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Sutton Sizzles At The Red Mile

Published: October 2, 2016 4:47 pm ET

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Taking the lead after the quarter, Sutton gradually gained separation from his rivals to win by open lengths in the first of two divisions for the $163,500 Bluegrass for three-year-old trotting colts on Sunday (October 2) at The Red Mile.

Celebrity Express led the field around the first turn before Sutton tipped out of the pocket to brush to the lead through a :28.2 quarter. Leading through a :56 half, Sutton began to kick away from Celebrity Express trotting in the pocket and Mavens Way, who fanned first over before diving back to the pylons.

In front by three lengths through a 1:24 third quarter, Sutton coasted towards the finish tripping the timer in 1:52. Waitlifter K fanned off cover to get second and Kanthaka, recovering from a break before the start, closed to finish third.

Sutton, by Donato Hanover out of the Muscles Yankee mare I Wanted Wings, paid $2.60 for his sixth win in 21 starts and pushed his earnings to $369,931 for owners Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Jason and Douglas Allen. He is trained by Julie Miller and was driven by Andy Miller.

“He likes to follow horses, but I thought he was the one to beat in here,” Andy Miller said. “He was pretty sharp coming into this race, so I thought it was alright to put him on the front.

“He has been a little up and down. With a couple of steps he might have won the Hambletonian, but he still raced really good there. He has been a bit of a challenge, but when he’s on his game, he is tough to beat.

“The track was a little dead from all the rain [Saturday]; it was a little punchy, but a good horse could overcome it.”

Grinding to the lead around the final turn, Bar Hopping edged past tempo-setter Blenheim to win the other Bluegrass split in 1:52.3.

Leading through fractions of :28.3 and :57, Blenheim was soon challenged by Bar Hopping, pulling first over from fourth, into the far turn. The two were on equal terms through a 1:25.4 third quarter before Bar Hopping took a narrow lead. Blenheim tried to retake control at the pylons in a stretch-long battle until Bar Hopping extended his lead slightly to win. Love Matters, sitting the pocket for the mile, angled off the rail and chased the duellers to get third.

Winning his seventh race in 23 starts, Bar Hopping, by Muscle Hill out of the Credit Winner mare Cocktail Hour, lifted his earnings to $848,813 for owners Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld. He is trained by Jimmy Takter and was driven by Tim Tetrick. He paid $2.40.

“He fought [Blenheim] well,” Jimmy Takter said. “The pace wasn’t that hot and he came first up against a good horse, so I was very happy with him.

“He was one of those horses that actually filled out during the season. His game is a form game, and he’s in great form. We look forward to next Sunday [for the Kentucky Futurity].”

Sent off the 1-5 favourite, Broadway Donna lost stride in her attempt to sweep by pacesetter Fad Finance, who won one of the three divisions of the $188,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:53.1.

Trotting a quarter in :28.1 and a half in :56, Fad Finance led Unica Steed, Gracie Hanover, and Broadway Donna into the far turn. Broadway Donna progressed towards Fad Finance to match strides with her at three-quarters, timed in 1:24 before stalling in her bid in the stretch and losing stride. Gracie Hanover circled around Broadway Donna, lunging to take second while Fad Finance remained in control. Unica Steed finished third.

Owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC, Marc Goldberg, and Rojan Stables, Fad Finance, by Credit Winner out of the Sierra Kosmos mare Armbro Vanity, won her 10th race in 21 starts, putting her bankroll at $306,556. She is trained and was driven by Trond Smedshammer and paid $12.00 to win.

“I didn’t know how much David [Miller on Broadway Donna] had left, so it certainly made me feel better when she jumped,” Trond Smedshammer said. “Then Ake [Svanstedt on Gracie Hanover] came late, but my filly has felt good all day today. She gave a real good effort.

“She can win in [1]:54 at Saratoga, so the big track doesn’t really pick her up that much, but [The Red Mile]’s nice. I was able to pull her shoes off for the first time today. It’s always nice over the clay here.”

Ginny Weasley circled by the 1-5 favourite Celebrity Eventsy and drew away to win her division of the Bluegrass in a lifetime-best of 1:53.1.

Celebrity Eventsy grabbed the front from Ultimate Shopper and cleared through a :28.1 opening quarter. Ginny Weasley, trotting in third, was hesitant to pull first over, eventually committing to move outside after a :57 half-mile, carrying with her Southwind Hope second over and Double Exposure third over.

Ginny Weasley brushed by Celebrity Eventsy after a 1:26 third quarter and kicked away from the field as Celebrity Eventsy faltered. Southwind Hope moved into second while Double Exposure came down the center of the track to take third.

Winning her sixth race in 18 starts, Ginny Weasley, by Andover Hall out of the Donerail mare Donepunk, has earned $159,763 for owner Torp Trotting Inc. She is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt and paid $9.00 to win.

Losing the lead in the backstretch, Side Bet Hanover found room to trot up the pylons in the stretch to win the final division of the Bluegrass in 1:53.1.

Side Bet Hanover led through a :28 first quarter before Gin And Lindy tipped first over from fifth and brushed to the lead after a :56 half. Into the far turn, Gin And Lindy held control as Womans Will advanced first over, keeping Side Bet Hanover in the pocket from third after they trotted three-quarters in 1:24.

Gin And Lindy drifted off the rail into the stretch. Womans Will took the lead to her outside while Side Bet Hanover emerged up the pylons into second, soon sprinting past Womans Will to claim victory. Wildflower closed down the center of the track to finish third.

Side Bet Hanover, by Donato Hanover out of the Muscles Yankee mare Sea Level Hanover, won her fifth race in 18 starts, lifting her earnings to $175,336 for owner Srf Stable. Trained by Jonas Czernyson and driven by Corey Callahan, she paid $9.00 to win.

“[Gin And Lindy] was starting to get a little leg weary in front of me and I had plenty of trot,” Corey Callahan said. “I was hoping I could shake free because she was so good in her last start up in Canada [in the Elegantimage]; she didn’t get any room, but she found room today and shot by very strong.

“I’m sure she’ll be back next Sunday and hopefully she’ll give us a good run.”

Darlinonthebeach led her season-long competitor and the 4-5 favourite Pure Country to win the first of two divisions of the $147,000 Bluegrass for three-year-old pacing fillies as the 2-1 second choice in 1:50.2.

Unchallenged through a quarter in :28 and a half in :56, Darlinonthebeach set the pace. Pure Country, sitting in the pocket, didn’t pull to the outside until three-quarters, timed in 1:24.1. She struggled to pass Darlinonthebeach racing to the pylons while Lindwood Beachgirl chased the two in third and Penpal towards the center of the track in fourth. Pure Country settled for second as Darlinonthebeach finished in front. Penpal edged by Lindwood Beachgirl to take third.

Darlinonthebeach, by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Bettors Delight mare Darlins Delight, won her 11th race in 27 starts, bumping her earnings to $776,823 for owner White Birch Farm. She is trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by David Miller. She paid $6.00 to win.

“These two fillies have been going at it all summer,” David Miller said. “It’s been a good season for her.

“[Darlinonthebeach’s connections] told me that she tied up that day,” Miller said of Darlinonthebeach’s scratch from the second heat of the Jugette. “They added Lasix today and she couldn’t have been any better.”

Clearing command into the first turn, Blue Moon Stride held the front to win the other Bluegrass split in 1:50.1 over Rock Me Baby and Kiss Me Onthebeach.

Leading through a quarter of :26.4, Blue Moon Stride tried to slow the pace, but Call Me Queen Be, sitting the pocket, pulled to the outside to try and take the lead. Blue Moon Stride accelerated and Call Me Queen Be ducked behind her through a :55.2 half.

Kiss Me Onthebeach edged first over from third into the far turn with Rock Me Baby on her back. Call Me Queen Be was locked in the pocket through a 1:23 third quarter. Driver Andrew McCarthy kept Blue Moon Stride towards the pylons, leaving Call Me Queen Be with nowhere to pace. Rock Me Baby fanned off her cover and attempted to sweep to the lead, but Blue Moon Stride maintained the lead through the wire.

Owned by Emilio & Maria Rosati, Blue Moon Stride, by Rocknroll Hanover out of the Cams Card Shark mare Classic Star, won her 10th race in 26 starts, pushing her earnings to $658,886. The Mark Harder trainee paid $7.40 to win.

“She’s a very nice filly; we’re very proud of her,” Emilio Rosati said. “We came here especially to see her race. This is a lovely place to come and it’s a dream to have a horse like this."

“We’ll be back next week [for the Glen Garnsey Memorial],” Mark Harder said.

Check Six made his move first over heading into the far turn, eventually passing tempo-setter American Passport to win the first of three divisions for the $173,900 Bluegrass for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:50.

American Passport took the lead, pacing the first quarter in :27.4 and the half in :55.4. Sitting third, Check Six moved to the outside and advanced towards American Passport heading to three-quarters, which was timed in 1:23. American Passport sprinted to a three-length lead at the head of the stretch. As American Passport approached the line, Check Six narrowed into his lead to his outside, soon drawing alongside and passing him to win. Katies Rocker, riding the pocket for the mile, finished third.

Winning his 12th race in 26 starts, Check Six, by Somebeachsomwhere out of the Artsplace mare Southwind Vanna, has now earned $903,804 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscmi, William Switala and James Martin. He is trained by Ron Burke and was driven by Yannick Gingras. He paid $4.20 to win.

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

“He’ll be here next Sunday,” Gingras also said.

Sprinting to the front, Western Fame set a fast pace and battled off challengers Jj Flynn and Fine Diamond to win his division of the Bluegrass in 1:50.3.

Going the first quarter in :26.3 and the half in :54.3, Western Fame’s first challenge came from Fine Diamond, pulling first over out of third, around the far turn. The two were stride for stride after a 1:24 third quarter before Western Fame battled him off towards the rail. Jj Flynn fanned wide of Fine Diamond in the stretch to pursue Western Fame, accelerating into second but running out of ground, failing to overtake Western Fame in the final strides.

Western Fame, by Western Ideal out of the Artiscape mare Shyaway, won his fifth race in 22 starts, pushing his earnings to $316,156 for owner Brittany Farms. The Jimmy Takter trainee was driven by Mark MacDonald and paid $2.80 to win.

“He’s a really tough horse and can actually race anyway,” Mark MacDonald said. “He races good from behind too, but I was the heavy favourite today so I took a shot and left with him. It’s a tiring track, but he raced super. First quarter in :26.3 and last quarter in :26.3...can’t ask for much more than that.”

“Myron Bell had the confidence [in Western Fame],” George Segal said. “He didn’t race many times last year, but he was always a good individual with a good attitude...he just wasn’t in a good place last year. But this year, everything has worked out.”

Lindy Beach won his fourth race in a row in the final Bluegrass split, storming down the center of the track to win in 1:50.3.

Fresh Cut took the lead from the rail, pacing in front of Manny and Jk Will Power through a :27.4 first quarter. Jk Will Power pulled first over and brushed to the lead before the half, timed in :55.4. Entering the far turn, Manny edged first over from third and rushed by Jk Will Power to nearly clear command heading to three-quarters. He remained off the pylons but in front by a length at three-quarters in 1:23.4.

Jk Will Power flew up the rail to challenge for the lead in the stretch. Manhattan Beach, tracking Manny from second over, fanned towards the center of the track, as did Lindy Beach, who had been racing from third over. Once Manhattan Beach took the lead, Lindy Beach soon swept alongside and right by Manhattan Beach to win. Fresh Cut managed to slide into contention for second while Manhattan Beach finished third.

A winner of four races in 13 starts, Lindy Beach, by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Real Desire mare Real Appealing, has now compiled $64,912 in earnings for owners Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Frank Baldassare. Trained by Frank Antonacci and driven by Tim Tetrick, he paid $11.40 to win.

“The plugs were in and Timmy [Tetrick] looked comfortable,” Frank Antonacci said, “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 getting ready to qualify him, so 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.

“I think Jimmy [Takter] said it when he was out here, that this is a form game and when you have a horse that’s coming into form, they tend to stay that way for awhile. He has got a lot of confidence, and didn’t realize he was racing about six classes up today.”

Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, October 6 with the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. First race post is slated for 1 p.m.

(with files from The Red Mile)

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