Sophomores Shine At The Red Mile

Justice, Niki Hill, Joviality S and I Did It Myway

Beach Glass’s speed job fell through off the final turn while driver Andrew McCarthy poised Kentucky Championship winner I Did It Myway on his preferred second-over perch and pounced to a 1:48.2 victory in the second of two divisions for the $178,000 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes as part of a stakes-packed Saturday afternoon (Oct. 1) at The Red Mile.

River Ness strung Beach Glass out after a :26.4 first quarter and yielded for the pocket while the legacy son of Somebeachsomewhere freewheeled into a :53.3 half. He tried to keep his engine rolling through three-quarters in 1:21.2 but came under stress as Mad Max Hanover powered first over into the lane with I Did It Myway on his back. Once McCarthy showed daylight to I Did It Myway, the son of Captaintreacherous lunged to the lead late and downed Mad Max Hanover by 3-1/2 lengths. Fourever Boy closed for third and Beach Glass settled for fourth.

“He loves a target,” trainer Tony Alagna said after the race. “He can do it the other way as well, but he’s so much better with a target and that’s why Lexington is so kind to him. Andy [McCarthy] is the best. I love our relationship, the fact that he drives so many horses for us and the fact that he teaches these horses for the long haul. He and I are on the same page on what we’re looking for – he knows when its time to go and when it's time to educate one. That makes us a good team.”

Scoring his fifth in a row and his 12th victory from 22 starts, I Did It Myway has now earned $627,958 for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Don Latore, Alagna and Fodera Racing. He paid $5.90 to win.

All About The Hunt upset Pebble Beach in the other Captaintreacherous division, holding onto command until the end of a 1:49 mile.

Driver Yannick Gingras brushed All About The Hunt to the front after a :28.2 first quarter while odds-on choice Pebble Beach remained third up the backside. Cruising by a :55.2 half, All About The Hunt plugged along the final turn to click three-quarters in 1:23 and open a two-length padding on his competition angling for home. Pebble Beach took aim at All About The Hunt in the stretch and inched closer with each stride, but the Ron Burke-trained Huntsville colt denied the North America Cup winner by a neck at the beam. Birthday rallied down the centre to finish third and Energetic Hanover closed for fourth.

“We thought he could step up,” said Michelle Crawford, the breeder who co-owns All About The Hunt through Crawford Farms Racing. “Ronnie’s always said he’s a really good horse and he struggles on the half. I think we just try to do everything right by him and we knew that he was going to come down here and we were hoping he would throw a big mile like this.”

All About The Hunt won his fifth race from nine starts and has now earned $145,483 for owners Crawford Farms Racing and Heather Marshall. He paid $29.52 to win.

Each division of the Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes was sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.

Niki Hill Back To Form In Bluegrass

Last season’s Dan Patch champ in her division, Niki Hill returned to her stakes-winning form off a late-spring racing injury to best her sophomore pacing filly peers in the $150,000 Papi Rob Hanover Bluegrass Stakes on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 1) at The Red Mile.

Boudoir Hanover bounded for the lead with Niki Hill floating off the wings from post seven with nowhere at the pylons to sit by a :28 first quarter. Driver Dexter Dunn ventured forward with the Chris Ryder trainee and forged to the lead approaching a :54.2 half with no one gaining ground on her to the turn. She maintained her speed to three-quarters in 1:22 and braced for the two-pronged challenge from Boudoir Hanover and Max Contract in the stretch. Dunn kept Niki Hill to task through the lane and the daughter of Always B Miki held firm on the lead to the finish of a 1:49 mile. Boudoir Hanover settled for second, beaten a length, with Max Contract third and Just Divine ascending to fourth via disqualification. 

“It’s been a shame she’s missed the whole season so far, but it’s also great to have her back and get a few races at the end of the year, ” Dexter Dunn said after the race. “We were real happy with her [race] at The Meadowlands last start. She’s a great horse; she’s got a great will to win. I was confident in her.”

A winner in 10 of 13 starts, Niki Hill surpassed $1 million in career earnings for owner Tom Hill. She returned $5.58 to win in her third start of the season and collected her first stakes victory since cutting her ankle in a race at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 29.

The Papi Rob Hanover Bluegrass Stakes was sponsored by the Papi Rob Hanover Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.

Joviality And 'Jiggy' Jog In Bluegrass

Jiggy Jog S ground into the race and jetted away to a 1:50.1 victory in the second of three divisions for the $242,300 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 1) at The Red Mile.

Manon motored to the lead after a :27.3 first quarter and rolled toward a :55.2 half as driver Dexter Dunn tipped Jiggy Jog S out of fourth and ranged uncovered to the final turn. Within a neck of the lead by three-quarters in 1:23.4, Jiggy Jog S downed Manon off the turn and strode clear from there to a 3-1/2-length victory at the finish. Date Night pulled off a pocket trip to take second narrowly from Lilbitalexis slipping through the inside to settle for third.

A daughter of Walner, Jiggy Jog S won her seventh race from 21 starts and has now earned $639,793 for owner Jorgen Sparredal Inc. Ake Svanstedt trains the $2.78 winner.

Joviality S went for an afternoon stroll to cash the winning check in her division of the Bluegrass.

Sent off as the 1-9 favourite, driver Brian Sears secured a pocket trip for Joviality S when Selfie Queen pushed forward to lead after a :28.3 first quarter. No one ventured to challenge Selfie Queen up the backside or towards the far turn and instead readied themselves for the stretch drive off a :56 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters. Joviality S laid her attack onto Selfie Queen spinning for home and effortlessly seized the lead as she widened to the finish of a 1:50.4 mile. Delilah Hanover gave chase to take second, beaten 3-3/4 lengths, with Selfie Queen settling for third and Valentina Blu finishing fourth.

“[Brian Sears] has already told everyone she’s the best [filly] he’s ever drove,” owner Anders Strom said after the race. “And today… 1:50.4, ears flipping… it’s a good conditioner for next week. Let’s say we have this track today, as firm as fast as it is – and sunny, not too warm, no wind… next Sunday (Oct. 9) will be interesting.”

Marcus Melander conditions Joviality S for owner Courant Inc. The daughter of Chapter Seven, returning $2.12 to win, won her 19th race from 24 starts and deposited to her account now worth $1,817,818.

Another Marcus Melander trainee won in the first Bluegrass division with Peyton Hanover powering first over to a 1:51.2 victory.

Unleashed Kemp cleared control from post nine to a :28.1 first quarter with Je Suis Si Belle sitting second and Pure Countess third. Driver Tim Tetrick landed fifth with Peyton Hanover but got flushed off the pylons as Adore Me tipped her hand in behind. Peyton Hanover marched along the rim to overtake Unleashed Kemp through a :56.3 half and stayed on the pedal as Adore Me stalled to the outside around the final turn. Past three-quarters in 1:24.1, Peyton Hanover kicked for home on a diminishing margin as Pure Countess pulled off the cones and dug into the leader late. But Peyton Hanover fought to the finish to hold a half length on Pure Countess with Warrawee Xenia finishing third another four lengths behind and Unleashed Kemp taking fourth.

“I kind of planned on racing off a helmet, get a trip because that’s what she likes,” Tim Tetrick said after the race. “But the way it shook out, I had to go forward, otherwise I was going to be way too far back. It worked out. She raced a really good race today.”

Jeff Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable LLC own Peyton Hanover, a daughter of Muscle Hill. She won her fifth race from 22 starts, has now earned $260,627 and paid $5.22 to win.

Each division of the Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes was sponsored by the Bar Hopping Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.

Justice Jolts In Time For Bluegrass Win

A heated tempo on the front poised Justice for a late-stretch burst, and the Chapter Seven colt prevailed narrowly to win in the second of two divisions for the $237,000 Greenshoe Bluegrass Stakes on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 1) at The Red Mile.

Temporal Hanover took the top from early leader King Of The North after a :27.3 first quarter and carried his momentum into a :54.2 half. S I P pulled first over around the final turn from third and progressed towards Temporal Hanover as he snagged a breather by three-quarters in 1:23. All the while, trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt sat at the pegs with Justice, and when King Of The North angled outward for the drive Svanstedt shot through the inside. Justice burst through a seam to catch Temporal Hanover by a nose at the finish of a 1:50.2 mile. King Of The North settled for third and El Toro Loco took fourth.

“It was a fast first quarter and a fast first half, so I thought the horses to the outside would be tired before the horses at the inside,” Ake Svanstedt said after the race. “It’s hard to hold the horses inside in the stretch. It’s a long stretch, so almost all the horses drift out. I had luck also. He came home very good and fought [hard]. He wanted to win.”

Justice, paying $9.90 to win, collected his ninth win from 14 starts and added to his bankroll now worth $360,130. He competes for Ake Svanstedt, Little E LLC, Torbjorn Swahn and Myfab Inc.

Periculum put away his competition early to land a front-stepping score in the first division of the Bluegrass.

Brian Sears sent Periculum for the point to a :28.2 first quarter with Kens Walner settling for second. Rebuff, the 4-5 favourite, sat fourth through a :56.2 half and made a slow move off the pylons into the final turn. Golden Wall As flushed first over from third moving to three-quarters in 1:23.4, but the tepid early tempo turned the final quarter into a sprint to catch Periculum on the lead. The Marcus Melander trainee coasted home 2-1/4 lengths better than Golden Wall As with Rebuff third and World At War Deo fourth.

“He’s been having a lot of bad luck with bad posts and bad trips. He’s always finished good and just been a good horse all year,” said Mattias Melander, brother to trainer Marcus Melander and Periculum’s regular pilot most of this season, after the race. “I know he raced real good last year [at The Red Mile]. I was just excited to get him down [here].”

Winning his fourth race from 23 starts, Periculum has now earned $366,832 for owners Holly Lane Stud East, Brixton Medical and Howard Taylor. The son of Muscle Hill paid $4.52 to win.

Each division of the Greenshoe Bluegrass Stakes was sponsored by the Greenshoe Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.

Live harness racing returns to The Red Mile on Friday (Oct. 7) for the second week of the Grand Circuit fortnight. Freshman trotting colts and geldings and freshman pacing fillies will take centre stage in their divisions of the International Stallion Stakes. A reminder for horsepeople: entries for the Friday card are due by 9 a.m. (EDT) on Sunday (Oct. 2).

(Red Mile)

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