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Red Mile: Arch Madness shows his class with a 1:50 2/5 mile
Sometimes the old guy jumps out of his chair and says a few words so you don’t forget he is still in attendance. On Sunday at The Red Mile, the 9-year-old Arch Madness stole the show by equaling his own world record for geldings on a mile track and besting some of the best trotting talent in North America in the Allerage Farms elimination.
Sevruga and Quick Deal were fastest off the gate, with the former eventually securing the front through a 28-second opening quarter. The pace quickened dramatically with a 26 3/5 second quarter as the outer flow began to take shape. Appomattox, Market Share and Mister Herbie were all underway, but trainer driver Trond Smedshammer popped off the cones in front of the trio from third and began his charge for the lead.
Sevruga proved no match for Arch Madness after three quarters in 1:23 and none of his junior foes could mount a serious charge. Longshot Quick Deal gained some ground, but it was Arch Madness who crossed the wire first in a sparkling 1:50 2/5.
“He’s an amazing horse,” said Smedshammer. “I don’t feel like he has lost a step. A lot of times (this year) he ended up in the two-hole and he is much better first-up or on the front end. This was kind of his last shot against these. I wanted to give him a shot first-over and he delivered.”
Arch Madness has earned over $3.93 million in his career for owners Marc Goldberg and Willow Pond LLC. The gelding would go over the $4 million mark with a win in next week’s $172,200 final.
Quick Deal, Market Share, Sevruga, Mister Herbie, Appomattox and Lindys Jersey Boy will join Arch Madness in the final from Sunday’s elimination. Guccio, Wishing Stone and Southwind Pepino accepted byes into the final on October 6.
The Allerage elimination for pacers went to A Rocknroll Dance in a solid 1:48 4/5. After watching Bolt The Duer gun to the front in 27 1/5, A Rocknroll Dance and driver Tim Tetrick followed a move by Sweet Lou and assumed control before the half in 53 4/5. Those three marched by three quarters in alignment to the tune of a 1:22 1/5 clocking as Escape The News failed to menace uncovered.
In the stretch it was A Rocknroll Dance that dug in gamely to fend off Bolt The Duer, who shook free late, and Our Lucky Chip, who rallied nicely off bad cover.
“My horse raced very well. They made a little bridle change so he could see a little more,” said Tetrick on A Rocknroll Dance’s willingness to dig in late.
The A Rocknroll Dance stable owns the 4-year-old, who will get to choose his post position in the $175,000 final next Sunday. Only Foreclosure N failed to make the final, where Pet Rock will join the remaining nine from the elimination.
Ma Chere Hall equaled a career best clocking in the first of two Bluegrass divisions for 3-year-old fillies. Sent to the front by driver Corey Callahan and clearing Shared Past just after the 27 1/5 opening quarter, Ma Chere Hall continued the quick fractions with a 55 1/5 half.
Shared Past popped the pocket as Ma Chere Hall backed down a slow 30-second third quarter. Those two fillies battled it out down the stretch with Ma Chere Hall proving too tough for her rival in 1:52 3/5.
“It is kind of robbery getting a 30-second quarter there,” remarked Callahan in the winner’s circle.
Trained by Jonas Czernyson for owners Walnut Hall Ltd, Aldebaran Park Inc and Joe Sbrocco, Ma Chere Hall is expected to head for the Kentucky Filly Futurity at the Red Mile next weekend. Callahan does not expect the double-heat format to affect the daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Margarita Hall.
“She is a big, tough, durable filly. I don’t think (two heats) will bother her at all,” said Callahan.
The second Bluegrass set for the sophomore fillies went to Handover Belle in 1:52 2/5.
Frau Blucher and Mistery Woman were sent to the front with the former gaining control in 27 3/5. That pair continued one-two past the half in 55 4/5, but driver Ron Pierce elected to pull the pocket with Frau Blucher at the five-eighths and led an outer flow with Fashion Athena and Handover Belle.
Mistery Woman battled with Frau Blucher past three quarters in 1:24 3/5, but the fractions were beginning to take a toll. Handover Belle came charging from the back along with To Dream On and they nailed down the top two spots. Mistery Woman held on for third.
“She’s always been a filly that is really good at tracking horses,” said trainer Tony Alagna. “I’m glad she had a chance to get a lifetime mark.”
Handover Belle is owned by John Carver and Howard Taylor.
Three divisions of the Bluegrass for colt and gelding trotters concluded the action on Sunday.
Creatine rated soft fractions of 28 2/5, 56 2/5 and 1:25 on the engine. He was met by Punxsutawney to his outside and Deadliest Catch to his inside through the stretch, but he dug deep for the 1:52 3/5 victory for driver Mike Lachance.
“I didn’t really want to race him in front today but the race set up for that,” said Lachance of his tactics.
Creatine is trained by Bob Stewart for Diamond Creek Racing.
Despite having to rally into slow fractions from behind poor cover, Your So Vain exploded through the stretch to win his Bluegrass in 1:53 3/5. Bluto fended off an early challenge from Vibe Blue Chip and posted pedestrian splits of 29 2/5, 57 1/5 and 1:25 3/5 with eventual winner Your So Vain stuck behind dull cover from Wheeling N Dealin. It didn’t matter. Your So Vain was full of trot and won easily over Lindys Tru Grit and a resurgent Vibe Blue Chip.
“He just wants to put his nose out (in front) and he proved that today,” said driver Tim Tetrick, who won four races on the 13-race card. “At the quarter pole I was really cussing myself for getting away so far back.”
Your So Vain is trained by Bradley Maxwell for owner P G Van Camp Stables.
Saving the best for last in the second-year Bluegrass trotting ranks, Spider Blue Chip put up a 1:51 3/5 final time in victory for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Chuck Sylvester. All Laid Out was first to the front in 28 seconds, but Spider Blue Chip slowly worked his way up to the leader to assume command before the half in 55 1/5. He felt pressure from Pine Credit by three quarters in 1:24 2/5, but dug in nicely to get the victory over that foe.
Coming off a break at Delaware Fair, Sylvester explained the mishap. “I put a bridle on him that made him too hot and he couldn’t make it out of the turns,” said Sylvester, who changed to an open bridle for Sunday’s race.
Spider Blue Chip will stay at The Red Mile for next week’s Kentucky Futurity for owners David Mc Duffee and Melvin Hartman.
Grand Circuit action resumes on Thursday, October 3 with four consecutive afternoon cards. You can watch it all live on DRF.com.