-bred Captaintreacherous filly returned $6.40 to win. Undefeated Always B Miki colt Perfect Sting kept his record intact with a blowout 1:49.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace in rein to David Miller. Native's Filou fired from post 7 to the lead entering the first turn and took the field by the quarter in :28.2. Perfect Sting soon tipped outside from fourth and advanced towards the lead moving into the backstretch, but Native's Filou accelerated towards the half to stretch out Perfect Sting to a :55 midpoint. The 1-9 favourite cleared command heading to the final turn and led to three-quarters in 1:22.4 as Native's Filou angled from the pocket to challenge the leader late, though levelled out late while Perfect Sting strode away to a two-and-a-half length victory. Captains Place slid up the pylons for third with Fulsome taking fourth. Winning all six of his starts, Perfect Sting--a homebred for Brittany Farms LLC and Val D'Or Farms--has earned $194,400. Joe Holloway, who trained the colt's dam Shebestingin, conditions the $2.10 winner. Off a runner-up finish in the Peaceful Way Stakes, Lady Chaos returned stateside with a sweeping move late in the mile for David Miller to score at 6-1 in the Two-Year-Old Filly Trot. Race-favorite Darlene Hanover dashed by early leader Beautiful Game after a :27.4 opening quarter to lead the field into the backstretch. Dutiful raced third while Miller floated Lady Chaos slightly off the pegs from fourth as Darlene Hanover strolled to the half in :56.1. The Linda Toscano trainee flushed Dutiful for cover into the final turn but fanned three wide by three-quarters in 1:25 for the stretch drive. Darlene Hanover clung to a diminishing lead as Beautiful Game veered out of the pocket to take a short lead before Lady Chaos, towards the center of the track, stormed by to win in 1:53.1. Eazy Pass rallied to best Darlene Hanover in the final strides for third. Now a four-time winner from seven starts, Lady Chaos has banked $248,303 for owners Richard Gutnick, Thomas Pontone, Joseph Lozito Jr. and Enviro Stables Ltd. The Cantab Hall filly bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Av And Son Bloodstock LLC paid $14.40 to win. Linda Toscano and Dave Miller teamed in the following final with Baby Your The Best to upset 1-9 favorite Reflect With Me with a 1:49.3 mile in the Three-Year-Old Filly Pace. Pettycoat Business protected position from the pylon post moving to a :27.3 first quarter but yielded control when Baby Your The Best brushed first over from third into the backstretch. Baby Your The Best kept the pace hot to a :55.2 half and to three-quarters in 1:23.1 as Reflect With Me attempted to gain ground first over. Spinning for the finish Baby Your The Best scooted away from Reflect With Me, extending her lead to three-and-a-half lengths at the finish with Pettycoat Business finishing third and Gai Waterhouse fourth. A Captaintreacherous filly owned by Richard and Joanne Young, Baby Your The Best won her third race from nine starts this season and her fifth from 22 overall, earning $457,947. Steve Stewart, Conquest Acres Lp and Michael Robinson bred the $14.20 winner. Per Engblom trainee Beads trotted a paid workout at the start of the Sunday card with a 1:51.2 romp in the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Driver Brian Sears sent the Archangel colt to the point from post 2 and held a firm lead through fractions of :28.2, :56.2 and 1:24 before widening to a three-and-three-quarter length victory as the 1-9 favorite. Barley inched by pocket-sitter Ontopofthehill to take second while Simsalabim gave chase in fourth. Beads, bred by Atlantic Trot Inc. and Steve Stewart, competes for owners Renee Spahr and Christina Takter. The colt collected his fifth win from 10 starts this season and his seventh from 18 overall, earning $260,463. He paid $2.10 to win. Hypnotic AM surpassed the million-dollar plateau with a 1:51.1 victory as the 3-5 favorite in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. The Marcus Melander-trained Chapter Seven filly landed in the pocket behind Panem moving to a :27.2 opening quarter. As Tuscany parked and progressed uncovered before going offstride into the backside, Hypnotic AM vacated pocket and circled to the front heading to a :55 half. Crucial edged first over and rolled towards the leader with Ms Savannah Belle in tow circling the final turn, drawing within a length of the lead by three-quarters in 1:23.2. Hypnotic AM drifted slightly off the pylons through the stretch, leaving a seam for Panem to slide through and secure second while Crucial gave pursuit from third and Ms Savannah Belle settled for fourth. Bred by Courant A B for owner Courant Inc., Hypnotic AM won her fifth race from nine starts this season and her 12th from 18 overall, amassing $1,041,260 in earnings. Brian Sears drove the $3.40 winner. With 7-5 favorite Cuatro De Julio losing stride into the first turn, Venerate vaulted to the lead and cruised to a 1:51.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, a fifth of a second off the world record. Venerate led pylon-starter Cricket Fashion by the quarter in :28 with New Legacy racing third and Bidensky fourth. The Julie Miller-trained colt by Love You continued uncontested to the half in :56.1 and by three-quarters in 1:24.4 chased by Cricket Fashion as his lead grew. Venerate hit the finish clear of Cricket Fashion with New Legacy farther back in third and Bidensky taking fourth. Owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc., Venerate won his third race from six starts, earning $188,766. Steve Stewart and Kemppi Stable bred the $10.40 winner while Andy Miller sat in the bike. State-bred stakes action continues at The Red Mile on Monday (Sept. 21) with eight $50,000 finals of the Kentucky Commonwealth Stakes for freshmen and sophomores of each sex and gait. First-race post time for the 12-race card is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Marie Ortolan Bar can succinctly sum up the fairytale she is living with colt Cuatro De Julio, this season's fastest 2-year-old trotter thanks to his near harness racing world-record-equaling 1:51.4 mile two weeks ago, and winner of eight of 10 races as he heads to Sunday's $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship at the Red Mile. "It's a story about faith, love, and friendship," said Marie, who trains Cuatro De Julio. "He is a gift. It is a wonderful story." Cuatro De Julio arrived in Marie's life when she most needed a gift like him. The colt was bred by partner Jean Pierre Dubois' Dream With Me Stable and raised by Marie in Kentucky. She realized quickly he was different. She realized, too, he was a horse to change her life. For more than a decade, Marie battled a variety of debilitating health conditions, from blood disorders to a rare congenital heart defect known as Ebstein's anomaly. She nearly died on multiple occasions and was forced to give up training horses for the better part of eight years. She still worked with babies at Dubois' breeding farm, but her illnesses had taken a toll on her physically and mentally. "When you fall very sick, they fix one problem but then another one comes," Marie said. "It is not fun to be sick. Your spirit wants to go, but your body says no. I was so weak. One day you say enough." Marie's faith helped sustain her during this period. "If you do not have God in your life, you have nothing," she said. And on March 22, 2018, a colt by Trixton out of the Ready Cash mare Clarabelle arrived and renewed her strength and outlook. It was Cuatro De Julio, or Fourth of July, which is Dubois' birthday. "I would say when he was one month old, he was very special; very special, very smart," Marie said. "When he was four months, he would follow me everywhere. I would say, go play with your friends. But he followed me everywhere. He was the dominant one. He was always the first for everything. "The way he moved was not so beautiful, there were others more elegant, but what I loved was the shoulder, the neck, the bottom, and he was never sick. He was never weak. I told everybody, when he was seven months, I have a good horse. I told everybody that this one is special. If you meet Cuatro, you will fall in love." So special, Marie decided to get her trainer's license again. With the help of numerous friends, including Judi and Henry Lunsford and Lee and Al Eferstein, she began training Cuatro De Julio. "This horse gave her the thrill and happiness and the will to come back and train again," said Lee Eferstein, whose husband Al has become Cuatro De Julio's regular driver. "He brought all of that back for her. He is just so special for so many reasons." Said Marie, "You never train a horse alone. You train a good horse with good people around you, people who love the horse. Without Lee, I'm nothing. She gave me my confidence back. Without all the friends and advice, I'm nothing. Everybody helps. We are a team." Cuatro De Julio's career began on the Kentucky fairs circuit, where he won six of seven races including the season-end final at Lexington's Red Mile. His only loss came in his debut when Marie drove him at the Ballard County Fair. "That was a very bad idea," Marie said, laughing. "This horse is not easy. If you fight with this horse, you will lose." Following that first start, Al Eferstein, a veteran of the Kentucky fairs, took the seat behind Cuatro De Julio. After sweeping the remainder of their fair circuit starts, they tackled the Kentucky Sire Stakes. Cuatro De Julio won his first KYSS start, made a misstep in the second, and rebounded by nearly matching Walner's world record for a 2-year-old trotting colt on a mile track in the most recent. "People are always asking me, when are you going to put up a catch driver?" Marie said. "He goes very well with Al. We won eight races easy. When something works, why would you change?" Following the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, Cuatro De Julio is eligible to the Grand Circuit races at Red Mile and the Breeders Crown at Harrah's Hoosier Park. But there is no reason to look to the future. The present is a wonderful story as it is. "Working with horses is a passion," Marie said. "We all have a dream and we have to follow the dream, but there is a lot of sacrifice. The recompense now is Cuatro. This horse saved my life." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Red Mile and the Kentucky Sire Stakes finals are the first eight races. Following are the morning-line favorites in each final, in race order. Three-year-old male trotters, Beads, 1-1. Two-year-old filly pacers, Making Waves, 4-5. Two-year-old male pacers, Perfect Sting, 6-5. Three-year-old filly trotters, Hypnotic AM, 5-2. Three-year-old male pacers, Tall Dark Stranger, 4-5. Two-year-old filly trotters, Darlene Hanover, 5-2. Three-year-old filly pacers, Reflect With Me, 6-5. Two-year-old male trotters, Dancinginthedark M, 2-1. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

The word perfect is the perfect adjective in Perfect Sting's name at this point in his harness racing career. Trainer Joe Holloway believes another adjective might suit the 2-year-old pacing colt as his career continues: Special. Perfect Sting, a son of two of history's fastest horses, stallion Always B Miki and mare Shebestingin, is 5-for-5 this season for Holloway and breeders/owners Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. His next start comes in Sunday's $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers at Lexington's Red Mile, where he will leave from post five with regular driver David Miller and is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. Red Mile hosts all eight Kentucky Sire Stakes finals for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters on Sunday. Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup winner Tall Dark Stranger, ranked No. 2 in harness racing's current Top 10 poll, headlines the championship for 3-year-old male pacers. Reflect With Me, unbeaten in six starts this year and ranked No. 9, leads the group of 3-year-old female pacers. Perfect Sting debuted July 28 with a dead-heat win at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and followed with a neck victory at The Meadowlands. Since then, he has won three Kentucky Sire Stakes starts at Red Mile, all by a minimum of a length. His 1:49.2 triumph on Aug. 25 is the season's fastest mile for a 2-year-old pacer. Only 11 freshmen in history have been faster. "A long time ago, I said I think this is going to be the best horse I ever trained," Holloway said. "So far, so good. But he's got to do it. We've got five more starts, at the most six, to see. They each get tougher now, but I think he can handle it. He's never been tired yet." During his Hall of Fame career, Holloway has trained a number of standout pacers, including three-time Dan Patch Award winner Jenna's Beach Boy and millionaire Always A Virgin as well as Hall of Famer Always B Miki (who shares the record for history's fastest mile, 1:46, with Lather Up) at ages 2 and 3. So his praise for Perfect Sting speaks volumes. "He's just far more advanced than Jenna, Miki, Always A Virgin; any of those," Holloway said. "David trained him (in the spring) and said when he puts it all together, he's going to be great. Each time out he's getting a little bit better and he's learning more. David said in three or four start he'd figure it out. He's still not quite there, but he'll get there. He does it effortlessly, so let's hope he continues that way. "It's too early to proclaim him the best, but I think he's got a real chance to do something special. Maybe he won't, maybe he will. But if he does, it will be a fun ride. "I called it early, David called it early, and now we just have to see." In addition to training Perfect Sting's sire during the early part of his career, Holloway trained Shebestingin throughout her career. Shebestingin was the sport's all-time fastest female pacer until 2019, when Shartin N's 1:46.4 mile bettered Shebestingin's mark by one-fifth of a second. "The mare deserved to have a great horse," Holloway said. "Hopefully he continues on." Following the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, Perfect Sting is slated to start in the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes at Red Mile before going to the Breeders Crown at Harrah's Hoosier Park. "This was the plan the whole time, we're shooting for everything at the end," Holloway said. "Right now, everything seems to be working OK." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Red Mile and the Kentucky Sire Stakes finals are the first eight races. Following are the morning-line favorites in each final, in race order. Three-year-old male trotters, Beads, 1-1. Two-year-old filly pacers, Making Waves, 4-5. Two-year-old male pacers, Perfect Sting, 6-5. Three-year-old filly trotters, Hypnotic AM, 5-2. Three-year-old male pacers, Tall Dark Stranger, 4-5. Two-year-old filly trotters, Darlene Hanover, 5-2. Three-year-old filly pacers, Reflect With Me, 6-5. Two-year-old male trotters, Dancinginthedark M, 2-1. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Lexington, KY - The Red Mile has made playing the races a bit more enticing for its horseplayers and fans. Beginning with this Sunday's card the retention rate on the daily Pick 4 wager (races 7-10) has been reduced to 15% and will come with a pool guarantee of $5,000 on Sundays, courtesy of The Red Mile and the USTA Strategic Wagering program.   This pairs nicely with the existing Pick 5 on races 2-6 which also offers the low, low take out rate of 15%.   The Red Mile is currently racing live on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a 1:00pm post time each day.   Looking ahead   The Red Mile will be hosting a very limited number of spectators to its live race meet, beginning with the September 20th Kentucky Sire Stakes Finals and continuing through the remainder of the meet. The full racing schedule is available on the website at redmileky.com.   The following groups may attend:   Horse owners and trainers with Kentucky racing licenses, credentialed members of the media and a limited number of reserved tickets will be made available. The clubhouse will be open for dining on a required reservation basis. (Admission tickets and clubhouse reservations can be requested by emailing: Bessie.purvis@redmile.biz.   Masks, social distancing and screening (temperature checks and questionnaire) will be required for attendance, as per Kentucky regulations for COVID-19.   From the Red Mile

Hightstown, NJ — The $1.1-million harness racing yearling is now the 1-for-1 racehorse. Maverick, a trotting colt who last fall became the highest-priced yearling in harness racing history, won his career debut Monday at Lexington’s Red Mile, capturing a $5,000 event for 2-year-olds by 1-1/2 lengths over Tangled Love in 1:57.2. Immigrant AM S was third. Joe Bongiorno drove Maverick for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Maverick Racing. Immigrant AM S led the field to the opening quarter in :29.2. Maverick was third, but already on his way to take over the lead, which he did prior to reaching the half in :58.3. The colt remained on top from there, hitting three-quarters in 1:28.4 before coming home with a :28.3 final quarter. Maverick was the 2-1 second choice behind 4-5 favorite Argyle, who finished fourth. “He looked well within himself,” said Brad Grant, one of the owners in the Maverick Racing group. “I haven’t talked to Tony, but you’re always pleased when in their first start they get a win. I thought Joey did a great job driving him and being safe with him. We sure can’t complain. We’ll see how he came out of it and what Tony has to say.” “I’m very happy with his first start,” Alagna told harnessracing.com shortly afterward. “Maverick was comfortable and strong through the wire. Joe was very impressed with him.” Maverick, by Father Patrick out of Designed To Be, is a full brother to 2019 Trotter of the Year Greenshoe. He was bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, who also are members of the ownership group. Maverick’s purchase price at the Lexington Selected Sale eclipsed the previous record of $825,000 for trotting colt Detour Hanover at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale. “You try to treat (Maverick’s first start) the same as every other race and every other race day,” Grant said. “There’s no pressure on anybody, you just find out how he races.” by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Management at The Red Mile announced today that the outlook is bright for its 2020 harness racing meet, which begins on Sunday, August 2 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 11.   As of this writing, the Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Series and Commonwealth Series hosted by the Lexington, Ky. track will have purses as advertised. Also of note, nominations for the track's major open stakes races are up from last year.   The KYSS Championship Series is scheduled to have three $40,000 legs and $250,000 finals for 2 and 3-year-olds, while the new Commonwealth Series will have two $20,000 legs and a final worth $50,000.   The sire stakes program kicks off Aug. 16 and concludes with the rich finals on Sept. 20 (Championship Series) and Sept. 21 (Commonwealth Series).   The Red Mile's major stakes portion of the meet starts Friday, Oct. 2 and closes with the traditional Kentucky Futurity Day card on Sunday, Oct. 11. Races will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during those two weeks with an afternoon post time of 1:00 p.m.   With nominations for the open stakes races up from last year, purses for the majority of those 20 marquee events are expected to be on par--or likely higher--than those offered in 2019.   One change for this year that should be noted by horsemen is rather than hosting late closers during the final two weeks of the meet, the track will instead have overnights with conditions--and anticipated purses--similar to the late closers of the past.   "We want to encourage owners and trainers participating in stakes to bring their young horses along, as always," said Red Mile shareholder George Segal. He said the race office will review the horse population and tailor conditions specific to the horses that will be on the grounds or planning to ship-in race day.   With the industry just now coming back from its COVID-19 shutdown, Segal said that the payments and starting fees associated with the late closing program is one less thing horsemen will have to deal with.   "We'll basically provide them with 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 two-weeks of major stakes events--coupled with the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale--creates what's come to be known in the industry as "The Lexington Experience." The sale will be held at the crosstown Fasig-Tipton Pavilion the evenings of Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 10.   From the Red Mile    

Toronto, ON – EquineX North America Corp announced details for the inaugural EquineX Championship Harness Racing Series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers to be hosted by The Red Mile in the fall of 2022.  The announcement coincides with the official launch of their website www.equinex.com and its easy-to-use and comprehensive equine management software platform. The EquineX series will consist of four divisions: 1) mare trot, 2) mare pace 3) horse/gelding trot and 4) horse/gelding pace. Each division will have a purse of $200,000 and there will be no stakes payments or supplementary entries. In order to be eligible, each horse must be registered by May 10, 2020 with either an EquineX GOLD subscription on a month-by-month basis continuously for 30 months or with a prepaid GOLD subscription for the entire period.  Subscription pricing information can be found here. The GOLD subscription includes a free trainer App and a free veterinarian App, which will be made available in May and June, respectively. ABOUT EQUINEX:  EquineX is a comprehensive software platform that puts each horse at the center of the universe and has been designed to meet the unmet needs of the equine industry through the development of a suite of easy-to-use tools for trainers, veterinarians, farriers, horse managers and owners. The platform captures and records a horse’s current and ongoing medical procedures as well as all communications among professionals associated with each horse. The cornerstone of the EquineX software platform is accountability to all equine industry stakeholders through transparency and provides a secure system for veterinary records. It also provides real-time communications among owners, trainers, veterinarians and staff. For further information, contact: EquineX Chairman Paul Simmonds at psimmonds@equinex.com or 416-476-8745.  For general inquiries, the email is info@equinex.com. EquineX North America Corp

LEXINGTON, KY--Division leader Greenshoe kept his crown intact as he patiently pushed for the front and faced little challenge when cruising to a 1:51.1 mile in the 127th Kentucky Futurity--going as a $450,000 single heat sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc. and Menhammer Stuteri Ab--over a "good" track at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6. Stablemate Green Manalishi S swept to the top from post 8 while Gimpanzee raced first over to a :27.3 first quarter and supplied cover to fellow Marcus Melander trainee Greenshoe. Gimpanzee slid to the lead up the backstretch while Greenshoe, the 1-9 favorite, crept closer to the top through a :55.1 half with Pilot Discretion on cover second over. Greenshoe hit his best strides heading to the final turn, rushing past Gimpanzee to lead the field past three-quarters in 1:24. Through the stretch the millionaire son of Father Patrick veered wide but kept to task while pursued down the center of the course by Don't Let'em, who took second. Gimpanzee held third from Soul Strong closing from the back of the pack for fourth. "I was really happy with the way things were working out; I wasn't getting any road trouble," said winning driver Brian Sears after the race. "I was able to be patient with him and ease him up to the front. Then when I thought it was time to use him up a little bit he was there for me and was pretty much in hand. I was really happy with the way he scored down so I was getting a good feeling going behind the gate. He's got speed that really no other horse I can think of can go with." Earning $1,241,273 for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli, Greenshoe--bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz--won his 12th race from 16 starts. "I was here for the first time in 2007," said owner Anders Strom, who co-owns Greenshoe through Courant Inc. "I started my business as a horse owner for real in 2005 and set myself a target to have the world's best horse in 15 years and we are up by a photo finish now. Not to say the least to do it with this team of trainer, groom, driver, my co-owners which also will include Hanover Shoe Farms where he will find his new home next season." Greenshoe paid $2.20 to win. by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY—Driver Dexter Dunn refused to seat Manchego in the pocket and circled the Nancy Johansson trainee to the front, speeding around The Red Mile to take the $69,500 What The Hill Allerage Farms Mare Trot—sponsored by the What The Hill Syndicate and Hickory Lane Horse Farm—in a 1:49 mile, eclipsing the all-age world record for trotting females, on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Hannelore Hanover hustled for the front moving to the first turn before Manchego moved to command past a :26.3 opening quarter. Manchego maintained her speed to a :53.3 half as Plunge Blue Chip floated first over from third moving to the final turn. Passing three-quarters in 1:21, Plunge Blue Chip ducked behind Manchego and tipped back outside straightening for the finish but gave chase in second as stablemate Ice Attraction finished farther behind in third. “Looks like it’s time to put away the summer suit and get the wet gear on,” Dunn said after the race as overcast skies in Lexington began to turn to drizzle following an evening of showers. “[I have to give] absolute credit to the track staff—I was actually out this morning having a cup of coffee at the bottom turn [and saw them] scraping the track and it was pretty bad. The condition they got it in right now is a credit to them. “She had been racing great all year [and in] tough company but she’s just a great mare and a pleasure to sit behind,” Dunn also said. “I was trying to slow it down as much as I could going to the half and it still popped up fast. I heard Ake get on my back around the turn before we straightened up but [Manchego] was never letting a horse pass her today; she was swelled up.” Besting the previous world record for trotting mares of 1:49.1 set earlier this year by Atlanta at the Meadowlands, Manchego—a four-year-old mare by Muscle Hill—won over a fast track before rains downgraded the surface to “good”. Black Horse Racing owns the Brittany Farms LLC-bred mare who has collected 24 victories from 39 starts and earned $1,847,980. She paid $4.00 to win. by Ray Cotolo, for the Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Chris Ryder harness racing trainee Bettor's Wish ground first over into the final turn and withstood a late rush from pocket-popper Captain Crunch to take the second of two divisions of the $540,000 Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace--sponsored by Michelle and Albert Crawford--on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Captain Crunch led the field to a :26.3 first quarter but settled for the pocket moving up the backstretch as American Mercury brushed from third to the lead past a :55 half. Bettor's Wish, racing fifth, followed that move but raced uncovered upon the lead change into the final turn. The son of Bettor's Delight pressed forward through three-quarters in 1:21.3 and put away American Mercury straightening for the finish. Captain Crunch vacated pocket and rallied inside of Bettor's Wish late but only gave chase from second. Air Force Hanover took third. "I was concerned about Captain Crunch," Chris Ryder said after the race. "He was second last week but he raced well. He made us go, so it was a little anxious absolutely. But we held on. There's really not much to say. [Bettor's Wish] was a nice two-year-old and he's just improved. The time off or whatever from two to three--he's just a faster animal." Co-owned by Chris Ryder with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor's Wish won his 16th race from 27 starts, earning $1,561,000. Dexter Dunn, who became the leading driver of the Grand Circuit meeting, piloted the $2.60 winner. Dexter Dunn                               --Lisa photo Dancin Lou lunged inside of 1-9 favorite Southwind Ozzi late in the stretch to take the other division of the Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace. Driver Dexter Dunn dashed Dancin Lou to the lead while U S Captain settled for the pocket moving to a :27 first quarter. Southwind Ozzi, sitting third, soon tipped wide and brushed to the top entering the backside, leading the field past the half in :54.3. Can't Beach That flushed first over from fourth moving into the final turn, tracked by Shake That House, but stalled past three-quarters in 1:23. Southwind Ozzi clung to command as he floated off the pegs through the stretch. Dancin Lou darted through the late opening and slid past the Little Brown Jug winner to stop the clock in 1:49.4. Shake That House kicked off cover for third. "This is a dream come true I just can't believe it," said winning trainer Tahnee Camilleri, an Australian native in her first year training stateside. "I'm in shock--I'm shaking. You normally don't find me tongue tied but, oh my God. I'm just thankful [my owners] decided to give an Aussie girl chasing the American dream a shot. "He really likes the big track and I think he likes the clay surface," Camilleri also said. "He stays like a mother in law so the big track suits him." Bred by Anvil & Lace Farm and owned by David Kryway and 1362313 Ontario Ltd., Dancin Lou won his 10th race from 26 starts, earning $265,859. The Sweet Lou colt bound for the Breeders Crown paid $20.40 to win.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--In her second start for trainer Ake Svanstedt Beautiful Sin pounced from a pocket trip to win the 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity--a $267,000 single dash sponsored by the Father Patrick Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farm--on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. When Dovescry, sent the 3-5 favorite, left for the lead from the center of the gate while Svanstedt tucked Beautiful Sin onto the pacesetter's helmet heading to a :27.1 opening quarter. Golden Tricks, stablemate to Beautiful Sin, progressed uncovered from sixth up the backstretch and flushed cover from Millies Possesion moving to a :55.2 half. Millies Possesion stalled circling the final turn as When Dovescry accelerated to three-quarters in 1:22.2 and retreated into the stretch. Beautiful Sin angled from the pocket while When Dovescry drifted and tired, leaving a gap for The Ice Dutchess to shoot through. The Ice Dutchess gave late pursuit to new leader Beautiful Sin into the final eighth but settled for second. When Dovescry held third. "It's a total surprise compared to my thinking two months ago; I'm really shocked by this," said Lennart Agren, who owns Beautiful Sin through S R F Stable. "I thought I had to [switch trainers] before the four-year-old season. [Ake Svanstedt] said she was nice but he had some issues to fix. She was a really nice filly two years ago in the sales ring." Topping the 2017 Lexington Yearling Sale, Beautiful Sin--bred by Jeff Gural and Moon Goddess LLC--sold for $480,000. The sophomore daughter of Muscle Hill has five victories from 14 starts and has earned $372,867. She paid $9.00 to win. by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--A season-long bout of runner-up finishes to division leader Shartin N ended on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile as Caviart Ally upended the star pacing mare with a 1:48.3 mile in the $87,000 Fear The Dragon Allerage Farms Mare Pace--sponsored by the Fear The Dragon Syndicate and Midland Acres. Shartin N, sent the 1-9 favorite, pushed for the front to lead the field of six through a :27.2 first quarter with Kissin In The Sand sitting second and Caviart Ally third and raced uncontested on the front to a :54.3 half. Driver Andrew McCarthy moved Caviart Ally first over entering the final turn and blitzed Shartin N heading to three-quarters in 1:22. Shartin N drifted from the cones entering the stretch and tried to fend off Caviart Ally but the five-year-old Bettor's Delight mare overpowered the 2018 Dan Patch winner into the final eighth and drew away to victory. Kissin In The Sand chased the pair in third. Shartin N was on a 14-race winning streak. "We've been waiting for her to beat Shartin," said Judy Chaffee, co-owner of Caviart Ally. "Finally, it happened." "We tried [to beat Shartin] all different ways," said winning trainer Brett Pelling after the race. "We tried to seat her in behind us, we've tried the two hole and today--this mare's really, really good when the weather's cooled off. Everything about her--she's right on her game right now." Winning her 23rd race from 69 starts, Caviart Ally--bred by Hanover Shoe Farms--has earned $1,585,716 for owner Caviart Farms. "My biggest battle right now is to talk Judy and co. into racing her next year," Pelling also said, jokingly, "so we can do it all over again. It's been a great thrill; she's a great mare. She's just one of those horses you love to have in your barn." Buck Chaffee, co-owner of Caviart Farms, commented on bringing Caviart Ally back as a six-year-old, saying "Things are possible, who knows what will happen. But for her to come and finally beat Shartin--they've raced super all year, and just two fabulous mares." Buck also confirmed Caviart Ally will race next in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY--Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt darted Six Pack to the lead moving to the final turn and raced the clock to a 1:49.2 world-record harness racing victory in the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Open Trot--sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural--on Saturday, Oct. 5 at The Red Mile. Following two recalls caused by equipment issues with Trolley the starting gate sent the field to race. Eurobond left for the lead from post 4 and took the field past a :27 first quarter while Lindy The Great raced second and Crystal Fashion sat third. Svanstedt sent Six Pack from fourth nearing a :54.2 and dashed to the front rounding the final turn, opening his lead towards three-quarters in 1:21.3. Through the stretch Svanstedt urged Six Pack as the four-year-old Muscle Mass colt won by open lengths over Lindy The Great with Mission Accepted finishing third. "He had been sick for about a month but [his] last race was good--he came home fast," Svanstedt said after the race of his return to the races in the Caesars Trotting Classic. The 1:49.2 mile bests the previous record for a four-year-old trotting stallion of 1:50.1 set by Chapter Seven in 2012 and equaled by Eurobond and Southwind Chrome. "Today I thought we were going to break the record [but] he needed a little bit of help," Svanstedt also said. "It was a little bit slow but he came home good. He's a little lazy when he's on the front [but] I tried." Co-owned by Svanstedt with Little E LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmar and Lawrence Berg, Six Pack won his 18th race from 33 starts, earning $1,658,105. "It was a little nerve-racking with the recalls to tell you the truth," said Jeff Gural, who co-owns Six Pack through Little E LLC. "I've actually dreamed of giving myself a trophy because I've never done it. I've given the Hambletonian trophy the last five, six years and the trophy for this race so it's a real thrill. This horse has had a lot of bad posts and he's cut most of the miles where he got beat--he got beat at the wire. He did all the work but then somebody else gets a record. So I was really happy for him today." Six Pack paid $5.00 to win. Grand Circuit action concludes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which goes as a single heat with a field of 12 for $450,000. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single dash with an 11-horse draw for $267,000. Two divisions of the $540,000 Tattersalls Pace, the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Trot and $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Pace will also go on the eight-race card. Racing gets underway for the season finale with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full results and entries, click here.  By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Metro Pace winner Tall Dark Stranger collected his seventh-consecutive harness racing victory to maintain his perfect record with a 1:50 victory in the third of four divisions for the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes--sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on the Saturday, Oct. 5 card at The Red Mile. Leaving from post 1, Tall Dark Stranger sat fourth to a :28.1 first quarter set by Tell Them Lou before driver Yannick Gingras angled the 1-9 favorite from the cones to pursue the lead. The Nancy Johansson-trained son of Bettor's Delight overtook the helm before a :55.1 half and faced little challenge through three-quarters in 1:23.1 in progress to a two-length victory over pocket-sitter Captain Barbosa. Father Nuno closed for third. "He had just had great presence when he was brought out for us to look at [as a yearling]," Johansson said after the race. "I think charisma is one of the most important attributes a racehorse can have. He was very easy to work with, very willing to please, always showed tremendous speed...it was pretty easy to train him down. He was strong across the wire [today]--Yannick [Gingras] said he had plenty of pace left." Earning $411,265, Tall Dark Stranger races for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. Yannick Gingras steered the colt bred by James Avritt Sr. who paid $2.10 to win. "I think people here are knowledgeable and understanding this horse is doing this very easily--it's spectacular," co-owner Marvin Katz said after the race. "I listened to Jimmy Takter [when] he said 'This is the best horse [at the Lexington Sale and] you got to be in' and I said I was in. That was it. It didn't take much thinking--when Jimmy said you got to be in, that was it." World-record holder Elver Hanover also remained undefeated when winning his Betting Line division in 1:50.3. Driver Chris Page placed the 1-9 favorite fourth as Seeyou At Thebeach led the field to a :27.3 first quarter. Page pulled Elver Hanover from fourth soon after and swept to the front before a :55.3 half. From there the Yankee Cruiser gelding slowed the tempo to three-quarters in 1:24 while pressed by Team Best moving to headstretch, but promptly turned away that rival as well as a pocket-popping move from Seeyou At Thebeach in the final eighth to win. Seeyou At Thebeach settled for second while Captain Groovy took third. "The opportunity was presented in front of me and just like anything else you've got to take the reins," Page said of driving a Grand Circuit-caliber horse after the race. "I'd like to thank all the owners and Ronnie [Burke] and the whole staff to have the faith in me to guide these nice horses which are high-priced investments. I was joking with the groom coming out here [and said] if every horse was like this horse it would make our jobs easy. The horse is a complete professional and does nothing wrong. He drives with two fingers and definitely makes my job easy." Victorious in nine starts, Elver Hanover--bred by Hanover Shoe Farms--has earned $397,825 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. "It's been the best experience of our lives," said Purnel of Purnel & Libby after the race on owning stakes-winning horses with Ron Burke and the partnership of Weaver Bruscemi. "Obviously Ronnie's the best trainer in the business. Without them, I don't know...it's great." Capt Midnight rebounded from a third-place finish in the $562,500 Metro Pace with a 1:49.4 victory in the opening division of the Betting Line. Roll With JR took command into the first turn while Catch The Fire dove into the pocket and Capt Midnight floated into third. He led the field through a :27.2 opening quarter but yielded the lead as Capt Midnight pulled wide and brushed to control through a :55.2 half. The Captaintreacherous colt continued to lead through three-quarters in 1:23 and strode clear of his competition to win by three lengths. Fortify closed for second and Roll With JR gave chase for third. "I definitely don't think we left [the Metro Pace] redfaced [sic] that night," driver Andrew McCarthy said after the race. "He raced terrific...I had to use him hard there in the second quarter and it caught up to us midstretch, but that's fine--he still paced [1]:49 and change so I knew what I had today. "I was hoping to just sit and wait today but Dougie [McNair on Roll With JR] was slowing down there to the half and I figured I might as well get going; it wouldn't be too taxing to get him there. It worked our great--I kicked the earplugs out at the head of the stretch and he did his job. He's come a long way. I think he's going to be a top three-year-old for sure." Winning his sixth race from nine starts, Capt Midnight has accrued $255,839 for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing. Hanover Shoe Farms bred the Tony Alagna trainee and the Breeders Crown-bound colt paid $2.40 to win. "My partners are awesome and I'm very happy that we had a nice victory at The Red Mile and hopefully he'll be as successful [at the Breeders Crown]," said Myron Bell after the race, who co-owns Capt Midnight through Capt Midnight racing. Major Betts vaulted to the front in a swift pace and sustained his speed through the finish to pace a 1:49.1 mile in the second division of the Betting Line. Genius Man pushed for the lead wide of Moneyman Hill circling the first turn. Driver Dexter Dunn positioned Major Betts fourth through a :26.2 first quarter and sent the Art Major colt after Genius Man heading to a :53.4 half. From there the Mark Harder trainee separated himself from the competition moving to three-quarters in 1:21.2 and turned for home with an open lead. Put To Right, the 6-5 favorite, rallied from the backfield through the center of the course to take second with 3-2 second choice Cattlewash taking third. "I think last week was an aberration," trainer Mark Harder said after the race of Major Bett's miscue last week in the Bluegrass. "He had a bad day--for whatever reason, I don't know. I just told Dexter [to] forget about last week [and] race the colt--[Dexter's] always liked him [so] I said 'Race him like you still like him.' He's beaten some really good colts and gotten locked in in New York a couple of races there; he just never got a chance to race. He showed what he's made of today. I hope [he's Breeders Crown material]." Paying $26.20 to win, Major Betts--bred by Southwind Farms--collected his third victory from seven starts, earning $86,460 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Deena Frost. Grand Circuit action concludes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which goes as a single heat with a field of 12 for $450,000. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single dash with an 11-horse draw for $267,000. Two divisions of the $540,000 Tattersalls Pace, the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Trot and $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Pace will also go on the eight-race card. Racing gets underway for the season finale with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full results and entries, click here. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY--Violet Stride strung out 1-2 favorite Love A Good Story past the half before yielding for the pocket and shooting out into the stretch to pull a 16-1 upset in the first Muscle Hill harness racing division of the $290,200 International Stallion Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday, Oct. 4 at The Red Mile. Driver Tyler Buter sent the Mark Harder-trained Trixton filly to the front with Queso Fresco pushing for the pocket heading to a :28 first quarter. Love A Good Story, racing fourth, angled from the pegs up the backstretch but worked to clear command from Violet Stride passing a :55.2 half. Queso Fresco faltered entering the final turn, forcing the backfield to tip wide and recoup lost ground while Love A Good Story and Violet Stride led by a wide margin through three-quarters in 1:24. Buter popped Violet Stride from the pocket straightening for the finish and slid past Love A Good Story to win while Crucial kicked down the center of the track for third. "She's been good all along, I wouldn't say it's the track that's done it," Harder said after the race. "She hasn't had a lot of chances in races and today she got given a real-good chance. We will now [go to the Breeders Crown] for sure." Returning $35.60 to win, Violet Stride collected her third win from nine starts, earning $96,790 for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati. Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. bred the $280,000 Lexington yearling purchase. Ramona Hill remained unbeaten when holding off a late charge from pocket-sitter Sister Sledge in the first Walner split. Sister Sledge slid from the pylon post towards the top heading to the first turn as Ramona Hill unhurriedly progressed towards the top from post 8 moving to a :27.4 first quarter. Ramona Hill continued to lead under minimal pressure through a :55.3 half and three-quarters in 1:24.4 before scooting to a three-length lead as Sister Sledge threw some bad steps when edging from the pocket. Sister Sledge soon hit her best stride and closed ground on Ramona Hill nearing the wire but finished a neck shy of the winner. Shishito, stalking the top two, took third. "Around March [or] April when [Tony Alagna] was training her down [that] he said she's very talented," said Albert Crawford, co-owner of Ramona Hill through Crawford Farms Racing. "When he qualified her--I think it was a [1]:55, [1]:56 [mile] with a big last quarter--he said she's a special filly." Winning all five of her starts, Ramona Hill has earned $112,400 for breeder Crawford Farms, which co-owns the Muscle Hill filly as Crawford Farms Racing with Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc and In The Gym Partners. Tony Alagna conditions the $3.80 winner and Andrew McCarthy sat in the bike. Runner-up to Ramona Hill in the Bluegrass, Madame Sherry prevailed as the 8-5 second choice in the second division of the Muscle Hill. Queen Of The Hill kicked for the front from post 7 while Heaven ducked for the pocket and Madame Sherry raced third to a :28.4 first quarter. Driver Tim Tetrick then angled Madame Sherry from third and swept the Jim Campbell trainee to the top before a :56.2 half. Common Sense S, sent the 6-5 favorite, pulled first over from fifth moving to the final turn. She slowly advanced towards the leader obtained cover passing three-quarters in 1:25.4 as Queen Of The Hill vacated pocket for the stretch drive. Madame Sherry drifted slightly from the cones through the lane, leaving a slim seam for Heaven to slip through nearing the finish. However Madame Sherry held off Heaven, winning by a head in 1:54.1 with Queen Of The Hill third. A Kentuckiana Farms LLC-bred filly by Father Patrick, Madame Sherry won her second race from six starts, earning $89,773 for owner Coyote Wynd Farms. She paid $5.20 to win. Sherry Lyns Lady lunged off cover to take the second division of the Walner. Sent the 6-5 favorite, Sherry Lyns Lady raced fourth to a :28.3 opening quarter as the other 6-5 choice Senorita Rita headed the helm into the backstretch. Panem, caught wide around the first turn, continued to race uncovered while stalled wide of Sherry Lyns Lady through a :56.1 half. Panem backtracked moving into the final turn while Senorita Rita raced unpressured past three-quarters in 1:25. Dune Hill, sitting the pocket, floated wide as Sherry Lyns Lady angled wider into the stretch. Senorita Rita clung to control through the lane but got outkicked by Sherry Lyns Lady in the final sixteenth and settled for second. Rebecca Clark, at 46-1, skimmed the pylons to snag third. "Hats off to [Coyote Wynd Farms] because they did all the homework in selecting these two fillies," Campbell said after the race, "and I was just blessed enough to be the one that gets to train them. Sometimes we get fooled... I told John [Floren of Coyote Wynd Farms] the other night 'I gave you all good training reports--I'm just glad [the horses] backed it up because it doesn't always work that way. We always say that when you go baby race the first couple of starts it pretty much tells the truth and these fillies lived up to that. Giving Jim Campbell a training double, Sherry Lyns Lady also races for the Coyote Wynd Farms. The Steve Stewart and Timot Stable Inc.-bred Father Patrick filly collected her third victory from 10 starts and bankrolled $310,554. Tim Tetrick drove the $4.40 winner. "She was sitting good--Timmy [Tetrick] knows her because he drove her from the very beginning in her baby races," Campbell also said of the race. "He just angled her out and she did the rest. Down by the wire, she was trotting strong." Each division of the Muscle Hill International Stallion Stakes was sponsored by Southwind Farms while each division of the Walner was sponsored by the Walner Syndicate. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Saturday, Oct. 5 with four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts (sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms), the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial (sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms) for sophomore pacing fillies, the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace (sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds) and the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Trot (sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural). Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile Lexington, Ky----For many years the Grand Circuit meet at the Red Mile always made available a race for amateur drivers and this season was no exception. Today (Oct. 4) a 7-horse field was sent to post at 12:30pm prior to the betting card getting underway and when the judges hung the official sign, the veteran trotter, Inukchuk Chuck, once again showed his heels to the field when Kiara Morgan guided the 6-year-old gelding to a 1:56.2 triumph, his fourth consecutive victory since September 26; two were at Delaware, Ohio followed by two now at the Red Mile and all four wins came at the hands of lady drivers. Hannah Miller won the Delaware trots and now Kiara Morgan has made it two-in-a-row here at Lexington After starting from post six Ms Morgan sent Inukchuk Chuck toward the front but settled in the three- hole as Ms Miller and Jacks To Open challenged Fairground Drama (Richard Roach) for the lead which she obtained before the halfway point. But as Hannah's trotter settled on top she had to contend with Ms Morgan's charge who began to rally. and when he did, Inukchuk Chuck took command and survived a late charge from Utopia and driver Steve Oldford to notch his ninth seasonal triumph. Third place went to Security Guard who was driven by Dein Spriggs.. The winner is owned by Cliff Grundy and trained by Nick Surick. by John Manzi, for amateur driving everywhere

LEXINGTON, KY--The two harness racing divisions for the $239,000 Arlene Siegel Memorial International Stallion Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies--sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms--saw the heavy favorites get beat. Making her fourth start, 10-1 shot New Year hit the Grand Circuit winner's circle with a first-over grind to take the opening division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial. The Bethinator shot for the front moving to the first turn with 6-5 favorite Reflect With Me floating into the pocket before circling to the top past a :28.4 first quarter. New Year, sitting fourth, tipped first over as the field sped to a :56.2 half and ranged towards the pacesetter to then match strides with Reflect With Me passing three-quarters in 1:24.1. The Somebeachsomewhere filly dug into Reflect With Me entering the stretch and lunged past to lead approaching the finish. Jk First Lady, swooping from third over, rallied widest on the track to finish second while Reflect With Me held third. "The owners are very patient and they agree that the less you do at two, the more you get at three and I'm at the same mindset," trainer Ross Croghan said after the race on bringing New Year to the races so late in the season. "This filly was very heavy as an early two-year-old; she carried a massive amount of weight. A nice, hot summer helped us slowly peel that off into racing condition. She's always shown a little bit of grit. Out of the world-champion mare Drop The Ball, New Year collected her third victory while earning $83,680 for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Mr Dana Parham, who also bred the $22.80 winner. Corey Callahan sat in the bike behind the possible Breeders Crown starter. "I'll talk to the owners--[the Breeders Crown's] all she has left," Croghan said. "If they want to go, and she comes out of this race good, she'll go." Nancy Johansson trainee Peaky Sneaky surged first over around the final turn and edged to a 1:50.3 victory in the second division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial. Rocknificent, sent the 6-5 favorite, led the field past a :26.4 first quarter with Hidden Cove sitting in the pocket and 8-5 second choice Gai Waterhouse racing third. Gai Waterhouse then angled from third and brushed to the front passing a :55.3 half but soon yielded command to Lady Lou--carrying Peaky Sneaky on cover--entering the final turn. Peaky Sneaky continued to advance when uncovered approaching three-quarters in 1:23.1. The Bettor's Delight filly drew alongside Lady Lou entering the stretch and dug into the late leader before slipping by late in the stretch to win. Lady Lou held second from Rocknificent, who rallied wide for third. "We started off kind of slow [in Ontario] and then we moved her into the Ontario Sires Stakes and the Champlain and she kept surprising me," Johansson said after the race. "So I let her go in the She's A Great Lady. [It was] a far way for a two-year-old filly to go, especially when she had been racing four weeks in a row--which I really don't ever do. But she was racing well and is kind of easy on herself between the races, so we gave her the shot. She definitely needed that week off after the She's A Great Lady. "She's been racing really good and getting some tough trips, but she's very honest," Johansson also said. "I told Dexter [Dunn] before she went onto the track [that] she's going to give you all she has; she always does." Bred by White Birch Farm and owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable, Peaky Sneaky won her second race from eight starts, earning $100,377. Dexter Dunn drove the $14.60 winner. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Saturday, Oct. 5 with four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts (sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms), the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial (sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms) for sophomore pacing fillies, the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace (sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds) and the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Trot (sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural). Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

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