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Greenshoe, Gimpanzee, and Green Manalishi S see plenty of each other on a regular basis but have not seen much of each other on the harness racing racetrack. The three horses, all from the stable of trainer Marcus Melander, will compete in the same race for only the second time this year when they meet in Sunday's (Oct. 6) $450,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at Lexington's Red Mile. The Kentucky Futurity is the third jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. The only previous meeting between Melander's trio came in the first jewel, the Hambletonian, on Aug. 3. Greenshoe finished second to Forbidden Trade in the Hambletonian, with Gimpanzee third and Green Manalishi S fifth. Four weeks later, Gimpanzee was Melander's only entry in the Trotting Triple Crown's second event, the Yonkers Trot, where Gimpanzee claimed the trophy by defeating Forbidden Trade. Greenshoe, who has won nine of 11 races and $939,550 in purses this season, is the sport's richest trotter. Among 3-year-olds, Gimpanzee is third and Green Manalishi S is fourth. "They've been racing good all year," Melander said. "We couldn't be more happy with how they've been performing. They've had a long season, but they're still going strong and look good. "We made a lot of money with those three horses. We were lucky because they were in different sire stakes (programs) and we could separate them a little bit. I think we were smart to separate them like that and I think it was good for the horses, as well. It's good for their head to not race against each other. I think we did the right thing with all of them. They've all won big races." Greenshoe is the 4-5 morning-line favorite in the Kentucky Futurity, which attracted 12 horses and will be contested as a single dash with two horses starting from the second tier. Greenshoe's victories this season include the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial, New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. The colt enters the Kentucky Futurity off a 1:49.4 triumph in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last week at Red Mile. The time is the fastest of the season for a 3-year-old trotter and the fourth sub-1:50 winning mile by a sophomore in harness racing history. Six Pack trotted the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old, 1:49.1, in last year's Futurity. "It was nice, of course," Melander said about Greenshoe's mile. "We knew he could do that, so it was nice to get that record for him. Especially if it's going to be bad weather on Sunday, he's probably not going to have that chance. "He came out of (the Bluegrass) great. It will be exciting to see him." Greenshoe, whose full brother Maverick sold for a record $1.1 million Tuesday at the Lexington Selected Sale, will start the Futurity from post four with regular driver Brian Sears. He is owned by Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, and Morten Langli. Gimpanzee, a Dan Patch Award winner last year at age 2, has won six of nine races this year and earned $691,163. His victories this season in addition to the Yonkers Trot include the New York Sire Stakes championship and Empire Breeders Classic. He finished second to Greenshoe last week. The colt is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Gimpanzee (Mike Lizzi Photo) Green Manalishi S has won six of 10 races this season, including the Canadian Trotting Classic and Simcoe Stakes, and earned $638,838 for owner Courant Inc. Green Manalishi S Gimpanzee and driver David Miller start the Futurity from post six and Green Manalishi S and driver Tim Tetrick leave from post eight. The horses are both 6-1 second choices on the morning line. "I'm happy with how my horses are going into the race," Melander said. "I'm confident going into the race, but it's horse racing and there are some nice horses in there. A lot can happen." Five horses sit at 15-1 behind Melander's trio on Sunday. One, Marseille, is the only horse other than Forbidden Trade to beat Greenshoe this season, winning the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial by a head. Svanstedt, who won last year's Futurity with Six Pack, trains and drives Marseille. Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade was not eligible to the Futurity. This is the second time in four years the Futurity will be a single 12-horse dash. Marion Marauder completed a sweep of the Trotting Triple Crown by winning from the second tier's post 11 in 2016. In addition to the Kentucky Futurity, the card includes the $267,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters. Eleven horses entered the race. Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry is the 9-5 favorite followed by Millies Possesion at 2-1. For more on the Futurity Day card, including two Tattersalls Pace divisions for 3-year-old male pacers and Allerage events for trotting and pacing mares, click here. For complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT). Following is the field for the 127th Kentucky Futurity. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-M/L 1 - Chin Chin Hall - Cash Hall - Peter Wrenn - R. Nifty Norman - 15/1 2 - Marseille - Muscle Hill - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Stanstedt - 15/1 3 - Super Schissel - Uncle Peter - Scott Zeron - Per Engblom - 20/1 4 - Greenshoe - Father Patrick - Brian Sears - Marcus Melander - 4/5 5 - Don't Let'em - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras - Nancy Johansson - 15/1 6 - Gimpanzee - Chapter Seven - David Miller - Marcus Melander - 6/1 7 - Mass Fortune K - Muscle Massive - Tyler Buter - Norm Parker - 30/1 8 - Green Manalishi S - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick - Marcus Melander - 6/1 9 - Pilot Discretion - Muscle Hill - Andy McCarthy - Tony Alagna - 15/1 10 - Soul Strong - Father Patrick - Dexter Dunn - Ake Svanstedt - 15/1 11 - Goes Down Smooth - Muscle Hill - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 20/1 12 - Union Forces - Cantab Hall - Andy Miller - Julie Miller - 20/1 by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager      

LEXINGTON, KY --After two weeks of stakes competition, The Red Mile will close the annual Grand Circuit fortnight on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th edition of the Kentucky Futurity capping the program. Marcus Melander's trotting triage leads the field for the $450,000 Kentucky Futurity, which drew 12 horses and will go as a single dash. The Father Patrick colt Greenshoe--whose brother sold for a record $1.1 million on night one of the Lexington Yearling Sale--will start from post 4, inside of stablemates Gimpanzee and Green Manalishi S. The millionaire colt, with 11 wins from 15 starts, competes for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli, and will have Brian Sears in the bike. Gimpanzee, starting from post 6, enters from a second-place finish to Greenshoe in his 1:49.4 mile last week at Lexington. The Chapter Seven colt--with $1.2 million earned for owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable--will have David Miller driving. Green Manalishi S--a Muscle Hill colt also with nearly $1.2 million earned--competes for Courant Inc. and will have Tim Tetrick in the bike from post 8 off a 1:50.4 victory in a $96,100 division of Bluegrass. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single $267,000 dash. Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry leaves from post 4 off a 1:50.1 victory in a $108,500 division of Bluegrass. The Rene Allard-trained Muscle Hill filly approaches $700,000 in earnings for owners Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain and will have brother Simon Allard steering. Millies Possesion starts directly inside of When Dovescry, who has handed the previously undefeated Jim Campbell trainee her only losses. Unraced as a two-year-old and racing 12 times this year, the Possess The Will filly has earned nearly $500,000 for owner-breeder Fashion Farms and will have regular pilot Dexter Dunn at the reins. Sophomore pacing colts also compete in a pair of $270,000 divisions for the $540,000 Tattersalls. Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi paid the $45,000 supplement and draws post 3 in the first division. The Bill Mac Kenzie-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt has won nine races from 11 starts this season and banked $771,263 in his career for owners Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice and will have Brian Sears in the bike. Bettor's Wish and Captain Crunch compete against each other for the first time since the Cane Pace in the second Tattersalls division. Captain Crunch--a Nancy Johansson-trained son of Captaintreacherous--bested Bettor's Wish in the $285,362 Cane Pace by a neck in 1:48 but has not won a race since. The winner of $1.3 million will have Scott Zeron in the sulky from post 5 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Bettor's Wish has only lost one race since the Cane Pace, finishing second in the $500,000 Messenger Pace to American Mercury (who starts from post 2). The Chris Ryder-trained Bettor's Delight colt--co-owned by Ryder with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners--has earned over $1.1 million from 14 starts this season (finishing no worse than second in all) and has $1.4 million earned in his career. Dexter Dunn sits in the bike from post 6. Shartin N fronts the $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Open Pace. Winning 40 races from 52 starts, the six-year-old Tintin In America mare nears $2 million in earnings and rides a 14-race win streak for trainer Jim King Jr. Tim Tetrick co-owns Shartin N and will drive her from post 4 for partners Richard Poillucci and Joanne Looney-King. Aged trotting mares also race on the closing-day card with the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Trot starting the Sunday stakes action. The four-year-old Muscle Hill mare Manchego leads the eight-mare charge off a nine-length blowout against the boys in the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby last week. Nancy Johansson conditions the winner of $1.8 million for owner Black Horse Racing. Ake Svanstedt sends a speedy pair with Plunge Blue Chip, who equaled her 1:49.4 world record in last year in the Filly Futurity, and Darling Mearas S, who trotted a 1:49.4 mile at the Meadowlands earlier this season. Plunge Blue Chip--recently surpassing $1 million in earnings for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and Tomas Andersson, will have trainer Svanstedt in the sulky from post 5. Darling Mearas S, a six-year-old mare by Cantab Hall, approaches $1 million in earnings for owner Snogarps Gard and will have Andy Miller driving from post 8. The closing-day program gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Real Cool Sam remains undefeated from nine starts but hit the finish line inseparably with 32-1 Big Oil in the third of three harness racing divisions of the $276,300 Trixton International Stallion Stakes on Thursday, Oct. 3 at The Red Mile. Big Oil sat third to a :27.2 first quarter set by second-choice Gangster Hanover with Capricornus sitting the pocket. Real Cool Sam, sent the 1-2 favorite, raced fourth up the backstretch before driver David Miller slowly edged from the pylons through a :55.3. Real Cool Sam ranged closer to Gangster Hanover circling the final turn but Capricornus had room to pull from the pocket passing three-quarters in 1:24. Capricornus took a narrow lead through the stretch while Big Oil circumvented Gangster Hanover towards the inside and sprinted towards the front as Real Cool Sam rallied three wide. Real Cool Sam ground past Capricornus in the final strides to hit the finish in tandem with Big Oil, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. A gelding by Muscle Hill, Real Cool Sam lowered the world record for a two-year-old trotting gelding of 1:52.3 set by Amigo Volo last week at The Red Mile. "When [the photo] was taking so long, I was hopeful for a dead-heat but I didn't think we got it," trainer Jim Campbell said after the race. "Today was his ninth start and I didn't want to come out of here with 10 starts and then--the plan is, if everything's okay, to go to the Breeders Crown. I didn't want him getting used hard; [it's] been over three weeks since he raced last at Chester. When they hadn't raced like that and you go abuse them too much too soon [then] they don't race the way you want them to. This way it worked out perfectly--Dave gave him a good drive; the way you'd want the colt driven" Real Cool Sam, a homebred for Fashion Farms, has earned $443,063. He paid $2.20 to win. Big Oil, a colt by Father Patrick, won his second race from eight starts, earning $91,605 for owner-breeder Jason and Douglas Allen and co-owner Ron Allen. The 1:52.1 mile lowers the Julie Miller trainee's lifetime mark. "Last week we kind of used as a confidence booster for him," Julie Miller said after the race. "I thought Andy raced him real well and we thought today to give him a chance. I'm leaning towards [not sending him to the Breeders Crown]. We may put him away and have a great three-year-old." Andy Miller piloted the $16.60 winner. King Alphonso wired his competition with a 1:52 mile in the opening division of the Trixton. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt swept King Alphonso past pylon-starter Beyond Kronos to take the lead into the Tattersalls turn. Even-money favorite Rome Pays Off, rough-gaited at the start, raced last of the seven through a :27.1 opening quarter before angling first over into the backside. Rome Pays Off marched into a :55.2 half to race at King Alphonso's wheel circling the final turn but began to retreat past three-quarters in 1:24.1. King Alphonso strolled through the stretch with wide strides pursued by pocket-sitter Beyond Kronos in second. It's Academic rolled down the center of the course for third. A colt by Muscle Hill bred by Order By Stable, King Alphonso won his second race from seven starts, earning $128,395 for owners Ake Svanstedt, Bender Sweden, Little E LLC and Douglas Sipple. He paid $6.80 to win. Taken to the center of the course after trotting a bad step, Amigo Volo quickly regained his footing and surged past his competition to equal his then-1:52.3 world record when winning the second division of the Trixton. Driver Dexter Dunn floated Amigo Volo from post 7 into fourth rounding the first turn while EL Ideal led the field through the first quarter in :26.4. EL Ideal decelerated up the backstretch as Amigo Volo nearly broke into a gallop but kept his stride as Dunn veered the Father Patrick gelding to the center of the track. Past a :55.3 half, Amigo Volo progressed uncovered towards the leader. "It wasn't his gait--he was sort of running out a touch there," Dunn said after the race. "He was playing around with his head a little bit. It was more like he lost a little bit of concentration there and threw himself off stride. [So I] sort of moved him out of the way and he just hit his gait straight away." EL Ideal clung to command as Amigo Volo matched strides passing three-quarters in 1:24. Amigo Volo then lunged to the lead straightening for the finish and strode clear of EL Ideal with Synergy taking third. "He did it really nicely," Dunn also said. "Those plugs are still in." Winning his fourth race from eight starts, Amigo Volo has won $214,696 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Carter Pinske conditions the gelding bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. He paid $3.40 to win. Each division of the Trixton International Stallion Stakes was sponsored by Deo Volente Farms, where 2014 Hambletonian Winner Trixton stands stud. "This is truly a special place. It's an honor and a pleasure to be here," said Mike Gulotta, CEO of Deo Volente Farms in the winner's circle after Race 3. "I love the crowd; I love the racing. Together with the sale, it's a perfect venue. It's a place to showcase some great, great horses." Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Friday, Oct. 4 with four divisions of the $290,200 Muscle Hill International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies--sponsored by Southwind Farms--and two divisions of the $239,000 Arlene Siegel Memorial International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies--sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- With 12 dropping in the entry box Thursday morning, the harness racing draw for the $450,000 Kentucky Futurity Final was conducted during the Thursday (Oct. 3) card at The Red Mile. Off a 1:49.4 mile under wraps in his Bluegrass division, Greenshoe fronts the field of 12. The Father Patrick colt recently surpassed $1 million in earnings for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli. He leads a Melander triage into the 127th renewal of the trotting triple crown classic with stablemates Gimpanzee and Green Manalishi S also entering. The draw for the 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity was also conducted. A total of 11 fillies dropped into the box with Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry back to rematch Millies Posession. Below are the fields for the Kentucky Futurity and the Filly Futurity: Race 8 | $450,000 127th Kentucky Futurity Post-Name-Trainer 1-Chin Chin Hall-Richard "Nifty" Norman 2-Marseille-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Super Schissel-Per Engblom 4-Greenshoe-Marcus Melander 5-Don't Let'em-Nancy Johansson 6-Gimpanzee-Marcus Melander 7-Mass Fortune K-Norm Parker 8-Green Manalishi S-Marcus Melander 9-Pilot Discretion-Tony Alagna 10-Soul Strong-Ake Svanstedt 11-Goes Down Smooth-Ron Burke 12-Union Forces-Julie Miller Race 6 | $267,000 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity Post-Name-Trainer 1-Weslynn Quest-Christopher Beaver 2-The Ice Dutchess-Nancy Johansson 3-Millies Posession-Jim Campbell 4-When Dovescry-Rene Allard 5-Starita-Joe Holloway 6-Seaside Bliss-Paul Kelley 7-Miss Trixton-Marcus Melander 8-Princess Deo-Lucas Wallin 9-Beautiful Sin-Ake Svanstedt 10-Golden Tricks-Ake Svanstedt 11-Asiago-Per Engblom An eight-race card caps the Grand Circuit fortnight at The Red Mile and also features the Tattersalls Pace and the mare divisions of the Allerage Farms. The closing-day card gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile    

Erv Miller liked the direction Geez Joe was heading last winter, registering four wins in a seven-race span that saw him miss the board only once, but the 5-year-old harness racing Standardbred pacer required throat surgery in January and was sidelined for more than seven months. He returned in September and looks to be rounding back into form as he heads to Saturday's $186,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace at Lexington's Red Mile. Geez Joe has won two of four races since returning to action. He enters the Allerage off a 1:47.4 win in the open handicap at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Sept. 27. In his prior start, the gelding was eighth in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby but closed with the race's second-fastest final quarter-mile, :25.4, to make up six lengths and finish 3-1/2 behind winner This Is The Plan. "He's come back really good so far," said Miller, who trains Geez Joe for owner Bay Pond Racing Stable. "He was in Indiana against these horses, but he really wasn't ready and he drew outside some (post seven). This will be his bigger test. Hopefully he's more ready for them this time." Geez Joe, by Roll With Joe out of Beach Bretta, has won 19 of 59 career races and earned $242,978. "We always liked him," Miller said. "He's just a really big horse and had to catch up to himself. He's starting to show that. He's always showed good speed, he just had some aches and pains from being a big guy there early on. He's starting to put it together as an older horse. It just took him a while to get there." Geez Joe will start the Allerage from post six with driver Marcus Miller and is 12-1 on the morning line. "He's pretty versatile," Miller said. "You can leave and put him in a race, or he can come from out of it. That's what I like most about him. "If he races well this week, we'll probably keep on going," the trainer added about a possible trip to the Breeders Crown later this month. McWicked is the 5-2 favorite in the Allerage pace. He won the Ewart Memorial on Sept. 7 at Scioto Downs and heads to Saturday's start off a second-place finish behind Jimmy Freight in the Dayton Pacing Derby. He was sixth in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. Saturday's card at Red Mile also includes the $145,000 Allerage Farms Open Trot, $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, and four divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. Lindy The Great, fresh off his victory in the Caesars Trotting Classic, which is part of a five-race win streak, is the 2-1 favorite in the Allerage trot. He will start from post two with Louis Roy driving for trainer Domenico Cecere. Warrawee Ubeaut, making her first start since winning the Jugette on Sept. 18, is the 7-5 favorite in the Glen Garnsey. She will start from post three with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Ron Burke. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA      

LEXINGTON, KY--The Saturday, Oct. 5 card at The Red Mile--the second to last harness racing program of the Grand Circuit meet--draws four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts, a single soph-filly pace dash for the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial and the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace. Off a third-place performance in the $562,500 Metro Pace, Capt Midnight returns to the track in the first division of the Betting Line, sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms. The Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous colt rode a five-race win streak entering the Metro Final, but brushed prematurely to the front through quick fractions and faltered through the lane as the odds-on favorite. The winner of $221,464 starts from post 4 with Andrew McCarthy in the bike for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing. Roll With JR starts directly left of Capt Midnight after winning an $81,950 Bluegrass division going wire to wire in 1:50.4. The Roll With Joe colt, who finished second in the Kentucky Sires Stakes championship, has accrued $142,891 in earnings for Pollack Racing LLC and trainer Jeff Cullipher. Doug McNair will again drive the Roll With Joe colt. Cattlewash tops the second Betting Line split off a 1:50.3 victory in an $80,950 division of Bluegrass. The Ron Burke-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt has four wins, which came in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, from eight starts and $141,502 earned for owner William Donovan. Yannick Gingras sits in the bike from post 4 for trainer Ron Burke. Metro Pace winner Tall Dark Stranger enters the third Betting Line division undefeated. In six starts, the Bettor's Delight colt has amassed $376,890 in earnings for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The Nancy Johansson trainee makes his third start on the Grand Circuit and will have Yannick Gingras in the sulky from post 1. Another undefeated pacer, Elver Hanover, leads the fourth Betting Line split. The Yankee Cruiser gelding broke the two-year-old pacing world record set by stable mate Warrawee Ubeaut last year when popping pocket to a 1:48.3 victory in an $80,950 division of Bluegrass. The Ron Burke trainee--owned by Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby--has Chris Page in the bike as he tries to stay unbeaten from nine starts. The top sophomore pacing fillies in the country meet in the Glen Garnsey Memorial Tattersalls Pace, sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms. World-champion Warrawee Ubeaut rides a five-race win streak, including blowouts in both heats of the Jugette. The Ron Burke-trained daughter of Sweet Lou has over $1.1 million earned for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi and will have Yannick Gingras driving from post 3. Fan Hanover champion Treacherous Reign starts from post 9 off a 1:49.4 far-turn swoop in a $163,100 division of Bluegrass. The Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous filly finished third in her start prior to Warrawee Ubeaut in the second heat of the Jugette after winning in her first-heat elimination. Dexter Dunn steers the winner of $686,187 for owners Alagna Racing, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables and Mr. Dana Parham. Stonebridge Soul, who rose to prominence among the sophomore pacing filly ranks when winning the James Lynch Memorial and Mistletoe Shalee, will have to overcome post 10. The Chris Ryder-trained Somebeachsomewhere filly ships from a fifth-place finish in the Jugette Final after finishing second to Warrawee Ubeaut in her elimination. Tim Tetrick drives the winner of $530,301 for owners Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo. In the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace, sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds, Mcwicked--the richest stallion in harness racing history--will try to add to his record-setting bankroll. Earning over $4.6 million, the eight-year-old McArdle stallion has four wins from 13 starts this season and enters off a second-place finish in the $151,750 Dayton Pacing Derby. Casie Coleman trains Mcwicked for owner S S G Stables and will have Brian Sears driving. Free-for-all trotters also race on the Saturday card in the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Open, sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural. Kentucky Futurity winner Six Pack, starting from post 7, returns to the scene of his 1:49.1 world record. The four-year-old son of Muscle Mass makes his second start in a month, with his return to the track coming with a fourth-place finish in the $230,000 Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park. With $1.5 million earned from 32 starts, Six Pack will have trainer and co-owner Ake Svanstedt in the sulky for partners Little E LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmar and Lawrence Berg. Crystal Fashion, who finished fourth as the 9-5 favorite in the $450,000 Maple Leaf Trot, starts from post 3. The four-year-old Cantab Hall gelding approaches $2 million in earnings for owner Fashion Farms LLC thanks to victories this season in the Hambletonian Maturity and John Cashman Memorial along with a million-dollar sophomore campaign. David Miller guides the Jim Campbell trainee from post 3. The 10-race program Saturday also features two late-closing events for freshman pacing colts and a sole late-closing event for trotting fillies and mares. Racing gets underway Saturday with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full race results and entries click here. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Love A Good Story has authored a pretty nice tale this season for harness racing trainer Julie Miller and will try to add another winning chapter in Friday's (Oct. 4) International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters at Lexington's Red Mile. The filly, who notched her first Grand Circuit victory last week in a division of the Bluegrass, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first of four International Stallion trot divisions. So far this year, Love A Good Story has won seven of nine races and finished second once. She was a six-time winner in preliminary rounds of the New York Sire Stakes and her only off-the-board finish came in the series final when she started from post eight at Batavia Downs. She rebounded from that setback with a 1:52.2 triumph in the Bluegrass, clocking the fastest time of the season for a 2-year-old filly trotter. "She bounced back well," Miller said. "We were hoping she was going to pick it up on the mile track, because she was going to have to, and she responded well. She's got a very nice gait. She's a nicely put-together filly and does it with a lot of ease. If they're not working too hard at their gait, they're able to go faster." Love A Good Story, by Chapter Seven out of Celebrity Lovin, was purchased for $90,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale and her family includes Dan Patch Award-winner Self Possessed. She is owned by Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Daniel Plouffe. The filly is eligible to the Breeders Crown later this month at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but Miller is not planning for anything beyond Friday. Not yet, anyway. "We take it step by step," Miller said. "I'm sure if we have a good result this week, it's definitely on the table. She's eligible and I hope we're making arrangements to go." Love A Good Story will start Friday from post No. 1 with Andy Miller in the sulky. Hello Tomorrow, who has finished second in three consecutive races including the Peaceful Way Stakes and a division of the Bluegrass, is the 7-2 second choice from post two. Tim Tetrick will drive for trainer Per Engblom. In the second International trot division, Ramona Hill is the 2-1 favorite over Shishito at 5-2. Both fillies won Bluegrass splits last week. Andy McCarthy drives Ramona Hill for Tony Alagna; Dexter Dunn gets the ride behind Shishito for Engblom. Ake Svanstedt trained and driven Common Sense S, another Bluegrass winner, is the 2-1 favorite in the third division while Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes champion Sherry Lyns Lady, trained by Jim Campbell and driven by Tetrick, is the 9-5 choice in the fourth. Red Mile also hosts two divisions of the International Stallion for 2-year-old female pacers on Friday. In the first, Team Miller sends out The Bethinator for her first stakes try. Last week, she won a late closer at Red Mile in 1:50.1, a time that is the second fastest of the season for a 2-year-old filly pacer. The Bethinator brings a five-race win streak to the International. She finished second in her career debut before reeling off three victories at Hawthorne Racecourse for trainer Nelson "Spider" Willis and then capturing her bow for the Miller barn at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "She wasn't eligible (for the Bluegrass) so we put her in that late closer," Julie Miller said. "That was a nice mile and Andy said she was comfortable doing it. We were actually a bit surprised how she did because you never know what they are. We were really happy with that performance. I told the owner if she raced well and won in (1):51 or better, she would get the chance to go with the big girls. So, this is her chance this week." The Bethinator, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Pleasure Beach, is owned by breeder Megan Rogers Racing Stables. Her family includes Sweet Future, who is the dam of Dan Patch Award-winner Sweet Lou and two-time Breeders Crown champ Bettor Sweet. "She got sick earlier in the year and they were patient with her," Miller said. "Hopefully all of that is paying off for her. Hopefully she performs well." The Bethinator is 8-1 on the morning line. Stakes-winner Reflect With Me is the 5-2 favorite for the McCarthy-Alagna duo. The Bethinator In the second division, Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Gai Waterhouse is the 3-1 favorite for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Domenico Cecere. Racing begins at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday with a Hall of Fame Amateur Series event, followed at 1 p.m. by the start of the regular card. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager    

LEXINGTON, KY-- A total of six divisions of International Stallion Stakes (ISS) compose part of the harness racing card at The Red Mile Friday, Oct. 4. Freshman trotting fillies compete in four divisions of the $290,200 ISS while the freshman pacing fillies race in two divisions of the $239,000 ISS. Love A Good Story, off a victory in an $83,000 division of Bluegrass, starts from the pylons in the first division of the filly trot. The Chapter Seven filly--owned by Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe--collected her seventh victory from nine starts when hitting the finish in 1:52.2 to pull a 7-1 upset last week. The winner of $216,187 will have Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Julie Miller. Crucial, a three-quarter sister to Ineffable (who sold for $600,000 at night one of the Lexington Selected Sale), will compete against Love A Good Story from post 3. The Ron Burke-trained daughter of Father Patrick enters off consecutive third-place finishes in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes Final and the $215,000 Kentuckiana at Hoosier Park. Chris Page steers the winner of $127,023 for owners Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, J&T Silve-Prunel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. Ramona Hill races widest of her seven foes in the second ISS split as she puts her unbeaten record on the line against Sister Sledge, who starts from post 1 after losing for the first time in eight starts last week. Trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert Leblanc and In The Gym Partners, Ramona Hill blasted off a pocket trip under a hand drive to a 1:52.4 win in an $82,000 division of Bluegrass. The winner of $66,000 will try to stay undefeated in her fifth pari-mutuel bow and will have Andrew McCarthy in the sulky. Sister Sledge added Lasix when racing as the 1-2 favorite in an $82,000 division of Bluegrass but flattened through the lane and settled for third in a 1:54.1 mile. The Ron Burke-trained daughter of Father Patrick--who has banked $274,402 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi--neighbors on the gate the Per Engblom trainee Shishito, who won an $83,000 division of Bluegrass in 1:52 to up her bankroll to $222,776 for owners Black Horse Racing and John Fielding. Yannick Gingras drives Sister Sledge while Dexter Dunn drives Shishito. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt sends Common Sense S from post 8 in the third ISS division off a 1:53.3 win in an $82,000 division of Bluegrass where she bested Sister Sledge. Co-owned by Svanstedt Inc. with the S R F Stable, the Trixton filly has five wins to her credit from nine starts and $122,600 earned. Erv Miller upgrades Heaven to Grand Circuit company in the same division after the Father Patrick filly won a late-closing event last week at Lexington going wire to wire in 1:55.1 to break her maiden in her 11th start. Owned by Ervin Miller Stable, Louis Willinger, George Golemes and Happy Hour Racing, Heaven has earned $34,942 and will start from post 5 in rein to Marcus Miller. Doherty Memorial runner-up Sherry Lyns Lady leads the final ISS filly trot off a 1:54.2 victory in the Kentuckiana at Hoosier Park. Hitting the board in eight of nine starts but winning only twice, the Jim Campbell-trained Father Patrick filly has accrued $264,154 in earnings for owners Coyote Wynd Farms and will start from post 3 with Tim Tetrick driving. In the earlier division of ISS for two-year-old pacing fillies, Reflect With Me looks to reenter the winner's circle off two check-earning finishes in the She's A Great Lady. The Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous filly--with $156,225 earned for owners Brittany Farms LLC and Brad Grant--will start from post 2 with Andrew McCarthy in the bike. Flanking the likely favorite, Looksgoodinaromper makes her first Grand Circuit foray. The Pet Rock filly thrived on the Ohio Sires Stakes circuit, hitting the board in all seven starts while collecting five victories and amassing $273,650 in earnings for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Chris Page drives the Ohio Sires Stakes champ from post 3 for trainer Ron Burke. Kentucky Sires Stakes champ Gai Waterhouse will attempt to rebound in the later ISS frosh-filly pace dash. The Domenico Cecere trainee--entering from a 1:50.3 pocket-popping score in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes championship--stalked the pacesetter again but gave chase to finish third as the 8-5 favorite in a $140,750 division of Bluegrass. The daughter of Western Ideal--earning $171,890 for owner Lindy Farms of Connecticut--will have Yannick Gingras in the sulky. The nine-race program also features two late-closing events for two-year-old trotting colts and a single late-closing dash for pacing fillies and mares. Racing gets underway Friday with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). by Ray Cotolo, for the Red Mile

This Week: John Simpson Memorial, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; and Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit harness racing action begins this week on Wednesday (Oct. 2) at Harrah's Philadelphia with three $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and three $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 6) Harrah's Philadelphia will offer the $75,000 (est.) John Simpson Memorial races for 2-year-old male pacers and trotters. The second week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Thursday (Oct. 3) with three divisions in the $276,300 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Oct. 4) card features four divisions in the $290,200 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $239,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 5) The Red Mile will host the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $275,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and a pair of $150,000 (est.) Allerage races for open pacers and open trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 6), The Red Mile will offer the $500,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $300,000 (est.) Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $450,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, and $85,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Manchego not only won the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby over a talented field of older male trotters, but the 4-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill obliterated the Hollywood Dayton Raceway track record and established a new world record for trotting mares on a five-eighths-mile oval with a 1:50.1 score on Friday (Sept. 27). Manchego broke the Hollywood Dayton Raceway track record and established a new world record for trotting mares on a five-eighths-mile oval in the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby. Conrad photo. Driver Dexter Dunn left the gate alertly and Manchego sped to the lead and showed her heels to the field through :26.3, :54 and 1:22.2 intervals. Widening her lead with every stride the $1.8 million winner increased her commanding margin to nine lengths at the culmination of her record setting mile. Sent off as the second choice on the toteboard, Manchego bested Fiftydallarbill (Tim Tetrick) and I Know My Chip (Jeremy Smith) and paid $5.80. Nancy Johansson trains Manchego for owner Black Horse Racing. Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) upset a field that included five millionaires to capture the $151,750 Dayton Pacing Derby. The 10-1 longshot topped McWicked (Brian Sears) and Western Fame (Dan Noble) by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:48.3. Western Fame made the pace through :26.1, :53.3 and 1:20.4 splits before McWicked came calling around the final bend with Jimmy Freight in tow. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) joined the trio of combatants and it looked like anybody's race until Jimmy Freight pulled away in deep stretch. "I was hoping I could follow McWicked in this race and it worked out perfect," said Zeron in the winner's circle. "Scott DiDomenico does a great job with this horse and I'm real happy for owner Adriano Sorella, who was here tonight." Jimmy Freight returned a $23.20 mutuel. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,050.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 898; 3. David Miller - 687; 4. Dexter Dunn - 646; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 539. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 943; 2. Tony Alagna - 588; 3. Marcus Melander - 414; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 412; 5. Nancy Johansson - 351. Owners: 1. Brad Grant - 197.6; 2. Fashion Farms - 194.5; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 184.8; 4. Courant Inc. - 172.5; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 167.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Yonkers Raceway, Harrah's Philadelphia, Northfield Park and The Meadowlands. Yonkers will offer the Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino for free-for-all trotters; Harrah's Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers and trotters; Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers; and The Meadowlands will feature the fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Real Cool Sam was absent from last week's Bluegrass Stakes harness racing festivities at Red Mile but returns to action Thursday in the third of three $92,100 International Stallion Stakes divisions for 2-year-old male trotters in Lexington, where he will attempt to push his career-long unbeaten streak to nine. Jim Campbell, who trains the gelding, expects it will not be an easy task. Real Cool Sam faces a field that includes Gangster Hanover, who won a Bluegrass division by 9-1/4 lengths in 1:52.3 for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Gangster Hanover trotted his final quarter-mile in :26.2, which was the fastest final quarter in the day's nine races. Real Cool Sam is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. Gangster Hanover is 5-2. "We trained him a little bit (Monday) and he seemed good," Campbell said about Real Cool Sam. "He's had a good week. But the competition is getting tougher, I know that. The way they went last week, there were some really nice colts that stepped up their game quite a bit. It's a tough race. There are some good colts in there and he's going to need his 'A' game." Real Cool Sam, bred and owned by Fashion Farms, is by Muscle Hill out of Cooler Schooner. His wins include the Peter Haughton Memorial, in a then-world-record-equaling 1:53.1 at The Meadowlands, and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship in a world-record 1:53.4 at Harrah's Philadelphia. In the PASS final, which was his most recent start on Sept. 8, Real Cool Sam and driver David Miller used a three-wide move on the last turn to rally from fourth and defeat Amigo Volo by two lengths. "I didn't expect him to win that when they were heading up the backside," Campbell said. "That track, it's very hard to make up that much ground the way he did it. He did surprise me." Real Cool Sam, named in memory of track announcer Sam McKee, will head to the Breeders Crown following the International Stallion Stakes. The Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-olds are Oct. 18 and the finals are Oct. 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We had planned a month ago that we were going to race just the one time here," Campbell said. "That was all by design. I just wanted to go the one race here to set him up for the Breeders Crown. "Everything has gone great with him so far," he added. "He trained down good and did everything right, but you still don't know until you race them how they're going to be. He's done everything and more than what we could ask of him." Rome Pays Off, who was second in the Peter Haughton and third in the Bluegrass division won by Amigo Volo, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first International Stallion division. Amigo Volo, who trotted a gelding world-record 1:52.3 to win his Bluegrass division last week, and colt EL Ideal, who won in 1:52.2, lead the way in the second division. Amigo Volo is 8-5 and EL Ideal is 3-1. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Thursday at Red Mile. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

LEXINGTON, KY-- A seven-race harness racing card starts the second week of the Grand Circuit fortnight at The Red Mile with three divisions of the $276,300 International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts highlighting the Thursday, Oct. 3 card. Rome Pays Off leads the opening division after finishing third in a $105,500 division of Bluegrass. The Marcus Melander-trained Muscle Hill colt closed from last with a :27.1 final quarter to finish eight lengths behind the winner. Brother Mattias Melander stays in the sulky as he pilots the winner of $177,494 for owner S R F Stable. Amigo Volo, who gave trainer Carter Pinske his first Grand Circuit victory, starts from the outermost post in the field of seven composing the second Stallion Stake split. Dexter Dunn piloted the Father Patrick gelding to a seven-length victory in a division of the Bluegrass and stopped the clock in 1:52.3, lowering the world record for a freshman trotting gelding. Dunn will again drive the winner of $168,646 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Dunn also drove E L Ideal, racing from post 3 in the second division, to a maiden-breaking 1:52.2 victory in the Bluegrass last week. The Ake Svanstedt-trained Muscle Hill colt, racing for Emp Invest Oy, will have Andy Miller in the bike. Real Cool Sam fronts the final division as he tries to stay unbeaten in nine starts. With victories including a 1:53.1 victory in the $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial and--more recently--a 1:53.4 win in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, the Fashion Farms homebred has accrued $420,038 in earnings. David Miller will maintain the reins as he steers the Jim Campbell trainee from post 5. Gangster Hanover, romping by nine-and-a-quarter lengths in his Bluegrass split, will start from post 7 in the final division. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt launched the Father Patrick colt after the pacesetter circling the final turn and sprinted to the finish in :26.2 to win in a lifetime-best 1:52.3 last week. Svanstedt, who co-owns the colt, stays in the bike behind the winner of $114,522 for co-owners S R F Stable and Brittany Farms. Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Ready For Moni will try to rebound as he faces Real Cool Sam from post 3. The Per Engblom-trained colt by Ready Cash led most of the mile in his $105,500 division of Bluegrass last week before jumping and veering into the safety lane through the stretch. He has earned $161,500 from six starts for owners John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield, and will have Jimmy Takter in the bike. The Thursday, Oct. 3 program also features three late-closing events for two-year-old trotting fillies and a single late-closing race for two-year-old pacing fillies. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Iowa-bred horses looked to make their marks this weekend in two different harness racing states.  Two traveled to the Bluegrass State to compete on the historic red clay at The Red Mile, while one looked to conquer Dayton Raceway in the Buckeye State. On Saturday (9/28), Slippin The Clutch, 2019 two-year-old Iowa Pacing Colt Champion, drew the nine hole in race seven at The Red Mile..  As the gate folded, driver Matt Kakaley asked the Millionaire Cam colt to leave hard, getting away third past the clubhouse turn.  Not satisfied, Slippin The Clutch pulled to take the lead, with Freedom Warrior (David Miller) tracking and taking over.  Sitting in the pocket, Slippin The Clutch followed the favorite around the track.  As the leader pulled away, Slippin The Clutch gamely battled Sea Of Life (Andrew McCarthy) to secure second place.  With family, friends and fans watching the race in person and online, Slippin The Clutch paced his mile in 1:50.4, last quarter in 27.2.  When asked, trainer Curtis Carey plans to enter his colt next weekend for more Grand Circuit action. Iowa’s 2018 three-year-old Trotting Colt Champion, Scramble Camp, started off the card, in race one, on Sunday (9/19) at The Mile.  Leaving from post position five, with driver Brian Sears in the bike, Scramble Camp got away fourth.  Sitting on the rail, Scramble Camp was shuffled back to sixth at the three quarter pole.  At the top of the stretch, Sears pulled the Weight Lifter gelding to the middle of the track, trying to make up ground.  Scramble Camp finished fifth, trotting his mile in 1:53.4, last quarter in 28.1, for owner Jeri Renaud Roland. Not to be outdone by the boys, 2018 two-year-old Pacing Filly Runner-Up, Snobbytown, dominated race one at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway on Friday (9/27).  Snobbytown left the gate, with driver Tyler Smith holding the lines, and didn’t look back.  In full command, the Nob Hill High filly won by eight lengths, pacing in 1:51.0, last quarter in 28.2.  Racing now for Burke Racing Stable, Snobbytown is making her mark in Ohio harness racing. by Tara Spach, for the IaHHA

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

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

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

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

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