10/02/2016 4:32PM

Red Mile: Sophomore colts duel in Bluegrass divisions

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Nigel Soult
Bar Hopping out-slugged Blenheim to win his Bluegrass division

Three-year-old colts on both gaits competed in Bluegrass Series events on Sunday afternoon at The Red Mile, and a gritty win by Canadian Trotting Classic winner Bar Hopping highlighted the action.

Driven by Tim Tetrick, Bar Hopping came first-over on Blenheim (John Campbell) past the 57 second half in their $81,250 split, and they were on even terms at the 1:25 4/5 three-quarters.  Bar Hopping forged his way by in the lane, but Blenheim battled back on the inside the length of the stretch.  Bar Hopping came out on top, though, winning by a head in 1:52 3/5.  Love Matters (Yannick Gingras) finished third.

"He fought well.  The pace wasn't high, and he came first-up on a pretty good horse," offered victorious trainer Jimmy Takter.  "I was very happy with him, and Tim was very happy with him.  He actually is one of those horses who filled out during the season, which is a big plus.  This game is a form game, and he's in great form.  We're looking forward to next Sunday."

Bar Hopping, a Muscle Hill colt, is trained by Takter for owners Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld.  Bar Hopping got his seventh victory in his 23rd lifetime try, and he has banked $848,813.  Bar Hopping was sent off at 1-5 and returned $2.40 to win.

Sutton (Andy Miller) will also be heading into next Sunday's Kentucky Futurity in good form, as he rolled to a 1:52 victory in his $82,250 test.  Sutton was in front through fractions of 28 2/5, 56, and 1:24, then came home in 28 seconds to beat Waitlifter K (Matt Kakaley) by 4 1/4 lengths.  Kanthaka (Scott Zeron) overcame an early break to finish third.

"He likes to follow horses, but I thought he was the one to beat in here," said Miller.  "He's pretty sharp coming into this race, so I thought it was alright to put him on the front.  He's been a little up-and-down.  A couple more steps he might have won the Hambletonian, but he raced really good there.  He's a very good horse, but he's been a little bit of a challenge.  When he's on his game he's tough to beat."

Sutton, a colt by Donato Hanover, is trained by Julie Miller for owners Andy Miller Stable Inc., Jason Allen, and Douglas Allen.  This was his sixth win from 21 career starts, and he has now earned $369,931.  The 1-5 favorite, Sutton paid $2.60 to win.

On the pacing side, Check Six (Gingras) bagged their first $57,300 section in 1:50.  He was first-over out of third in the back-half, while American Passport (Zeron), who led through fractions of 27 4/5, 55 4/5, and 1:23, brought the field into the lane.  American Passport held on through much of the drive, but Check six wore him down inside the final sixteenth to win by three-quarters of a length.  Ideal Rocky (Andy Miller) collected third.

"I wasn't sure if American Passport was going to keep going, but I knew I had some pace still," Gingras said.  "I was just waiting to straighten up and try to let him go."

Ron Burke trains Check Six, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere, for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., William Switala, and James Martin.  This was Check Six's 12th win from 26 career starts, and he has now earned $903,804.  The even-money favorite in the race, Check Six returned $4.20 to win.

Western Fame (Mark MacDonald), who won his Little Brown Jug elimination and then was second in the final, came back to win his $58,300 Bluegrass dash in 1:50 3/5.  Western Fame clicked off splits of 26 3/5, 54 3/5, and 1:24, then fought off challenges from JJ Flynn (David Miller) and Fine Diamond (Matt Kakaley) to score by a neck.Nigel SoultWestern Fame won again Sunday after racing two heats in the Little Brown Jug on September 22

"He's a really tough horse.  He actually can do it any way.  He races good from behind too," said MacDonald.  "It's just I was the heavy favorite today, so I took a shot and left with him.  It's a tiring track, but he raced super.  First quarter in 26 3/5, last quarter in 26 3/5, you can't ask for much more than that."

Jimmy Takter trains Western Fame, a colt by Western Ideal, for owner/breeder Brittany Fams.  Western Fame scored his fifth win from 22 career attempts, and he has now earned $316,156.  The 2-5 choice, Western Fame paid $2.80 to win.

The final $58,300 Bluegrass race saw a bit of an upset as Lindy Beach (Tim Tetrick), who had won three straight in overnight company at Mohawk, stepped up to the stakes level and prevailed in 1:50 3/5.  He was third-over at the 1:23 4/5 three-quarters, then used a 26 1/5 final kicker to get up and score by a length over a charging Fresh Cut (Marcus Miller).  Manhattan Beach (Matt Kakaley) got third.

"He's got a lot of confidence going on," winning trainer Frank Antonacci said.  "He didn't realize he was racing up about six classes today.  The plugs were in, and Timmy was really comfortable, but the trip worked out perfect as well.  When you're looking at these horses that can just flat fly, you need the trips.

"He was coming back good this winter, and he had a little injury right before we were about to qualify him.  We just gave him plenty of time.  We knew he was a good gelding, and we wanted to give him a chance to come around this time of year."

Lindy Beach is a Somebeachsomewhere colt owned by Lindy Farms and Frank Baldassare.  He has four career victories, all of which have occurred this year, and he has put away $64,912.  A 9-2 shot, Lindy Beach returned $11.40 to win.