09/29/2012 10:55PM

Red Mile: Campbell and Tetrick dominate Bluegrass action

Nigel Soult
Thinking Out Loud uncorked a 25-second final quarter for John Campbell.

The Red Mile resembled a winning slot machine pull during stakes action on Saturday night as the same drivers and trainers kept showing up in the winner’s circle after each split of the nine Bluegrass races at the historic track in Lexington, Kentucky.

Drivers John Campbell and Tim Tetrick took home two-thirds of the Bluegrass cash. Campbell should have taken home a fourth Bluegrass win but was disqualified with the heavily favored Odds On Equuleus in a controversial decision by the Judges.

One of the top ranked 2-year-old pacers in North America, Odds On Equuleus rushed with a wide move to the front on the backstretch and only had to be kept to task in a 1:51 2/5 victory. After a long drawn-out inquiry in which the public was left clueless for most of the delay as to which horse was under investigation, the Judges “promptly” disqualified Odds On Equuleus for backing down the pace and causing confusion to trailing horses. Rockin Amadeus was placed first while Odds On Equuleus, whose connections are reportedly going to appeal the decision, was set back to last.

In happier moments for Campbell, the all time leading money-winning driver brought home two winners for trainer Robert McIntosh. Shelliscape was patiently lined up third over in a good flow and stormed past the favored Romantic Moment to capture the $70,000 Bluegrass for 3-year-old fillies in 1:49 1/5, the fastest mile of the night.

In the $101,000 split for 3-year-old colts and geldings, Campbell was able to save ground with Thinking Out Loud before uncorking a sparkling :25 final quarter. The pair drew away in the final strides over Bettor’s Edge and Pet Rock in 1:51.

“I know that he can pace faster than a bird when he gets clear like that,” said trainer McIntosh.

Campbell’s final Bluegrass victory came in the fifth $85,000-plus 2-year-old division for the boys. He bided his time with Twilight Bonfire behind a quick early pace and pounced in deep stretch to get up in 1:52 1/5 for trainer Danny Collins, who admitted he thought second was the best his horse would get at the head of the lane.

Tetrick’s own hat trick commenced with the ultra-talented American Jewel. The 3-year-old filly took charge early and rated the first half en route to an easy 1:50 1/5 clocking, the second Bluegrass win of the night for trainer Jimmy Takter. The race was marred by an incident on the final turn where Sarandon Blue Chip broke and wiped out half the field including second choice Economy Terror.

Perhaps turning in the most impressive mile of the night was Mel Mara. Tetrick sent the Tony Alagna trainee to the rim at the half and Mel Mara kept finding more, posting a huge 1:49 4/5 mile over Sweet Lou in the second division for sophomore colts and geldings.

“I just asked him for speed and he gave it to me,” said Tetrick about the performance.

Tetrick and Alagna were back in action one race later with the highly regarded and 2-year-old divisional leader Captaintreacherous. The son of Somebeachsomewhere left for a seat around the quarter, was back on the move shortly after and won rather easily in 1:51 3/5 despite the first-over trip.

“I talked to Tim after the race and he said it was probably the best race he ever went,” said Alagna.

The final two divisions for the freshman colts and geldings went to driver Ron Pierce. The Hall of Fame driver scored with Dovuto Hanover in a seasonal record for 2-year-old geldings of 1:51 1/5 and Fool Me Once in a nearly-as-fast 1:51 3/5. His winners are trained by Ryan Maxwell and Mark Austin, respectively.

All of the Bluegrass winners from Saturday are likely to be back in action next week when the Grand Circuit meet concludes with four stellar stakes-filled cards from Thursday to Sunday.

Full-card Red Mile Analysis for Sunday 9/30