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My MVP Wins Kentucky Futurity In Straight Heats

Published: October 7, 2012 1:18 pm ET

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My MVP wore down Archangel in the stretch to win the 120th edition of the Kentucky Futurity for three-year-old trotters in straight heats during a stakes-filled card of harness racing on Sunday afternoon at The Red Mile.

After winning his elimination heat a few races earlier in 1:52 flat, My MVP grinded it out first over to win the second heat in 1:53 for driver Mike Lachance and trainer Tony Alagna.

Archangel, the favourite after winning the other elimination heat, cleared to command ahead of Money On My Mind past the :28.3 opening quarter and led the way to the half in :57.1.

At the midway point, My MVP was flushed first up from fourth with Little Brown Fox picking up the cover. My MVP moved up to apply pressure to the leader as they raced by three-quarters in 1:25.3 and turned for home.

Down the stretch, My MVP collared Archangel and dug in down the lane to win by a length over the closing Appomattox (Scott Zeron) and Another Amaretto (Jim Morrill Jr.).

"It doesn't get any better and it's unexpected," said Lachance, now a three-time Futurity winner whose most recent win was in 1999 with Self Possessed. "My MVP has been just a nice colt all year, but he never showed that he could beat that field. I had to rough him up a little in the backstretch, but he just had a good day. The first heat, he was exceptionally good. But he was good like that when I raced him in the Hambo. For a while there -- for the last three or four starts -- he was always not at his best, but today he was.

"He doesn't like if you have to press him behind the gate," continued the winning reinsman. "I've won a couple of races with him earlier going first up in backstretch -- at least one time at The Meadowlands first up. As long as he can get to the leader and you don't have to use him too hard. In the last turn there I got to the leader pretty easy and he felt good at the top of the stretch. He dug in at the end."

My MVP earned his fifth win of the season in 18 starts and has over half a million banked in purses. He was also a close second in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and finished third by a neck in the Hambletonian.

"If any horse deserved a major stakes win it was this horse," said Alagna. "He's been knocking at the door all year. He never gets the respect he should, but everything worked out today. I'm just glad for the horse and I'm glad for Mike and the partners, and a little bit glad for myself too.

"We brought 24 horses down here [for the Grand Circuit meet] and we definitely wanted to show some support to the meet and the horses have all showed up and we've had a great meet. It's been a lot of fun," concluded Alagna.

The Cantab Hall-Exceed Expectation colt is owned by Brittany Farms and Modern Family Partners of Versailles, Kentucky and Joe Sbrocco of Brecksville, Ohio.

My MVP paid $6.60 to win.

Alagna confirmed My MVP will be heading to the Breeders Crown next.

Bettor Sweet Scores First 2012 Win In Allerage

Bettor Sweet put away pacesetter Golden Receiver and held off the hard-charging Aracache Hanover in the stretch to earn his first win of the year in the $155,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace in 1:48.1.

Golden Receiver (Tim Tetrick), the 4-5 favourite, set up shop on the front end and cruised past opening fractions of :26.4 and :54 before double millionaire Bettor Sweet and driver David Miller were flushed first up from third and went head-to-head with the pacesetter as they raced by the three-quarters mark in 1:22. Bettor Sweet wore down Golden Receiver into the stretch and dug in for the victory as Aracache Hanover (Doug McNair) rallied off his cover to place. Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) won a photo for show.

Bettor Sweet paid $10.40 to win for the 23rd time in his career.

The seven-year-old Bettors Delight gelding is trained by New Jersey resident Thomas Cancelliere for his brother John Cancelliere, who summed up the winning performance in just a few succint words.

"It was great, absolutely great," he said. "He's just special. Period."

Bettor Sweet is now Breeders Crown-bound and will look to defend his title there.

Frenchfrysnvinegar Breaks Her Own Season's Record

The O'Brien Award winning team of trotting mare Frenchfrysnvinegar, driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Jeff Gillis took top honours in the $119,200 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Open Trot.

Frenchfrysnvinegar front-stepped her way to a 1:52 triumph, improving on her own North American season's record and lifetime mark by two-fifths of a second.

She fired across the track from post eight and carved out fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:23.2 before drawing off to win by three lengths. Beatgoeson Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Cedar Dove (Ron Pierce) rallied home for second and third.

"When I saw the three-quarters pop up in 1:23, I really thought I had a shot at some sort of world record, but she just waits on horses," commented Jamieson after the race. "She'll wait until they come to her saddle pad and then she'll dig back in and put them away. She's done that time and time again in the Miss Versatility legs and even at home against the boys."

Frenchfrysnvinegar paid $6.40 to win for the eighth time in 24 seasonal starts.

"She's just been a creature. She's always been a good filly and when Jeff got her a year and a half ago he really got her into a position where she was great week in and week out," said Jamieson. "It took some figuring out early on, and to be truthful, when she got to the Open ranks about a year and a half ago, I didn't think she would be able to sustain it. She's made a believer out of me and most people that watch her."

The seven-year-old Angus Hall mare notched her 30th career win and inched closed to the million-dollar earnings mark for owner David Smith of Rockwood, Ont.

Frenchfrysnvinegar will look to defend her Breeders Crown title next.

Chapter Seven Romps In Allerage

Millionaire trotter Chapter Seven added the Allerage Farms Open Trot title to his resume with a 1:50.2 score in the $131,200 stake with Tim Tetrick in the sulky.

Tetrick rolled 1-5 favourite Chapter Seven to the lead at the :27.3 opening quarter ahead of Hot Shot Blue Chip (Corey Callahan) and cruised past middle panels of :55.1 and 1:23.1 while opening up two lengths on his foes en route to victory lane. Mister Herbie (Jody Jamieson) advanced from last to place while Arch Madness (Brian Sears) finished third.

Chapter Seven paid $2.40 to win.

The four-year-old son of Windsongs Legacy is trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, Southwind Farm of Pennington, New Jersey, and J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, New York.

Despite racing on the front-end on a breezey afternoon, Chapter Seven came within one-fifth of a second of his world record mark.

"It would have been a lot better if he would have come from behind; he loves to target a horse and finish the mile strongly as opposed to being on the front end," commented Gutnick in the winner's circle. "He gets a little bit lazy sometimes when he is on the front and much prefers it the other way."

The Breeders Crown is up next for the talented trotter, who is six-for-eight this year with stakes wins in the Titan Cup, Nat Ray, and Maxie Lee.

Win Missy B Captures Filly Futurity

Win Missy B and driver Ron Pierce captured the 47th edition of the Kentucky Filly Futurity for three-year-old trotting fillies in straight heats.

After upsetting Check Me Out in her elimination heat earlier in the day with a 1:52 winning effort, Win Missy B prevailed in the second heat in 1:52.1, a new two-heat world record for three-year-old trotting fillies.

In the second heat, Pierce pulled Conway Hall-Winning Missbrenda filly from the pocket and swept to command ahead of early leader Superstar Hanover as they raced by the opening quarter in :28.2. Meanwhile, the parked out Dorsay began to advance and she reached the leader's wheel by the :56.2 half-mile marker with Personal Style and Chilitodayhotamale moving into the outer flow in second and third over.

Win Missy B maintained the lead past three-quarters in 1:24.2 and spun into the stretch with Personal Style rallying off cover. However, she couldn't catch Win Missy B, who recorded her seventh win in 17 seasonal starts for trainer Charlie Norris and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania.

Win Missy B paid $4.20 to win as the 4-5 favourite. Personal Style was second an Dorsay rounded out the top three finishers.

Pierce, who recently picked up the drive on the winning filly, earned his fourth Filly Futurity trophy.

"Mr. Key asked me [to drive her]," said Pierce, whose lastest win in the Filly Futurity was just last year with Cedar Dove. "He wanted me to drive her along with Charlie so I just fell into the drive. I was lucky."

"She's definitly been getting better relaxing and I gave Ronnie a couple of tips and he listened, and it worked out well," commented Norris in the winner's circle. "She has the Breeders Crown next so hopefully we can get her back North there and get her confidence up and get her eating good, and if she's ok then we'll go."

My MVP Prevails In Second Futurity Elimination

My MVP got up in the final strides to win the second $114,300 elimination for the 120th edition of the Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotters in a new mark of 1:52 flat

My MVP and driver Mike Lachance settled away fifth while Money On My Mind (Andy Miller) established the early lead. However, Solvato (Trond Smedshammer) swept up from third to take over command as they rolled by the first quarter in :28.1.

Solvato led the field past middle splits of :55.1 and 1:23.2 with the parked out Guccio (Jimmy Takter) rolling up into the action and Appomattox (Scott Zeron) following his cover. Guccio only made it up to third place though leaving room for Money Of My Mind to pull the pocket and sweep by the leader in the stretch.

The late-closers Appomattox and My MVP made it a thrilling finish as they came flying home together on the outside. My MVP had the slight advantage at the wire to win for the fourth time in his 17-race sophomore season.

My MVP paid $19.60 for the mild 8-1 upset. Appomattox just missed in second while Money On My Mind finished third. Banker Volo was fourth and Guccio completed the top five finishers who will advance to the second heat later today.

"He's always shown that he's a horse that prefers to have a target," noted trainer Tony Alagna in the winner's circle. "We tried him last week on the front in a Late Closer and he needed a start last week, but that's definitely not his game on the front. They trotted a good enough third quarter to give us a chance to be involved and he finished up."

My MVP, a son of Cantab Hall out of Exceed Expectations, is owned by Joe Sbrocco of Ohio and Kentucky's Brittany Farms and Modern Family Partners.

“I’m very confident in the horse and I’m very confident Mike Lachance is going to give him a shot," said Alagna. "He hasn’t won the amount of races he’s won without knowing how to put one in position to win so I’m just glad everything has come together in the first heat.

“He’s a big, strong horse and he’s very easy on himself," added the colt's trainer. "We keep him conditioned well so I don’t think two heats are going to hurt him. It's just a matter of he has to have his kind of trip and hopefully he gets another chance in the final.”

Here is the field in post position order for the second heat of Kentucky Futurity coming up in race nine:

1. Archangel
2. My MVP
3. Little Brown Fox
4. Appomattox
5. Another Amaretto - driver change to Jim Morrill Jr.
6. Money On My Mind
7. Lindys Jersey Boy - scratched
8. Banker Volo
9. Guccio - scratched
10. Fogelberg

Archangel Takes First KY Futurity Elimination

Archangel rebounded from a disappointing New Jersey Sires Stakes Championship performance with a career-best equalling 1:53.1 winning effort in the first $114,300 elimination for the 120th edition of the Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotters.

With Tim Tetrick picking up the catch-drive, second choice Archangel worked his way to the lead ahead of 3-5 favourite Little Brown Fox (Yannick Gingraa) during the :27.3 opening quarter while outsider Fogelberg (Charlie Norris) broke stride and Gym Tan Laundry (Ron Pierce) gapped the gate while on the pace.

Archangel carved out middle panels of :56.3 and 1:25.4 before Little Brown Fox edged off his helmet with Another Amaretto (Andy Miller) rallying wide. But Archangel had opened up a couple of lengths on the field into the stretch to secure the victory over his closing foes.

Archangel paid $6.80 to win. Little Brown Fox finish second with Another Amaretto third. Lindys Jersey Boy (Scott Zeron) followed along in fourth and Fogelberg rounded out the top five finishers who will advance to the second heat later today.

The Credit Winner-Michelles Angel colt, who has won 11 of his 16 starts this year, is owned by his trainer Peter Arrigenna, along with Alan Hainsworth of Mt. Morris, New York and Clare Semer of S Pal Beach, Florida.

Tetrick said he was at the right place at the right time in picking up the catch-drive on the colt. He drove Archangel to victory just one other time in the colt’s career back in August 2011 at Vernon Downs.

"He's come along way since then,” said Tetrick. “He's very nice to drive. I lucked out on the [getting the] drive. They asked me to drive him, I didn't have one and I was happy to do it. Right place, right time...I just stopped at the Grub Wagon to get a drink."

While Tetrick admitted he is not a fan of racing in heats, he feels his mount can handle the challenge.

“I don’t see why not,” he said. “He’s a good horse and good horses overcome heats. I’m not a fan of it, but at least it’s cool.”

Win Missy B Upsets Second Filly Futurity Elimination

Win Missy B pulled off a 16-1 upset in the second $64,575 elimination for the 47th Kentucky Filly Futurity for three-year-old trotting fillies as she held off heavy favourite Check Me Out to win in a career-best 1:52 flat.

Dorsay (Corey Callahan) fired off the gate, but Bluff (Jim Morrill Jr.) worked her way to the top with 1-9 favourite Check Me Out (Tim Tetrick) rolling up to take over past the :27.4 opening quarter pole.

Check Me Out cleared to command down the backstretch as Ron Pierce sent Win Missy B first over. The leader gave way to that filly at the :55.3 half-mile mark and was flushed back out en route the 1:24.1 third quarter station.

Check Me Out launched her challenge around the final turn, but Win Missy B held on down the stretch for her sixth victory of the season from 16 starts.

Win Missy B paid $34.80 to win. Check Me Out settled for second while Personal Style, Bluff and Dorsay rounded out the top five fillies who will advance to the second heat of the Filly Futurity later today.

"Ronnie got her out there okay and he didn't let [Check Me out] get away from her right in the beginning and she settled in good and that's what she needs," said trainer Charlie Norris after the win. "She's been getting better all week and we've been trying different things on her and she's been real relaxed. It's all about the first few yards. I think she'll be okay [for the second heat]. That wasn't an easy mile, but she'll be okay."

The millioniare Conway Hall-Winning Missbrenda filly is owned and bred by Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania.

“The way these races have been going it’s been hard to pass anybody in the lane so maybe that’s something to do with it," commented Check Me Out's driver Tim Tetrick following the race. "I really thought she would still reel in that filly. I take nothing away from Win Missy B, she raced a great race, but :27.4 home it’s a pretty good mile in the wind down the backside. Is she [Check Me Out] on top of her game? Probably not, but she still raced good. The other filly is a good filly."

Here is the field in post position order for the second heat of Filly Futurity coming up in race seven:

1. Win Missy B
2. Oasis Dream
3. Chilitodayhotamale
4. Check Me Out - scratched
5. Personal Style
6. Superstar Hanover
7. Bluff - driver change to Dave Palone
8. Real Babe
9. Dorsay
10. Canadian Justice - scratched

Oasis Dream Wins First Filly Futurity Elimination

Oasis Dream held off 1-2 favourite Chilitodayhotamale to capture the first $64,575 elimination for the 47th Kentucky Filly Futurity for three-year-old trotting fillies in a career-best 1:53.4.

After landing in the pocket spot early on behind Real Babe (Ray Schnittker), Oasis Dream and driver Tim Tetrick swept to the lead past the :28.2 opening quarter. The Cantab Hall-Dream Angel proceeded to the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.1 while Superstar Hanover (Yannick Gingras) was flushed first up from third and moved up alongside her to apply pressure around the final turn. Oasis Dream managed to keep that filly at bay as she drew clear down the stretch, but had to contend with the late-rallying Chilitodayhotamale. The favourite kicked off cover, but came up a nose short at the wire.

Oasis Dream, a winner of three races in 11 starts this year, paid $27.60 for the upset. She will be joined by the top five finishers in the second heat of the Filly Futurity later to day. Finishing second through fifth were Chilitodayhotamale, Superstar Hanover, Real Babe, and Canadian Justice (Peter Wrenn).

Trainer Bob Stewart said his filly has continued to improve since adding Lasix for her Delaware start on Sept. 19 where she finish third in a Buckette division.

"I was just telling my wife when they went to gate that it seems like whenener I'm down on her she races well and when I'm high on her she races bad," said Stewart, sporting a Yankees cap in honour of the late John Cashman. "I really thought we'd win at Delaware and she didn't race very well, but she raced well last week [finishing third in her Bluegrass division] and I was trying not to be too optimistic today."

Stewart said he anticipates no issues with racing heats.

"It's an unknown so you don't know, but we've raced a few horses in two heats and it's never been a problem," he said. "She's a sound filly and she should be fine."

Oasis Dream is owned by Fredericka Caldwell of Georgetown, Kentucky and Bluestone Farms LLC of Hopewell, New Jersey.

Drop The Ball Kicks Off Red Mile Stakes

Drop The Ball kicked off Sunday's stakes-packed card of harness racing at The Red Mile with a 1:49.2 victory in the $70,000 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Open Pace for driver Yannick Gingras.

Drop The Ball used a :25.4 final frame to rally home off cover for the victory.

O'Brien Award winner Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) established the lead from the pylons with her four rivals settling in behind her in post position order. She carved out early fractions of :28 and :55.3 before the trailing Rocklamation (Jim Morrill Jr.) began to roll with Gingras waiting in fourth to pick up her cover. Rocklamation edged out in front as the field passed three-quarters in 1:23.3, but Drop The Ball unleashed her big kick to surge by her rivals in the stretch. Rocklamation settled for second while Anndrovette finished third.

The 4-5 favourite paid $3.80 to win for the sixth time in 12 seasonal starts.

"I'm lucky to be able to drive this filly," said Gingras in a post-race interview. "She's very special and she proved it today."

Drop The Ball is trained by Ross Croghan for Florida owners Let It Ride Stables Inc., Dana Parham, and Robert Cooper Stables LLC.

The four-year-old Western Terror mare will head to the Breeders Crown next.


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