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Trotting Colts Battle In Bluegrass

Il Villaggio Bluegrass.jpg

Published: October 1, 2009 11:38 pm ET

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Temperatures were back up in the 70s on Thursday afternoon at The Red Mile in downtown Lexington, as 39 freshman colt trotters went postward in five divisions of the $422,000 Bluegrass Series.

The first $84,600 division was taken by Shaq is Back, as trainer/driver Ray Schnittker parlayed a perfect pocket trip into a half-length score in a career-best clocking of 1:55.3. The son of Credit Winner-Vivica Hall, who was a $30,000 yearling purchase, is owned by the Givemethecredit Stable. The win was the fifth in ten starts this season, and pushed his earnings to over $199,000. Jetblue Volo was a game first over and had to settle for second, while the 3-5 favourite, Senor Glide, rallied from seventh to pick up the show spot.

The second $83,600 division included a heavy 1-5 favourite in Il Villaggio, and the son of Yankee Glide-Dance To Market didn’t disappoint for driver Tim Tetrick. He sent his charge to the top shortly past the quarter-pole and he proceeded to lay down panels of :57.4 and 1:27.3 before drawing clear to win by more than five lengths in 1:56.4. Hes Spooky was second and Keystone Bernard finished third. It was the sixth consecutive victory for Il Villaggio, who was a $100,000 yearling purchase. He is trained by Erv Miller for the Brittany Farms, Blue Chip Bloodstock and the Il Villaggio Partners.

The third $84,600 Bluegrass split saw Holiday Road go off as the 7-5 favourite, but the Peter Haughton champion made a break midway up the backstretch and proved to be a non-factor. Plan B In HD cut out solid fractions of :27.4, 56 and 1:26.1 before Wishing Stone vaulted off second-over cover for driver John Campbell and trotted away to a five-length score in career-best clocking of 1:55. Plan B HD was second and Big Stick Lindy rounded out the top three. The son of Conway Hall-Meadowbranch Magic was a $63,000 yearling purchase and is trained by Dewayne Minor for the Cowboyland Aalborg.

The fourth $84,600 division of the Bluegrass Series for freshman colt trotters appeared to be the most wide open affair on paper, and the results did not prove any differently as trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer used a furious stretch rally with Priority Photo who posted a 1:57.4 victory in only his second career start. Race favourite Sailaway Dream was second and Chimon finished third. The son of Classic Photo-Shes A Priority, who was a $45,000 yearling purchase, earned back the majority of his purchase price for the partnership of Ted Gewertz, Robert Feldman and the American Viking Racing.

The fifth and final $84,600 division featured a prohibitive 1-5 favourite in Lucky Chucky, and the son of Windsongs Legacy-Aerobics did not disappoint for driver John Campbell. They sat a pocket trip behind Winning Fireworks, who threw down panels of :29, :58.1 and 1:28.3, before out-sprinting that rival to the finish line. Lucky Chucky prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Winning Fireworks in a time of 1:56.2. Third prize went to Flashback. Lucky Chucky, who was only a $10,000 yearling purchase, has now won six races in seven career starts while banking $372,892 for trainer Chuck Sylvester, who also co-owns the youngster with Neal Goldman and Abe Stoltzfus.

Racing action continues on Friday at The Red Mile with the $328,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, along with two divisions of the $203,000 Bluegrass Series for three-year old filly pacers. First post is 12:30 p.m. for the thirteen race program.

(The Red Mile)

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