10/04/2013 4:57PM

Red Mile: Muscle Network sets world record on a great day of racing

Derick Giwner
Driver Jody Jamieson was all smiles after Muscle Network broke his maiden with a world record 1:53 2/5 time.

You would think that there was nowhere to go but down in International Stallion Stake action at the Red Mile on Friday after Muscle Network kicked off the card with a world record 1:53 2/5 victory. You would be wrong.

Odds On Amethyst was the hot public choice and took charge from the get-to past the opening quarter in 28 1/5. He was followed along the cones by Shift Into Glide and Master Kemp. Meanwhile Muscle Network settled down at the back of the pack.

The pace continued to be fast by the half in 55 4/5 as Muscle Network grinded his way up on the rim slowly. At three-quarters in 1:24 4/5, Muscle Network pulled on even terms with Odds On Amethyst and simply drew clear on the way to besting his father’s (Muscle Hill) record of 1:53 3/5. Monkey Man was second and Shift Into Glide was third.

 “I trained him a slow trip up at Vernon and loved him,” said trainer Tony O’Sullivan about the $300,000 private purchase by owner Frank Bellino back in July. “He’s just a natural trotter. He showed us last week that he had the speed and he warmed up even sharper today.”

It was a maiden-breaking victory for the 2-year-old Muscle Network, who will look to make his sixth career start in the Breeders Crown eliminations at Pocono Downs on October 11.

The second of three colt and gelding Stallion Stake trots went to Outburst in 1:54 4/5. The gelded son of Explosive Matter made two moves to the front and dug in gamely to hold off a quartet of pursuers in the stretch.

Muscle Midas was second and It Really Matters finished third.

“He definitely wasn’t as good today,” said trainer Noel Daley about the effort compared to last week.

Outburst now has five wins in eight starts for owners Adam Victor and Son Stables, Mirva Bogucki and Noel Daley. The gelding will head next to the Kindergarten at Vernon Downs.

The most touching moment of the afternoon centered around Riina Rekila’s victory with E L Titan in the final male trot. Waving her whip after the hitting the wire first in 1:53 4/5 as she listened to the roar of family, friends and fans, Riina was clearly touched by the moment.

Trixton was sent to the front by trainer/driver Jimmy Takter and set reasonable fractions as E L Titan ranged up uncovered on the rim. At the head of the lane it looked like Trixton might battle back but Rekila’s colt showed heart for the victory.

“All my friends from Finland are here,” said Riina about the moment being special. “He is a very, very nice horse,” she continued, holding back tears. “I have some nice owners. She told me I can race however I want. I think maybe we will race in the Valley Victory next and skip the Breeders Crown.”

For E L Titan, it was his second win in four starts for owner Erkki Laakkonen.

A trio of International Stallion races for rookie pacing fillies was also on the card.

Allstar Rating took home top honors in the first split. The Ron Burke trainee was brushed to the front by driver Yannick Gingras and took care of business over Barefoot Beauty and Beach Gal in 1:51 2/5.

“She raced really well last week,” said Gingras. “She’s still learning and was a little green on the front today.”

The Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables owned Allstar Rating will head to the Breeders Crown for her next start.

Round two for the fillies proved to be the most exciting event on the 10-race card. Five fillies came to the wire together with not one sure of the winner. In the end it was My Lady Day, who gunned to the front with driver Andy Miller and then waited in the pocket, that won by a millimeter over Instant Respect, Anegada, Rosie De Vie and A La Notte Hanover.

My Lady Day’s 1:52 1/5 victory was her first in eight starts for the Val D’Or Farms owned and Joe Holloway trained daughter of Western Ideal.

Just when it seemed the crowd had witnessed its fair share of excitement, Precocious Beauty stepped out on the track for the final freshman filly pace and equaled a world record by posting a 1:50 1/5 clocking on the tele-timer.

I Need Hotstuff was fast off the gate but Precocious Beauty would assume the front at the quarter in 27 2/5. She continued to lead through fractions of 54 4/5 and 1:22 3/5 while facing late pressure from Uffizi Hanover, but that one could not close the gap and had to settle for second.

“She’s versatile and that’s what makes her a good horse,” said driver Doug McNair.

Precocious Beauty scored her seventh win in nine career starts for trainer Gregg McNair and hometown owner James Avritt. She will head to the Breeders Crown.