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Ariana G, Filibuster Hanover Lead Bluegrass Winners

Published: October 1, 2017 1:16 pm ET

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Three-year-olds took centre stage at Lexington’s Red Mile on Sunday (October 1), with eleven Bluegrass Stakes events carrying a total of nearly $800,000 in purses. Ariana G continued her march to supremacy among sophomore trotting fillies, and Little Brown Jug winner Filibuster Hanover exacted revenge on Huntsville in a thrilling stretch duel.

The Cantab Hall – Three-Year-Old Filly Trot

Ariana G ($2.10) once again asserted her superiority among three-year-old trotting fillies in the $61,300 second division of the Cantab Hall (race six), unleashing a :26.2 final quarter with absolute ease to leave her six rivals behind.

The Hambletonian Oaks, Simcoe, and Elegantimage winner brushed from the pocket on the first turn and cleared early leader Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan) before rating easy fractions of :28, :57.1, and 1:26. The daughter of Muscle Hill was uncontested throughout, began to open up on the field a quarter from home, and drew off in earnest at the eighth pole while hand-driven throughout by regular pilot Yannick Gingras. Her 1:52.2 victory was the 19th of her career, 4-1/4 lengths over Fine Tuned Lady, who held second over a mild late bid from Dream Together (Daniel Dubé).

Jimmy Takter trains Ariana G for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.

Ariana G's stablemate Thats All Moni ($4.80) bounced back from a pair of lacklustre efforts since her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on September 3 and lived up to favoured billing in the $61,300 first division of the Cantab Hall (race four), using a three-wide push off cover after cornering for home to reel in pacesetter Evelyn for a 1:52.2 win, the ninth of her career.

Tim Tetrick left with the daughter of Cantab Hall, but was forced to settle in fourth spot early as Highland Top Hill (Gingras) accelerated up the pegs to close a seat behind duelling leaders Evelyn (Åke Svanstedt) and Overdraft Volo (Andy Miller) on the first turn. After stalking a :28 first quarter from mid-division, Thats All Moni angled second-over behind the mild cover of Highland Top Hill at the conclusion of a :56.1 first half, and pushed three-wide just after Evelyn was forced to a :28.3 third split.

Coming to the eighth pole, Highland Top Hill began to weaken, and Evelyn was fully extended to try to maintain her lead. However, Thats All Moni, fresh off her cover trip, swept to the fore a sixteenth from home and sprinted away to win by two lengths. Overdraft Volo shook free from the pocket to save second by 1-1/4 more lengths over the tiring Evelyn.

Takter trains Thats All Moni for Brittany Farms, LLC, Katz, and Libfeld.

Takter was denied a sweep of the Cantab Hall in the $61,300 third division (race eight), when Feed Your Head gave way to the first-over Ice Attraction ($22.20) in upper stretch en route to a 1:52.4 triumph.

Ice Attraction, who commenced her sustained uncovered bid from midfield after Feed Your Head (Gingras) controlled a :57 half mile, made steady ground on the far turn, pressed the pace a quarter from home, and pushed to a clear lead in the final eighth before narrowly outlasting a late charge from Dream Baby Dream (Rod Allen), who fanned four-wide off third-over cover in the straight and charged boldly to narrowly miss. Treviso (Charlie Norris) split foes in mid-stretch to escape the faltering pacesetter and save third.

Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt shares ownership of Ice Attraction, a daughter of Muscle Hill, with Douglas Sipple, Mal and Janet Burroughs, and Little E, LLC. The win was the seventh of Ice Attraction's career.

The Somebeachsomewhere – Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace

In a showdown between Triple Crown event winners, Filibuster Hanover ($4.80) proved superior in a stretch duel with Huntsville, earning a 1:48.4 lifetime mark in the $73,400 second division (race 11) of the Somebeachsomewhere.

Gingras pushed the Little Brown Jug winner up the pegs to protect the pocket behind Huntsville (Tetrick), who worked clear midway on the first turn. The Cane Pace and Meadowlands Pace winner controlled early splits of :27.2 and :54.3. With the first-over Ocean Colony (Mark MacDonald) only able to muster mild gains from midfield, Gingras had ample room to angle Filibuster Hanover out of the pocket with five-sixteenths to go. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere duelled to the lead with 150 yards to go, but faced resistance from a game Huntsville all the way to the winning post. Ocean Colony stayed on while uncovered to take third.

Filibuster Hanover got the better of Huntsville by a neck after a pair of fourth-place finishes behind his rival in the Cane and the Meadowlands Pace. Ron Burke handles the training duties of the six-time winner for the Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala, Jr., J & T Silva Stables, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership.

Mikes Z Tam ($27.60) slipstreamed live cover through the final three-eighths of a lifetime-best 1:49.2 mile to upset at 12-1 in the first Somebeachsomewhere split (race two), lifting off the sustained cover of Miso Fast to stick a head in front in the last stride.

Trainer-driver Pat Lachance was unhurried early with the Bettors Delight gelding, dropping to sixth in the field of seven as Maroma Beach (Gingras) cleared into a :26.4 first quarter. After pressing at the pegs to secure the pocket, Boogie Shuffle (David Miller) brushed to the lead on approach to a :54.2 half before being engaged on the far turn by Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley). Upon turning for home, Miso Fast nearly reached level pegging with a fully-extended Boogie Shuffle, and Mikes Z Tam fanned three-wide at the eighth pole. Despite his two inside rivals giving every last ounce of energy they could muster, Mikes Z Tam prevailed by the slimmest of margins for his eighth career win. Miso Fast held second, while Boogie Shuffle, gathered in 20 yards from the line, held third a length back over the late-gaining Music Is Art (Tetrick).

Lachance shares ownership of Mikes Z Tam with the Z Tam Stables, M&M Harness Racing, and the Royal Flush Stable.

Art Scene ($3.20) was a pillar-to-post winner in the $73,400 third division (race 13), working clear of two other leavers at the apex of the first turn, controlling splits of :27.3, :55.2 before turning aside a mild first-over challenge from Last Gunfighter (Callahan) through a :27.4 third quarter, and edging away under a Scott Zeron drive to keep pocket rival Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) three-quarters of a length at bay in 1:49.4. Blood Line, who lacked for room until deep stretch, stayed on well once free, and Macs Jackpot (Aaron Merriman) likewise kept pace at the pegs to save third after a traffic-troubled journey.

Art Scene equalled his lifetime mark in his fourth career win. Tony Alagna trains the American Ideal colt for Brittany Farms, Alagna Racing, In the Gym Partners, and the Americam Art Stable.

The Galleria – Three-Year-Old Filly Pace

Caviart Ally ($2.20), a straight-heat winner of the Jugette, made easy work of her six foes with much left in reserve at the end of a 1:51 mile in the $89,250 second division of the Galleria, carded as race five on the 14-race card. Andy McCarthy took his time with the Bettors Delight filly, tracking a :27.1 first-quarter duel between Awash (Zeron) and Magic Forces (Marcus Miller) before brushing slowly up the far side and clearing just past a :55.2 half.

Caviart Ally began to gain separation with just over a quarter mile to go, evading a steady first-over ascent from Inverse Hanover (Peter Wrenn) and leaving her rivals 3-1/2 lengths behind while well in hand. V String (Tetrick) angled three-wide off second-over cover to just reach second in the last sixteenth, while Magic Forces found a way to escape traffic up the pegs in mid-stretch to just miss the runner-up spot.

Noel Daley trains nine-time winner Caviart Ally for Caviart Farms.

Tequila Monday ($3.40) brushed from third midway up the far side and turned aside two challengers en route to a 1:51.1 score in the $88,250 first division, carded as the Sunday opener. David Miller floated the daughter of American Ideal forward to stalk an early duel between Ella Christina (Tetrick) and Jayes A Lady (Andy Miller) before making her move out of third with nine-sixteenths to go. After fending off a first-over bid from Rosemary Rose (Gingras) on the far turn, Tequila Monday dug in to parry a lunging Ella Christina, who wedged up the pegs in the final eighth, by a neck. Rosemary Rose held third, another 2-1/2 lengths back, despite levelling off at head-stretch.

Chris Oakes trains Tequila Monday, now a 12-time winner, for the Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey.

The Explosive Matter – Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot

After trailing throughout the Canadian Trotting Classic a fortnight ago, a change of tactics proved successful for Lindy The Great ($25.80), who kept an inside bid from Guardian Angel AS a neck at bay for victory in the $72,100 first division of the Explosive Matter (race three).

Scott Zeron, carrying the Lindy Farms colours of trainer Frank Antonacci, pushed Lindy The Great clear of three other leavers midway on the first turn and controlled early splits of :27.3 and :55.3 before opening 2-1/2 lengths of clearance from the pocket-sitting Jake (Dubé) on the far turn. Despite that clear lead starting to shrink in mid-stretch as Guardian Angel AS (Tetrick) found a lane up the pegs to escape a gapping Jake, Lindy The Great had still amassed enough of a head start to hold sway by a neck. Bills Man (Callahan) angled off second-over cover in the stretch to rally into third, three-quarters of a length farther back.

K R Breeding, LLC and Robert Rudolph share ownership of the Crazed colt, whose 1:52.1 win was the fastest of the four he has recorded to date.

The $72,100 second division (race nine) saw Dover Dan ($6.60) make a measured middle move before sprinting clear to a dominant 1:51.3 lifetime-best victory in rein to Corey Callahan. The Andover Hall colt landed in fourth spot early after being widest of six leavers off the gate, and made his move nearing race’s midpoint after sliding second-over behind the brushing New Jersey Viking (Svanstedt) up the backstretch.

Dover Dan continued forward after losing cover, clearing the lead at a :55.2 half-mile split and gaining separation steadily through the final quarter. The nine-time winner was 8-3/4 lengths better than Snowstorm Hanover (Matt Kakaley), who circled four-wide in the stretch to reach second at 40-1. Rubio (Takter) rallied up the pegs to take third after racing at the back of the main body of the field throughout.

John Butenschoen trains Dover Dan, Canadian Trotting Classic runner-up and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, for William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick.

Zeron and Antonacci teamed up again in the $72,100 third division (race 12) with Simcoe winner International Moni ($10.60), using a first-over grind through the far turn to wear down Canadian Trotting Classic winner What The Hill and push clear under a drive for a 1:51.4 score. The son of Love You floated into mid-division behind a three-way battle which saw What The Hill (David Miller) assume command at the completion of a :27 first quarter. What The Hill kept up the spirited pace on the far side, reeling off a :54 half before facing pressure from International Moni with five-sixteenths to go. International Moni pushed boldly to the lead upon cornering for home and was driven out to prevail by 3-1/2 lengths. King On The Hill (Gingras), sent off at 50-1, fanned five-wide in the stretch and circled up to finish second, while Devious Man (Andy Miller) split rivals out of traffic to take third.

International Moni, a Moni Maker Stable homebred, earned his seventh career win and a lifetime mark.

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