10/08/2015 6:59PM

Red Mile: The best in Harness on display in Saturday stakes

Mission Brief is arguably the biggest star on the Saturday card at the Red Mile.

A star-studded collection of Equine talent will be on display Saturday afternoon at The Red Mile as the best in harness racing vie for nearly $2 million in total purses on a 14-race card.

Topping the nine stakes races in terms of purse value is the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters. The 123rd edition of this Triple Crown-concluding race featuring Hambletonian winner Pinkman from the outside post nine versus four of his fellow Jimmy Takter-trained stablemates.

The 2015 Kentucky Futurity comes up with many confirmed early speed types including logical contenders The Bank, Crazy Wow and Uncle Lasse, as well as longshot Aldebaran Eagle with high speed from post one. Whether that means the race will set up for a closer could depend on the weather forecast, as rain is expected later in the afternoon on Friday.

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The Red Mile faced wet conditions in the first week of Grand Circuit action and that helped closers dominate throughout the first four days of racing.

“There is no track better than the Red Mile when it is right and nothing farther off when it is not right,” said track superintendent Dan Coon. “In Lexington we use the three-day rule. If it rains Saturday, Sunday it will be good, Monday it will be better and Tuesday perfect.

“They are saying the rain will hit late on Friday, so we should be able to get that card in and then we’ll just deal with it from there.”

Perhaps the horse most people are coming to Lexington, Kentucky to see is Mission Brief. The Ron Burke-trained star will face eight foes in the $262,500 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-olds.

Mission Brief has won four straight and set a world record with a 1:50 3/5 performance at The Red Mile as a 2-year-old. While many have been looking for a sub 1:50 mile for her on Saturday, Burke has played down the possibility and the weather may also slow the track down just enough to halt such an achievement.

Mission Brief will start from post five with regular driver Yannick Gingras in the bike.

Sandwiched between the Kentucky Futurity (race 14) and Filly Futurity (race 12) is the $450,000 Tattersalls pace for 3-year-olds. With Wiggle It Jiggleit racing at Hoosier Saturday night and Wakizashi Hanover having already raced earlier in the week, the 12-horse field should entice both handicappers and fans.

The list of contenders is wide-ranging in the Tattersalls, with Artspeak (post two), Dude’s The Man (post five), Split The House (post seven), Lost For Words (post 10) and In The Arsenal (post 11) leading the pack.

The three stakes are the backend of a $10,000 guaranteed pick four pool that starts in race 11. The track is also offering a $20,000 pick four in races 7-10.

The older pacers and trotters compete in the Allerage series. Slated as races 1, 4, 9 and 10, the races are worth between $66,000 and $148,000. State Treasurer is the top name in the quartet of races. The 6-year-old son of Real Desire has won nine of 16 races and would go over $900,000 in earnings in 2015 with a win.

Wrapping up the stakes action is split division of the Glen Garnsey for 3-year-old pacing fillies, races 6 ($114,750) and 8 ($117,250) respectively. In a division that has been wide open all year, both races should prove very competitive.

Post time for the Saturday card at The Red Mile is 1:00 p.m.

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