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Charlie May Bests Perfect Sting In Bluegrass

Published: October 3, 2021 4:39 pm ET

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Brett Miller made sure the ball was in Charlie May’s court with a backside swoop to the lead, forcing Perfect Sting to charge after him in a sprint to the finish. The move proved a winning one, with the Don Tiger homebred defeating Perfect Sting in a 1:51.1 mile in the second of three divisions of the $253,000 Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace on Sunday (Oct. 3) at The Red Mile.

Floating into third to a :29.2 first quarter, Miller brushed Charlie May to the top up the backside while his main threat, 4-5 favourite Perfect Sting, raced patiently from fourth to a :57.2 half.

Driver David Miller tipped Perfect Sting first-over to the far turn and slowly advanced towards Charlie May to three-quarters in 1:24.2. Off the turn, the tempo increased to the tune of a :26.4 final quarter, in which Charlie May maintained his advantage to keep Perfect Sting at bay by three-quarters of a length. Emblaze Hanover sat the pocket to finish third while Ill Drink To That rallied from second-over for fourth.

Charlie May paid $5.80 to win while collecting his eighth victory from 16 starts this season and his 15th from 25 starts overall. The gelded son of McArdle is rapidly nearing the $1-million earnings plateau, having banked $899,902.

As the showers loomed into Lexington, Water Sports Teen played through the developing splash of a track still rated “good” to win the first division of the Bluegrass in 1:49.3.

Driver Joe Bongiorno hustled Water Sports Teen to the top before a :27 first quarter with One Eight Hundred sitting second and Natameri third. The field stayed aligned at the pegs up the backside with the throttle still pressed toward a :54 half and even to three-quarters in 1:21.1.

Natameri mounted a bid off the pegs around the final turn but began to regress off the turn as Summa Cum Laude kicked off cover to the center of the track along with Rockyroad Hanover. However, Waters Sports Teen gave no leeway to the line, completing his speed show over a late-gaining Rockyroad Hanover by a neck with Summa Cum Laude taking third and Heart Of Chewbacca rallying for fourth.

A colt by Somebeachsomewhere, Water Sports Teen won his ninth race from 23 starts this season and his 10th from 31 overall, pushing his earnings to $248,751. Jenn Bongiorno trains the $16.40 winner for owner Joshua Jay Graber.

Southwind Gendry gave way briefly to 1-2 favourite Abuckabett Hanover in mid-stretch before battling back to claim the lead and win the final division of this Bluegrass set going away in 1:50.

Chase H Hanover swept from the outermost post in the field of seven to the lead before the first turn with pylon-starter Commanding Officer and the rest of the field aligning in post position order. By a :28.4 first quarter, Commanding Officer circled Chase H Hanover to take the lead before Southwind Gendry came calling and soon commandeered the field to a :57.2 half.

Abuckabett Hanover tracked Southwind Gendry’s move up the backside but raced to the final turn at his side. The pair matched strides to three-quarters in 1:23.3 and Abuckabett Hanover edged a neck in front of Southwind Gendry through the stretch. But the resurgent gelding by Always B Miki reclaimed the lead in the final sixteenth and scooted to a two-length victory over Abuckabett Hanover, with Bayfield Beach finishing third and Commanding Officer fourth.

“He’s a fighter,” winning driver Yannick Gingras said of Southwind Gendry after the race. “When he’s right, he’s a really nice horse. Things haven’t gone the right way for him for awhile now, and I was starting to think it was my fault too. I just couldn’t make him go [and] things weren’t working out. But Ronnie [Burke] said he was going to be here with him all week [and that] he’ll be good; he’ll be fine. He was out of his mind in the post parade, he was really grabby and aggressive... but he was obviously really good.”

Owned by Burke Racing Stable & Phil Collura, Knox Services and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Southwind Gendry won his fourth race from 12 starts this season and his 14th from 25 overall, pushing his earnings to $918,641. Ron Burke trains the $16.60 winner.

Each division of the Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace was sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.

The $8,282.07 Pick-5 carryover coming into Sunday – prompting a $40,000 guarantee – generated a track record payout for The Red Mile. A combo of 3/8/6/6/3, which includes no favourites and the pair of Ake Svanstedt longshots in Mon Amour ($108) and Fly Light ($47.60), returned a pool shot of $50,717.10.

Long Svanstedt Shots Sweep Bluegrass Colt Trots

Big mutuels came through the windows following each division of the $208,000 Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot all thanks to trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, who landed in the winner’s circle for both splits with long-odd horses.

Mon Amour floated off the cones into the final turn and applied steady first-over pressure before overtaking the lead and striding home to a 53-1 score in the first division of the Bluegrass.

Over a track freshly downgraded to sloppy, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt landed Mon Amour in third from post eight as the field rolled through a downpour to a :28 first quarter set by Plumville Prince. Take All Comers soon vacated the pocket to the backside to grab the lead before a :57.4 half, where Svanstedt committed to lead a developing outer tier to the final turn.

Take All Comers cruised to three-quarters in 1:27.3 as Mon Amour ranged up to match strides with the leader coming into the stretch. Mon Amour assumed the lead coming to the eighth pole with Take All Comers suddenly folding to the inside and he held control to the finish of a 1:55.2 mile by two lengths over Balenciaga, who rallied once splitting horses late. Locatelli took third with Plumville Prince riding the pylons for fourth.

Paying $108 to win, Mon Amour scored his third victory from 13 starts this season and his fifth from 19 starts overall. Al Libfeld, Marvin & Lynn Katz and Sam Goldband own the Muscle Hill colt, who has now earned $164,300.

Svanstedt came over the top to nab the second split of the Bluegrass with another longshot, zipping by the field with 22-1 Fly Light in a 1:53.1 mile.

Rattle My Cage emerged in front of a first-turn skirmish for the top to a :28 first quarter with Sevenshadesofgrey securing the pocket and Zenith Stride settling into third. In Range raced wide to the backside and marched towards the top but failed to clear to a :55.2 half. He started to tire into the final turn, forcing 1-5 favourite Ahundreddollarbill three-wide around the final turn.

Ahundreddollarbill progressed to press Rattle My Cage to three-quarters in 1:24 and ground to a narrow lead trotting through the stretch. Meanwhile, from near last, Fly Light lunged down the center of the track and slid by his competition to win going clear by 4-3/4 lengths over late-closing Really Fast. Ahundreddollarbill settled for third over Rattle My Cage.

Fly Light paid $47.60 to win in collecting his second victory from eight starts this season and his third from 16 starts overall. The Father Patrick gelding has banked $313,021 for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc. and Stable Why Not.

Each division of the Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot was sponsored by the Greenshoe Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms.

Test Of Faith A Millionaire With Bluegrass Win

Odds-on choice Test Of Faith was towed into a perfect striking spot from second-over and delivered a strong stretch kick to take the $150,000 Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Pace, becoming racing’s newest millionaire.

Driver David Miller settled the Brett Pelling trainee into third to a :28.3 first quarter set by Blue Diamond Eyes and stayed put at the pegs up the backside while Fire Start Hanover got underway uncovered out of fifth. Stalled to a :56.3 half, Fire Start Hanover remained at Blue Diamond Eyes’ side around the turn as Miller grabbed cover for Test Of Faith circling the final turn.

Blue Diamond Eyes held a narrow advantage by three-quarters in 1:24.1 and fought for the lead through the stretch with a trio of challengers surrounding. Grace Hill slid through an opening to the pylons while Fire Start Hanover kept plugging to the outside, but Test Of Faith rolled with the most momentum off a helmet to win in 1:50.2 by 1-1/2 lengths over Grace Hill. Fire Start Hanover held third from Blue Diamond Eyes in fourth.

“Brett and Jack [Pelling] have done a great job with the filly throughout her career and obviously did a great job getting her ready for this week, so it was an exciting day for us,” said Ken Jackson, head of Kentuckiana Farms and co-owner of Test Of Faith. “Because [of] where she’s staked in New York, she doesn’t get on the big track often. So we’re excited to be on it and obviously we get to finish out the year that way.”

The victory propelled Test Of Faith to $1,051,739 in earnings for owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran. Pelling conditions the daughter of Art Major, who won her 10th race from 12 starts this season and her 18th from 21 overall. She paid $3.20 to win.

The lone division of the Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Pace was sponsored by the Papi Rob Hanover Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.

Altar Tours Red Mile In Bluegrass Breeze

Nancy Takter pupil Altar took the top before the half and gradually stepped away from her rivals as she rolled under wraps to a 1:50.3 victory in the first of three divisions for the $223,600 Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Trot.

You Ato Dream cleared command past a :27.3 first quarter but soon yielded the top spot as Altar advanced wide out of fourth for the lead before a :55.2 half. Once on the point, Altar cruised into the final turn towards three-quarters in 1:23.2 and opened four lengths on the field spinning for home, expanding that margin through the stretch to 7-3/4 lengths at the beam over You Ato Dream. Pub Crawl gave chase from third with May Karp finishing fourth.

Winning her fifth race from nine starts this season and her seventh from 15 overall, Altar has banked $206,873 for owner Diamond Creek Racing. Dexter Dunn piloted the Muscle Hill filly, who paid $3.60 to win.

Herculisa crossed to the front up the backside and held firm to the finish to take the second division of the Bluegrass in 1:53.1.

Sent off as the 3-5 favourite, Herculisa settled into fourth from the pylon post while Beautiful Game grabbed the lead from post eight to a :28.1 first quarter. Avenir vacated the pocket to the backside to take over the lead before Herculisa came rolling to the outside and became the new leader to a :56.2 half.

Anoka Hanover raced first-over to the final turn and gained ground to reach Herculisa’s wheel to three-quarters in 1:25.2 with Contested Hanover in tow second-over. Herculisa kicked for home and widened her lead to the finish to win by 3-1/4 lengths over Contested Hanover, who snagged second in the final strides from Anoka Hanover. Beautiful Game scooted up the pylons for fourth.

Trained by Virgil Morgan Jr. for owner Jesmeral Stable, Herculisa won her seventh race from 10 starts this season and her 12th from 16 overall, pushing her earnings to $439,595. Brett Miller piloted the daughter of My MVP, who paid $3.40 to win.

Amazone Duharas gave way to Eazy Pass late in the mile, but a final-yard loss in stride by Eazy Pass placed Amazone Duharas as the winner of the final Bluegrass division.

Leaving from post nine, Amazone Duharas dashed for the front and landed at the pegs after a :28.1 first quarter with Darlene Hanover sitting second. Splash Blue Chip was flushed first-over from fifth up the backstretch, carrying Piper Hanover and Aunt Irene into contention approaching a :56.3 half. The first-over challenger continued to press Amazone Duharas into the final turn and by three-quarters in 1:25.2 before starting to falter and forcing the backfield wide.

Fillies scattered the course through the straightaway attempting to make gains on the leaders. Amazone Duharas still held sway despite drifting off the cones coming into the final eighth, but a path formed for Eazy Pass to weave through traffic and shoot toward the lead late. She passed the beam a half-length in front of Amazone Duharas, but lost stride briefly before the end of the mile prompting her disqualification to second for a lapped-on break at the finish. Darlene Hanover took third while Aunt Irene rallied off cover for fourth. With the disqualification, the mile was timed in 1:53.3.

A homebred for Haras De L Estrie Inc., Amazone Duharas won her fourth race from 13 starts, pushing her earnings to $155,745. Denis Gueriel trains the daughter of Muscle Hill, who had Yannick Gingras in the sulky and paid $7.80 to win.

Each division of the Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Trot was sponsored by the Bar Hopping Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.

Racing resumes at The Red Mile on Friday, Oct. 8 with the International Stallion Stakes for freshman trotting colts and freshman pacing fillies on tap. First-race post time is 1 p.m. (EDT).

(With files from The Red Mile)

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