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Red Mile: Young trotters shine in Bluegrass action
Shake It Off Lindy surged first over around the final turn to pass pacesetter Southwind Cobra, upsetting in one of the six $334,500 Bluegrass splits for 2-year-old trotting colts on Thursday, September 29 in a lifetime best of 1:55.
With Eburry Street and Sortie breaking before the first turn, Moonshiner Hanover inherited the lead, keeping Southwind Cobra parked while Shake It Off Lindy sat in the pocket. Rough-gaited clearing the lead, Southwind Cobra maintained his stride passing the quarter in 29 1/5, and was unchallenged through a 58 1/5 half.
Sitting in third, Shake It Off Lindy pulled to the outside approaching the three-quarter pole and was up to Southwind Cobra’s wheel within a matter of strides. Past the third-quarter in 1:27 3/5, Shake It Off Lindy had taken the lead and was holding off Moonshiner Hanover splitting horses and Signal Hill coming down the center of the track. In front by a length, Shake It Off Lindy finished in front of Moonshiner Hanover and Southwind Cobra.
The Frank Antonacci trainee won his second start in six tries this season, earning $45,250 this season. By Crazed out of the Love You mare Nashville Lindy, he is owned by K R Breeding LLC and was driven by Tim Tetrick. He paid $29.60 to win.
“He’s been training down good and we didn’t stake him too heavy,” Antonacci said. “He was a $17,000 yearling that was part of my dad’s experiment with the French mares. We gave him every chance he could possibly have to be a good horse, and he’s showing a good turn of foot and he has a good head on him.
“Anytime you’re involved with these horses multiple generations; train the mare and train the father, it’s definitely a little special,” Antonacci also said.
“He’ll probably be back here next week,” said Antonacci.
Brushing to the lead after the half, Long Tom maintained control as he advanced to a 1:55 2/5 win over Bill’s Man and Equestrianconxtion.
Bill’s Man parked around the first turn and was forced to move to the lead, clearing in 28 3/5. Approaching the half, driver Tim Tetrick edged Long Tom, sitting in third, off the pylons and rushed towards Bill’s Man through a 58-second half.
Shuffled to third, Equestrianconxtion moved first over midway through the final turn. Long Tom passed three-quarters in 1:26 3/5 as Bill’s Man tried to weave out of the pocket and Equestrianconxtion was hung to his outside. The two struggled to approach Long Tom and couldn’t get by, as Long Tom hit the line a half-length in front of Bill’s Man and Equestrianconxtion in 1:55 2/5, a lifetime best.
Owned by Amg Stable Oy, trained by Marcus Melander, and driven by Tim Tetrick, the colt by Muscle Hill from the Windsong’s Legacy mare Ilia scored his third win out of four tries this season, earning $46,875. Sent off the 2-5 favorite, he paid $2.80 to win.
“When I was home in February, he told me ‘I have a good horse I want to send over,’” Marcus Melander said. “A trainer in Sweden bought him at Harrisburg and he brought him overseas to Sweden. I was there for my visa, and I happened to go there for just a week and we talked. We sent him over as soon as possible, and he came to my barn at the end of March.
“I thought he had potential after the first time he raced,” Melander also said. “He had a little time off; trouble getting to the races and then he raced great at Freehold [in the $29,000 Harold Dancer Memorial] after a month off, and then he raced great again at the Meadowlands. After that, I decided to bring him down here and try him in the Grand Circuit.”
“We’ll have to look at him after this race to see if he’s good, but he’ll probably be back here next week,” Melander said.
Snowstorm Hanover took the lead into the first turn and managed to hold command, trotting a 1:55 3/5 mile, a lifetime best, over Buckeye Boss and International Moni.
Trotting the first quarter in 29 and the half in 59 2/5, Snowstorm Hanover was unchallenged on the lead. Buckeye Boss, sent off the even-money favorite, drafted from the pocket, Meme Hanover trotted third and International Moni sat fourth. Into the final turn, Buckeye Boss tipped outside attempting to sling to command, but Snowstorm Hanover began to accelerate at three-quarters in 1:28 3/5.
Buckeye Boss challenged Snowstorm Hanover through the stretch. As Buckeye Boss advanced, Snowstorm Hanover steadfastly remained on the lead, staying about a half-length in front of Buckeye Boss at the wire.
Returning $13.40 to win, Snowstorm Hanover, by Muscle Massive from the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover, won her third race in eight starts this year, earning $86,869. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Peter Collura & Weaver Bruscemi, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Matt Kakaley.
Waiting to pursue the lead until the top of the stretch, Fly On easily gained command midway through the stretch, besting Dunbar Hall and Southwind Woody in a 1:55 lifetime-best performance.
Taking the lead through a 29 1/5 quarter, Fly On soon yielded to Southwind Woody brushing to the lead into the backstretch. He was unchallenged off a 57 1/5 half and remained that way until the three-quarter pole, when Fly On inched towards the lead with Always A Good Time on his back. Fly On met strides with Southwind Woody at three-quarters in 1:27.
Fly On drifted through the stretch but eventually sprinted clear of Southwind Woody, who was edged out by Dunbar Hall for second.
Winning his sixth race in 10 starts this year, Fly On, a Muscle Hill colt out of the Credit Winner mare Calchips Finisher, has now earned $88,747 this year. Owned by Andy Miller Stable Inc., Arden Homestead Stable and Gaitway Stable, trained by Julie Miller and driven by Andy Miller, Fly On paid $2.60 to win.
“He has been a model of consistency,” Julie Miller said. “He didn’t really like the track at Freehold that day on the half [in the Harold Dancer Memorial]… he didn’t maneuver the track well; that’s the only mishap he has had. We’ve been real pleased with him. He has willingness to go and we’re pretty excited about him."
“Julie Miller called me about a year ago, after she and Andy bought him, and said that they were looking for a partner,” Peter Gerry of Arden Homestead Stable said. “We have had such wonderful luck with the Miller’s Stable.
“There was one horse we didn’t have any luck with,” Gerry also said, “and that was because we kind of pressured them into buying him, and that was the brother of a good horse they bought from our consignment. We felt so guilty, but they have always been so kind to us. What fun it is to have an investment with the Miller family.”
Going wire to wire, New Jersey Viking finished in front of Muscles Jared and Explosive Ridge, trotting his Bluegrass division in 1:56 1/5.
Holding an uncontested lead through a 28 3/5 quarter and 59 half, New Jersey Viking led Muscles Jared, who raced from the pocket, and What The Hill, who was sent off the 4-5 favorite. Fraser Ridge, caught on the outside since the start, gradually advanced towards the leader from first over, carrying Explosive Ridge on his tail.
Fraser Ridge reached New Jersey Viking’s wheel into the final turn. What The Hill tried to sprint off the pylons, but lost stride. Fraser Ridge began to falter, forcing Explosive Ridge three wide, chasing after New Jersey Viking in 1:27 4/5. In the stretch, New Jersey Viking held control while Muscles Jared dipped towards the cones and edged to the outside, attempting to slide to the lead, but New Jersey Viking held him off by about half a length.
New Jersey Viking, by Muscle Hill out of the Broadway Hall mare Hall Of Wishes, won his fourth race in seven starts this year, earning $111,893 for owners Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Little E LLC. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, he paid $8.40 to win.
Clearing control at the quarter, Dover Dan stayed in front as he trotted a lifetime-best 1:55 mile in the final Bluegrass division.
Setting a 28 2/5 quarter, Dover Dan brushed by Soho Hanover to take the lead into the backstretch. Eternal Patrol trotted third in front of the 1-2 favorite King On The Hill in fourth. After a 57 1/5 half, King On The Hill led a two-wide charge into the far turn.
King On The Hill reached Dover Dan’s neck midway around the final turn, but Dover Dan accelerated toward a 1:27 1/5 third-quarter and drew separation at the top of the stretch. Soho Hanover attempted to sneak by at the pylons while King On The Hill faltered and Patton, riding his cover, tried to close down the center of the track. Dover Dan held off Soho Hanover, while Patton finished third.
John Butenschoen trains the colt by Andover Hall out of the Royal Troubador mare Cr Kay Suzie. Winning four of eight starts this season, he has earned $108,579 for owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick. Driven by Corey Callahan, he paid $8.40.
“I think Corey [Callahan] and I were a little bit aggravated after our first two races,” Butenschoen said. “They both raced well, but neither one really got a big shot to race. Bill’s Man was second and tried to sneak up the wood there, and then Simply Volo had no shot; he had a horse on the long side of him the whole mile, so I think it was in Corey’s mind that if we get beaten [to the lead], they’re going to beat us.”
Live racing resumes on Friday, September 30 at The Red Mile with five divisions of the $298,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies slated on the nine-race card. First race post is at 7:00pm.
-edited release (Ray Cotolo for Red Mile)