By Frank and Ray Cotolo
(BC) denotes Breeders Crown eligible
Freshmen and sophomore “Crown” competitors contested in their respective divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes during the opening weekend of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, two-year-old colt and gelding trotters went in five divisions of the $366,000 Bluegrass Stakes.
You Know You Do (BC-Muscle Hill) took command after the half and coasted to a two-and-three-quarter length victory in the opening division, winning in 1:54.4 over Dawson Springs (BC-Cantab Hall) and Don (BC-Credit Winner). Owned by Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, Bud Hatfield, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Sam Goldband, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Yannick Gingras, he paid $2.20 to win.
Fashionwoodchopper (BC-Donato Hanover) took the third division of the Bluegrass by a head in 1:53.1 over Fourth Dimension (BC-Chapter Seven) and Met’s Hall (BC-Cantab Hall). Owned by Fashion Farms LLC, trained by Jim Campbell, and driven by David Miller, he paid $10.60 to win.
Lunging from off the pace, Crystal Fashion (BC-Cantab Hall) won the fourth Bluegrass division, and was the second win for trainer Jim Campbell, getting up by a nose in 1:53.2 over Can’t Afford It and Farsetti Hanover (BC-Donato Hanover). David Miller drove the $4.80 winner for owner Fashion Farms LLC.
Maxus (BC-Muscle Hill) won the final Bluegrass division for the two-year-old colt trotters, trotting in 1:54 over Moosonee (BC-Explosive Matter) and Sweet Talkin Hall (BC-Muscle Hill). Jimmy Takter conditions the colt for owners Christina Takter and Brixton Medical Inc., and Tim Tetrick piloted the $4.00 winner.
Freshman filly trotters were in competition of Friday, Sept. 29 in five divisions of the $330,000 Bluegrass Stakes.
Undefeated in nine starts, Manchego (BC-Muscle Hill) won by 7 lengths in the final division of the Bluegrass, trotting in 1:56.1 over Ciao Dolce (BC-Credit Winner) and Southwind Angelica (BC-Muscle Hill). Owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Yannick Gingras, she paid $2.10 to win.
Seven Karats (BC-Chapter Seven) popped the pocket around the final turn, taking the lead and maintaining the front to take the third Bluegrass split in 1:56.3 over Sherrys Lady (BC-Muscle Hill) and Mooshka Stride (BC-Credit Winner). Owned by Kenneth Jacobs, trained by Linda Toscano, and driven by Tim Tetrick, she paid $14.60 to win.
Losing the lead around the final turn, Top Expectations (BC-Cantab Hall) reemerged on top in the stretch, besting Lily Stride (BC-Muscle Hill) in the fourth Bluegrass division in 1:56.1, with Asa Ready To Glide (BC-Yankee Glide) finishing third. Owned by Daniel Plouffe, trained by Erv Miller, and driven by Marcus Miller, she paid $6.80 to win.
Both sexes of freshmen pacers raced in four divisions of the $302,000 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace and in three divisions of the $262,700 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Pace on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Sliding out of the pocket, Kissin In The Sand (BC-Somebeachsomewhere) took the first Bluegrass filly pace in 1:51 over Rainbow Room (BC-Somebeachsomewhere) and Majorsspeciallady (BC-Somebeachsomewhere). Owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, trained by Nancy Johansson, and driven by Yannick Gingras, she paid $9.00 to win.
Sansovina Hanover (BC-Somebeachsomewhere) powered first over around the far turn to take the second division of the Bluegrass filly pace in 1:53.1 over Kj’s Bekah and Betterthangraduate (BC-Betterthancheddar). Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Purnell, Silva and Libby, Michelle Yanek, and Weaver Bruscemi, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras, she paid $6.40.
Rushing through openings at the rail, Bye Hanover (BC-Well Said) took the final Bluegrass filly pace in 1:52.2 over Strong Opinion (BC-Well Said) and Alexa’s Power (BC-Somebeachsomewhere). Owned by Richard Lombardo, R.B.H. Ventures, Joe Sbrocco, and Hutchison Harness, trained by Brian Brown, and driven by David Miller, she paid $11.60 to win.
I’m A Big Deal won the first division of the Bluegrass colt pace in 1:51.3 over Shadow Cat (BC-Somebeachsomewhere) and Bounding Dragon (BC-Dragon Again). Owned by Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo, and trainer Chris Ryder, and driven by David Miller, he paid $5.40.
Nutcracker Sweet (BC-Bettor’s Delight) slingshot past favorite Closing Statement (BC-Somebeachsomewhere) to take the second Bluegrass colt pace in 1:50.3, with Keystone Tenacious (BC-So Surreal) finishing third. Owned by Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, and Richard Lombardo, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Tim Tetrick, he paid $5.20.
Points North (BC-Somebeachsomewhere) took the third division going wire to wire in 1:52.4 over Grand Teton (BC-A Rocknroll Dance) and Rockin Away (BC-Pet Rock). Owned by Pinske Stables, trained by Richard “Nifty” Norman, and driven by Andrew McCarthy, he paid $7.00.
By Frank and Ray Cotolo