10/06/2017 4:18PM

Red Mile: Manchego a perfect 10 after International Stallion Stake

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Derick Giwner
Manchego won by nine lengths on Friday at The Red Mile.

It was another day at the office for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras as they teamed with the fastest 2-year-old trotting fillies on the afternoon in five divisions of the International Stallion Stake at the Red Mile. The undefeated Manchego and Basquiat both completed their miles in 1:52 4/5.

Manchego was first to the track as she placed her unblemished 9-for-9 record on the line. After a quick tuck fourth through a 28 2/5 opening quarter, Gingras asked her for speed and she made her way to the front just past the half in 56 4/5.

With a 27 4/5 third quarter, Manchego began to edge away from the pocket-sitting S M S Princess and never had an anxious moment, powering clear the easiest of winners by nine lengths over D’Bomb. S M S Princess held third.

“We didn’t go any faster than we had to and she did it well in hand,” said Gingras.

“She’s definitely a unique horse,” said Takter. “The only thing you can say with her is that we haven’t seen her bottom yet. Anytime you have a horse that is undefeated and Yannick is sitting there just jogging in (1:) 52 and a piece with the (ear) plugs in, it’s impressive.”

Manchego ($2.10) increased her career earnings for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman to $563,948 with the $29,000 winner’s share of the purse.

Not to be outdone but using different tactics, Basquiat watched as Foxy Fantasy posted fractions of 28 2/5 and 56 3/5 on the engine before meeting up with pocket-sitter Seviyorum and driver Andy Miller on the final turn.

Miller’s charge began to clear the lead at three quarters in 1:24 4/5 as Basquiat laid in the waiting just off her cover and pounced in deep stretch for the victory. Southwind Angelica was third.

Upon request, Yannick compared the two filly standouts.

“I think the (Manchego) is a little more advanced than this filly, but I wouldn’t take anything away from this one,” said Gingras. “Jimmy said that he thought she was his second best filly before I drove her. In Indiana (September 22) he told me he thought she was the second best filly in the country. That is saying a lot because there are plenty of great trotting fillies this year. Trond’s filly (Phaetosive) is very, very good.”

Basquiat won for the sixth time in eight starts this year and has never finished worse than second for owner Order By Stable. He paid $5.80 to win.

Lily Stride two-moved through opening fractions of 28 3/5 and 56 4/5 to secure the front in the first division. She would face pressure from Piranha Fury, who pulled uncovered on the final turn, and ultimately the second-over Hey Blondie as the field straightened away into the stretch.

After three quarters in 1:25 2/5, Hey Blondie and driver Andrew McCarthy made their move. They edged up steadily on the rim and cleared just as Piranha Fury, who crossed the wire second, made a costly break. Lily Stride held for third but was placed second ahead of the breaker in the 1:53 1/5 winning mile by Hey Blondie.

Hey Blondie ($4.20) is trained by Chuck Sylvester for Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Paul Bordogna and David McDuffee. The daughter of Cantab Hall has now won four of eight career starts and like many of the fillies on Thursday, will head to the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park for her next start.

The complexion of fourth split of the International Stallion Stake changed at the start when 3/2 shot Strawberry Hanover jumped off stride as the gate sprung. That left the favored Looking For Zelda (6/5) alone on the lead through fractions of 28 4/5, 57 2/5 and 1:25 2/5 before meeting a stiff stretch challenge from Live Laugh Love.

Looking For Zelda and Live Laugh Love battled tooth and nail through the lane but the leader refused to give in, posting the 1:54 victory. Swing It Cathy finished third.

Looking For Zelda ($4.40) has now won seven times in nine starts for trainer Norm Parker and owner Robert Key.

Nixie Volo went a big uncovered mile in the final Stallion Stake to win in 1:53 4/5.

With Top Expectations setting soft fractions of 29 1/5 and 58, driver Corey Callahan said GO with Nixie Volo and the pair hooked up in a 27 2/5 battle on the final turn. The tussle continued into the stretch before Nixie Volo got the best of her counterpart nearing the wire.

Perfect Summer K was third.

“Corey kept after her. We were hoping to get a trip and she went a big trip instead,” said trainer John Butenschoen.

Nixie Volo ($14.60) has now won three times in eight starts this year for owners Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable, 83 Racing and Eddie Gran.​