10/04/2014 5:04PM

Red Mile: Always B Miki, JK Endofanera shine in Tattersalls

Derick Giwner
Always B Miki has only lost once since the middle of July.

Always B Miki left no doubt that he belongs in the conversation as one of the best 3-year-old pacers in the sport after a convincing victory in the first of two $218,300 divisions of the Tattersalls Pace on Saturday afternoon at the Red Mile.

Meadowlands Pace winner He’s Watching made his way to the front under some Tim Tetrick encouragement by the opening quarter in 27 4/5. He continued to lead fellow early speed player Capital Account when Always B Miki uncorked a furious turn of pace to take charge.

The Joe Holloway-trained Always B Miki opened up a huge margin by the 1:21 4/5 three-quarter pole as He’s Watching struggled to keep up and eventually finished a distanced last.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch Father Patrick in the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile on Sunday--LIVE on DRF!]

Capital Account gained ground in the stretch and tried to reach, but Always B Miki ($2.40) was home free in 1:49 3/5. Caviart Luca picked up third.

“It felt like we were kind of going slow the second quarter and I couldn’t let that horse get a half in like 56 (seconds),” said driver David Miller. “When I went ahead and pulled the trigger I got around him pretty easily.”

Always B Miki is owned by Bluewood Stable, Val D’Or Farms, and Roll The Dice Stable. The colt by Always A Virgin-Artstopper has now won 9 of 16 starts in 2014 with earnings of $541,382.

While the race was over at the head of the lane in the first Tattersalls, an unlikely stretch battle developed in the second division.

JK Endofanera brushed to the lead after the quarter in 26 4/5 and continued a lively clip of 54 2/5 considering the strong winds and low 50-degree temperatures. The pace would hardly slow down around the final turn as Let’s Drink On It turned up the heat by three quarters in 1:22 2/5. But the trip took its toll on the first-over challenger and left the fresh covered-up Winds Of Change with an opportunity to pounce.

Yannick Gingras put JK Endofanera to a drive as Winds Of Change and Brett Miller bore down on the leader. It was a stiff challenge for JK Endofanera, but he was up to the task, holding on by a head in the fastest mile on the 13-race card, 1:49 1/5.

Somesizesomestyle rallied for third.

“He’s probably not at his best on the front and I thought on paper it was probably two-horse race,” said Gingras, explaining his strategy of leaving to gain an advantage on Let’s Drink On It.

JK Endofanera’s win was his eighth in 13 starts this year for trainer Ron Burke and owner 3 Brothers Stable. The winner of over $800K in 2014 is expected to make his next start in the American National at Balmoral Park next Saturday.

Fillies battle in the Glen Garnsey

It was a Canadian invader coming up victorious in the first of two $110,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial splits for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

It Was Fascination made the front at the quarter in 26 4/5  and was able to post the half in 55 1/5 before the favored Gettingreadytoroll came to call on the rim. The field was bunched up by three quarters in 1:23 1/5 when driver Jody Jamieson sent Nat A Virgin wide from third over. The duo eventually secured the lead from Gettingreadytoroll and dug in nicely to fend off a second Jimmy Takter-trained filly in Uffizi Hanover who had to settle for second.

“Just as the gate folded away there was a bunch of leavers and I had to wrestle her back, and believe me she wanted to go,” said Jamieson, about his tactics.

Nat A Virgin won for the third time in 13 starts this year and pushed her bankroll to $189,650 in 2014. The daughter of Always A Virgin is co-owned by trainer Dustin Jones along with William Jones.

In the second Garnsey, driver Brian Sears took charge at the start and never looked back with Act Now. Sears posted fractions of 28 1/5, 55 1/5 and 1:22 3/5 without any pressure and easily held the pocket-sitting Allstar Rating at bay for the 1:50 1/5 score.

Precocious Beauty was third.

“We’ve been racing her off the back and she hasn’t been getting it done, so we figured we’d change it up,” said trainer Nik Drennan.

Act Now has earned $183,847 this year for the ownership group of Joseph Davivo and Patrick O’Brien.