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Red Mile: Kentucky Sire Stakes Finals in the books
Eight $175,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes were contested Aug. 31 at Lexington’s Red Mile, with few surprises coming over the famed red clay, which after a heavy downpour, was listed as sloppy for the first six races on the 15-race program.
In the freshman trotting fillies division, favored Armatrading won easily in 2:00 for driver Randal Jerrell. The daughter of Groton Hall-Silver Thatch was harnessed to her second career victory by trainer Ken Oscarsson for owner-breeder Atlantic Trot, Inc., of Pompano Beach, FL. She used a pocket trip, following the leading Jane Eyre (Mike Lachance) through modest splits of :29 3/5, 1:00 1/5 and 1:31 3/5 to notch the win. Aramtrading came into her KYSS Final fresh off a 1:57 4/5 victory in her $15,000 elimination on Aug. 21 for these same connections, and now has $96,800 from just five lifetime starts.
Cinnabar Hall and driver Mike Lachance prevailed easily in the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotting division, using a sweeping move in the last turn to win by nearly ten lengths in 2:05 2/5 over the galloping Rompaway Hustler (Don Harmon), who was moved from second to third for violation of the breaking rule. Cinnabar Hall, a son of Groton Hall-Charm’s Chip, is conditioned by Pete Foley for All Star Racing, Inc., of Towaco, NJ and now has $108,490 in career earnings. A $50,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Lexington Select Yearling Sale, Cinnabar Hall swept both $15,000 KYSS legs prior to the final, taking a mark of 2:03 1/5 on Aug. 21. He now has a trio of wins and one third in six lifetime trips postward.
For the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot, the track was changed to “good,” and favorite Tinder left no doubts he was worthy of his 4-5 odds, as he stormed to a 1:58 2/5 clocking under wraps against nine rivals. Trained by Jeff Smith and driven by his son Tyler for owner-breeder Walter Fister of Georgetown, KY., this son of Valley Victor-Expressive Chip won for the fifth time in nine starts this season and upped his 2013 earnings to $116,225. Unraced at two, Tinder also has four seconds to his credit this year. He won his $15,000 KYSS elim in a career best of 1:55 4/5 on Aug. 24 for these same connections. Last year’s KYSS Final winner, Sorrento Hall (Mike Lachance) finished a solid third behind runner-up Scacco Matto (Randal Jerrell).
A trio of Steve Carter-trained pacers secured the top three spots in the 2-year-old colt pace, with Bestbestraight and Dave Palone taking home first prize in 1:59 1/5. The freshman son of Third Straight-Alicrombie made a clean sweep of his KYSS races, scoring on Aug. 21 in a career best 1:54 2/5 and on Aug. 10 in 1:57 1/5. The youngster, who now has $107,040 in career earnings, bested stablemates Straightonlibery (Chris Page, second), and Teahouse Hall (Elliott Deaton, third). Bestbestraight, with four wins in eight career starts, is owned by the Ohio quarter of Peggy Carter, Anna Coe, Robert Reid and Chuck Grubbs. This colt is a half-brother to the 29-race winning mare Ali Rush (by Dragon Again, $358,579).
Petticoat Affair won for the first time this season in the KYSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies, stopping the timer in 2:02 4/5 for driver Brad Hanners. This daughter of Valley Victor-Katie Hall is a repeat winner, having captured her KYSS Final as a freshman in 1:56 4/5 for trainer Bobby Brower, who co-owns the filly in partnership with the Mystical Marker Farms, LLC of IN. Petticoat Affair has $93,050 in seasonal earnings and $289,336 in career earnings, and this win was her sixth in 16 lifetime tries.
Cielle paced to a commanding three-length victory in the KYSS for 2-year-old pacing fillies in 2:00 as the overwhelming favorite. The daughter of Third Straight-Caroline was steered by Michael Prior, taking the lead just past the 1:00 1/5 half for trainer Randal Jerrell and Walter Fister, giving the Georgetown, KY owner-breeder his second championship crown of the night. Cielle added the $87,500 winner’s share to her career bankroll of $22,000 and now has seven wins in nine career starts. She also has a pair of second-place finishes to her credit, and won both of her $15,000 KYSS legs—on Aug. 10 in 2:00 4/5 and on Aug. 21 impressively in a career best 1:57 2/5 by 7 ½ lengths.
On Golden Ponder and John Campbell easily captured the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace in a modest 1:59 2/5 as the 1-9 favorite. Trainer Robert McIntosh harnessed the sturdy son of Ponder-In Trepid Water for owners McIntosh Stables of Ontario, CSX Stables of Ohio and Michael Kohler of Michigan. On Golden Ponder made a bold move at the :59 1/5 half, coming from last in the field of six as he edged up uncovered to challenge the leading Sir Barton (Dan Noble). From there, the colt simply jogged to the wire, posting his third straight sophomore victory and his seventh career victory in 12 tries. Doc’s Hobo (Chris Page) at 37-1, came on to be a surprising second. This victory was the third straight for On Golden Ponder, who had captured both of his KYSS legs the past two weeks, and pushed his seasonal earnings to$102,500 and his lifetime bankroll to $177,465. This youngster posted a 1:52 2/5 clocking last fall at Delaware, a world record for a 2-year-old colt on a half-mile track, that still stands.
Campbell returned in the final KYSS event of the night to steer the Robert McIntosh-conditioned 3-year-old filly Somethinincredible to a 1:59 2/5 clocking, besting rivals All Charged Up (Jeff Nisonger) and Rollin Deep (Mike Lachance). Campbell used a perfect, two-hole trip, sitting behind the favorite Rollin Deep before pulling his filly coming out of the last turn and drawing away easily. The sophomore daughter of Ponder-Breathdefying is owned by breeders the McIntosh Stables, ON; the CSX Stables, OH; and Dave Boyle, ON. Somethinincredible garnered her first victory of the 2014 season with this triumph and pushed her 2014 earnings to $95,940. She earned $211,831 as a freshman, (winning her KYSS 2-year-old Final in 1:55 3/5) and now has $307,771 in her career coffers.