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Grand Circuit Stakes Continue

Published: October 4, 2014 2:25 pm ET

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Harness racing's Glamour Boys were in the spotlight in the Tattersalls Pace during The Red Mile's $1 million Saturday afternoon card, which also featured the filly companion Glen Garnsey Memorial Stakes and the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts.

International Stallion Stakes - Two-Year-Old Pacing Colts

Following five Grand Circuit stakes wins on Friday at The Red Mile, driver Yannick Gingras picked up where he left off on Saturday afternoon as he steered the 3-5 favourite Rich Wisdom to victory in the first of four $72,000 divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Firing from the outside post seven, Jd Hes Da Bomb (Brian Sears) cleared insider Mcardles Lightning (Corey Callahan) into the first turn with Asap Hanover (Tim Tetrick) getting away third and Rich Wisdom settling into fourth. However, Mcardles Lightning moved back out for the retake before the first quarter flashed up in :27 seconds.

As the colts neared the :54.3 half-mile mark, Asap Hanover swept to command with Rich Wisdom moving underway. Asap Hanover continued to lead to three-quarters in 1:23.1, but Rich Wisdom took over in the stretch and opened up three lengths before hitting the wire in a career-best clocking of 1:51 flat. Mcardles Lightning edged out Asap Hanover for the runner-up honours.

The Dragon Again-Wisdom colt was a $30,000 Lexington Selected Sale yearling and is owned by trainer Ron Burke's Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, JJK Stables and Phillip Collura.

"I raced him in a Sires Stakes Consolation in Pennsylvania. He was okay that day, but it seems like he's figured things out," said Gingras of the colt who has since won the Elevation Stakes and was a runner-up last week in the Bluegrass Series. "He went to Indiana and he raced really good. Both starts here in Lexington he's been awesome.

"They were pacing plenty so I figured at some point they'd come back to me," said Gingras of the winning trip. "But I was a little bit worried with my colt because usually he's a little bit of an aggressive colt, but today behind the starting car he completely dropped the bit on me. The whole race I couldn't get him on the bit so I wasn't sure how good he was going to be. I think it was just one of those fluke things. He just kept on going."

Gingras also commented on the windy racing conditions today at The Red Mile, noting that the wind is on their backs finishing. "I think you have to be fairly close to the front, not necessarily on the front, but when you want to turn for home I don't think you're going to win from fourth or fifth over today."

Bluegrass Series winner Lost For Words completed a sweep of his Grand Circuit stakes at The Red Mile for trainer Brian Brown as he rallied home from second over to take the next International Stallion Stakes division under the guidance of driver David Miller.

Outsider Gallic Beach (Tim Tetrick) worked his way past the quick-leaving Berkley (Ron Pierce) during a :27.2 first quarter and continued to front the field through a :54.3 half.

Meanwhile, Traceur Hanover (Jody Jamieson), gaping the leaders in third, tightened up down the backstretch and went first up to confront Gallic Beach by the 1:23 third quarter mark.

Following Traceur Hanover's cover, Miller tipped Lost For Words wide coming to the head of the stretch and the 1-2 bettors' choice drew off to a four-length victory in a career-best 1:50.4. Traceur Hanover followed for second and Freedomformysoul (Mark MacDonald) came on for third.

The Well Said-Thou Shalt Not colt, who was a $50,000 Lexington Selected Sale yearling, is owned by Country Club Acres, William J. Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and Strollin Stable.

Heavy 1-5 favourite Artspeak suffered his first career loss as he made an uncharacteristic break in stride down the stretch in the third International Stallion Stakes division. Driven by Brian Sears, the Kelvin Harrison-trained In The Arsenal prevailed off a pocket trip behind that colt as he closed along the pylons for his second straight Grand Circuit stakes win.

Sears sent In The Arsenal to the lead from post six over Blood Brother (Brett Miller) during the :28.1 first quarter before Artspeak rushed by at the :56-second half-mile mark. Riding a seven race win streak, Artspeak continued on to three-quarters in 1:24 and led the field into the stretch before making his miscue. As he was drifting off the pylons, In The Arsenal shot up the inside and prevailed in 1:51.3 with Cartoon Daddy (Yannick Gingras) recovering from his own early break in stride and advancing first over into second. Artspeak reset and finished third, two and three-quarter lengths behind.

After the race, Sears explained that he was able to work out the trip he wanted for his "green" colt behind the favourite.

"That was the thing to do. It was good experience for my colt," said Sears. "He does get a little anxious in a hole sometimes, but I knew with that horse, I didn't have any worry when I let him go. I knew he wasn't going to stop. I don't know what happened down the lane, he got a little bit unlucky and maybe saw something on the track, but my colt had a lot of pace and I was real happy with him.

"I think my horse would have liked to go right if he could, but he couldn't. But we were able to get some room up the rail and avoid the break and it just worked out."

White Birch Farm's homebred American Ideal-Ladyotra colt now boasts stakes win in the Sheppard Pace, Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes.

Closing off cover down the centre of the track, the Mark MacDonald-driven Hall Of Terror got to the wire first for the biggest win of his career in the final stakes event of the afternoon.

With the inside post advantage, Talking Points (David Miller) established the lead off the gate and fronted the field through panels of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.4 with pressure mounting in the form of Joe Hill (Scott Zeron). However, it was Hall Of Terror, from second over, that posed the real threat and he kicked clear down the lane for the 1:51.3 career-best victory. Dudes The Man (Corey Callahan) came on for second, dropping down to the pylons to finish three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Pocket-sitter Soto (Brett Miller) was third.

Following a sixth-place finish in the Bluegrass Series last week, MacDonald noted that a tough training trip for the Erv Miller-conditioned colt, the addition of Lasix and a good trip in the race was the winning recipe today.

"Erv really worked him hard. He told me he trained him up really, really hard," said MacDonald. "He wasn't happy with him last week -- he was a little flat -- and he added Lasix on him today.

"We got a great trip. Any time you can get a trip like that and get towed right to the head of the stretch here, he got lucky and he paced home good."

MacDonald also noted that the victory is bittersweet for the winning connections, who are mourning the loss of Miller's father.

"Condolences to Erv Miller," he said. "His dad just passed away and they were really close. It's a bittersweet win."

The Western Terror-Maytime Hall colt was a $67,000 Lexington Selected Sale yearling purchased by the Ervin Miller Stable, Paymaq Racing, Ronald Michelon and Louis Willinger.

Glen Garnsey Memorial Stakes - Three-Year-Old Pacing Fillies

Nat A Virgin held off the late-closing Uffizi Hanover to win the first of two $110,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies with Jody Jamieson catch-driving for trainer Dustin Jones.

Sweetnsinful (Mark MacDonald) was the first to fire from post seven, but had company early on as It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) moved up to pass her through a :26.4 first quarter.

The new leader took the field through middle splits of :55.1 and 1:23.1 while Gettingreadytoroll (Yannick Gingras), the 3-5 favourite from post eight, advanced first up from fifth, towing Southwind Silence (Matt Kakaley) and Nat A Virgin into contention.

Gettingreadytoroll struck the front at the head of the stretch, but Jamieson had angled Nat A Virgin wide off cover and the 5-1 second choice took over command down the lane. Uffizi Hanover came sprinting home from the back of the eight-horse field, but came up just a nose short at the wire as Nat A Virgin prevailed in 1:50.3. Gettingreadytoroll stayed for third, finishing just a half-length behind.

Nat A Virgin, who was a runner-up to Uffizi Hanover in the Fan Hanover, earned the first major stakes win of her career. The homebred Always A Virgin-Nat A Tat Tat filly is owned by Dustin Jones Stables Inc. of Waterdown, Ont. and William L. Jones of Lexington, Kentucky.

Even-money favourite Act Now was a dominant wire-to-wire winner in the second split with Brian Sears aboard for trainer Nikolas Drennan.

Leaving from post six, the Western Ideal-CPA filly led the field through fractions of :28.1, :55.1 and 1:22.3 en route to the 1:50.1 triumph. Allstar Rating (Yannick Gingras) was second off a pocket trip with Precocious Beauty (Doug McNair) coming first over to complete the top three finishers.

"[Brian] just took a shot, he said nobody was leaving so he went to the front," said Drennan in a post-race interview. "We've been racing her off the back and she hasn't been getting it done so he changed it up and it worked out."

The New Jersey Sires Stakes champion was also a close second in the Bluegrass last week to Gallie Bythe Beach, who was scratched from this Garnsey division.

"She really should have won her last starts," noted Drennan. "She's cleared and opened up and then down by the wire she just lets right up and a horse gets there and it's pretty frustrating, but today it worked out."

Act Now is owned by Joseph Davino and Patrick O'Brien.

Tattersalls Pace - Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts

Fresh off a sizzling 1:47.4 victory in last week's Bluegrass Series, three-year-old colt Always B Miki was the one to catch in the first $218,300 division of the Tattersalls Pace.

Driver David Miller had the 1-5 favourite fired up down the backstretch as he drew off to an insurmountable seven-length lead. No one could catch Always B Miki as cruised home for his second straight Grand Circuit victory.

Second choice Hes Watching (Tim Tetrick) overtook early leaver Capital Account (Brett Miller) through a :27.4 opening panel before Always B Miki made a backstretch brush from third. He cleared past the :54.3 half-mile mark and kept on rolling, hitting three-quarters in 1:21.4, with Capital Account chasing him home while Hes Watching faded. Despite bearing in a bit down the stretch, Always B Miki hit the wire in 1:49.3 with just over one length to spare over Capital Account. Caviart Luca (Brian Sears) was third.

"Hes Watching looked fine leaving the gate and he got to the lead," said Miller. "The quarter was, I thought, pretty soft. It didn't really feel like we were picking up that much before I moved and I was thinking I couldn't let him get a half in :56 or something like that and then try to run him down. So I went and took a shot and moved [Always B Miki]. I moved around him and my horse did the rest."

Joe Holloway trains the Always A Virgin-Artstopper colt for Bluewood Stable, Val Dor Farms and breeder Roll The Dice Stable.

JK Endofanera delivered as the 3-5 favourite in the second Tattersalls Pace division as held off 76-1 longshot Winds Of Change in a photo finish for the hot driver-trainer combination of Gingras and Burke.

Melmerby Beach (Paul MacDonell) was the first to get a call off the gate as he left from post four and raced to the opening quarter in :26.4. His lead was short-lived though as Gingras sent JK Endofanera from third to first down the backstretch. They reached the half in :54.2 before being confronted by Lets Drink On It (Brian Sears) during the third panel.

JK Endofanera and Lets Drink On It raced stride-for-stride past three-quarters in 1:22.2, but the former colt edged clear down the stretch and held off the late-closing Winds Of Change for the 1:49.1 triumph. Winds Of Change came storming home off cover to make it into the win photo. Somesizesomestyle (Matt Kakaley) finished two lengths behind in third.

"He's probably not at his best on the front, but I thought, on paper, it was a two-horse race and Brian got away on my back and I just didn't want to give him the trip," said Gingras after the race. "I figured if my horse is [good] he'll overcome it and I'll be on the front and he did."

Gingras added that the 3 Brothers Stables's millionaire son of Art Major and Presidential Lady will race in the American Nationals next.

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