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Big Efforts At The Red Mile Friday


Published: October 9, 2009 2:07 pm ET

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Multiple divisions of the Bluegrass, International Stallion Stakes and Tattersalls Pace were the highlight of a Red Mile card chocked full of two and three-year-old talent Friday, October 9 in Lexington, Kentucky.


High Def Z Tam Shrugs Off Slop In First International Stallion Stakes Division

The track was rated 'sloppy,' and the surface at the Red Mile had no doubt seen better days, but those factors didn't stop driver Mike Lachance by getting a mark-lowering performance out of High Def Z Tam in the first of the International Stallion Stakes divisions for freshman pacing colts Friday, October 9 at the Lexington, Kentucky oval.

After having left from Post 4, Lachance and the Richard Ringler-trained Real Desire gelding stalked from the backfield through splits of :28, :56.4 and 1:25.1.

When the homestretch was reality and things mattered most, Lachance got after his mount a little. The gelding proved to be up for a late rally. Firing home in the three-wide path, Lachance and High Def Z Tam were full of pace late and cruised through the lane for a life's best 1:52.3 victory.

Paynes Landing (driven by David Miller) pulled the pocket in the lane, made a strong bid for the wire, but finished second. Raced at odds of 43-1, OK Commander, with Jody Jamieson in the race bike, finished third.

High Def Z Tam's performance increased his record to 6-1-0 from eight starts. The gelding has also recorded high-end stakes victories in the Simpson and the $300,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championships.

"He was a good colt right from the start," Lachance said about High Def Z Tam. "He never did anything wrong. We've always had good trips with him, except for a little bad luck with him last week.

"The colt has good timing; he never gets sick and is always feeling good. He just doesn't know where the end of the mile is," Lachance continued.

In terms of the rest of High Def Z Tam's high-end stakes engagements this year, Lachance said that the gelding may see action in the Matron.

Rockin Image Gobbles Up Real Estate In Second International Stallion Stakes Division

Sent off at post time odds of 3-5, driver John Campbell and Rocknroll Hanover colt Rockin Image may have forced some backers to squirm during the second division of the International Stallion Stakes. Although, when Campbell asked, the student of trainer Jimmy Takter was up for a bit effort.

Campbell and Rockin Image left from Post 6 and were close to the back of the pack as the opening fractions were tossed up in :29 and :56.2. When the opening half was called, Woodstock (driven by Tim Tetrick) sat on the lead with Four Starz Trace (Jody Jamieson) sitting second. From there, a large gap was evident back to the rest of the pack.

Rockin Image proved to be game when Campbell called him first-up from the backfield. The pair were outside in third at the 1:26 three quarters, but really showed their mettle in the lane. Once Rockin Image collared the pacesetting Woodstock in the stretch, the colt opened up lengths and stepped to an open-length victory in 1:53.2.

Woodstock hung on for second and Four Starz Trace, driven by Jody Jamieson, came on for third.

"He was sitting so far back, and I knew that Woodstock is a great horse," Takter explained. "When I saw that he (Woodstock) got away with those fractions, I knew that it was going to be very hard (for Rockin Image to get the victory). At the top of the stretch I said, 'if he (Rockin Image) wins this, he's a serious colt."

With the victory, Rocking Image coupled the International Stallion Stakes with his Bluegrass victory.

"He's a very big horse and he was gifted from Day 1. He's a well-bred horse, but we've been able to put together all the big pieces on him and I think there is a good future ahead for this horse."

All Speed Hanover Monstrous In International Stallion

As the field went to the gate in the third $119,300 division of the International stallion Stake for two-year-old pacing colts, they circled back around as one of the colts - All Speed Hanover - had a shoeing issue that needed repair. That delay apparently had no ill effect on the young pacer who went out against the co-fastest two-year-old in the sport, came first up, and wore him down to equal his lifetime best over a Red Mile oval that was certainly not ideal.

The race started with George Brennan living up to his Minister of Speed moniker by sending Sand Savage to the front for a short-lived lead as Aracache Hanover (Jody Jamieson) settled briefly into second before looping around the lead by the :27.3 opener. As expected, 1-9 shot One More Laugh (Tim Tetrick) rocketed to the top from third and hit the half in :56 while Ron Pierce started his bid with All Speed Hanover.

These two talented colts were on ever terms through the 1:24 third panel and down the stretch the duo continued to slug it out before All Speed Hanover was able to get the best of the favourite in deep stretch, uncorking a :54.3 back half to hit the wire two lengths the best in a startling 1:50.3. Longshot World Of Rocknroll (Andy Miller) finished third.

"He's special, Noel [Daley] told me back in May he had a real good colt for me, and he really is," said driver Ron Pierce, who showed his gratitude to the connections. "Noel, he's tops. There's no one btter to drive for. He hardly ever gets upset when you screw up. I'm very lucky to be driving for him, the Victors and John Fielding. They're great people."

When asked if he was nervous about taking such a shot against the favourite, Pierce told Sam McKee that he was extremely confident in his charge.

"I just kind of of sat him out there. The colt wanted to go a lot more, he's kind of green out there so I wanted to give him a target. I felt confident at the head of the lane."

All Speed Hanover (Cams Card Shark - Allamerican Cool) is now 4-for-6 on the season with earnings of over $135,000 for Adam Victor And Son Stable of New York, NY and John Fielding of Toronto, Ont.


Call Her Margarita "Mudder"

Showing that the rain and sloppy track surface was to her liking, Margarita Momma captured the first $86,400 division of the Glidemaster Bluegrass Stake for three-year-old trotting fillies on Friday afternoon at the Red Mile.

John Campbell hustled last year's divisional champ Honorable Daughter to command from the outer tier and fronted the field through the :28.1 quarter and the :57 half. Gift Card (Tim Tetrick) started to pressure the leader through the final turn with Margarita Momma (Ron Pierce) forced to tip three-wide early around stalled cover. After the 1:25.4 third station, Gift Card made a break allowing Sireneuse (David Miller) to escape the pocket while Pierce and Margarita Momma continued to track down the leaders. In the stretch, Honorable Daughter started to back through the field and the race came down to Margarita Momma and Sireneuse, with the former finding the wire first in a lifetime best 1:53.4.

The win was the fourth in nine starts this year for Margarita Momma (Yankee Glide - Sheena Hall ), who is co-owned by trainer Jan Johnson of Lighthouse Point, FL and Jorgen Jahre Jr. of Sandefjord, Norway.

'Wasabi' Wins In Wet Weather

While she was unheard from in last week's Kentucky Filly Futurity, the sloppy Red Mile surface was certainly to the liking of Southwind Wasabi in the second $86,400 division of the Glidemaster Bluegrass Stake for three-year-old trotting fillies on Friday afternoon at the Red Mile.

The field of eight was narrowed to seven with the scratch of Raising Rachel. As the gate wings folded, Brian Sears hustled favoured Broadway Schooner to the lead and the filly responded by opening up close to eight lengths on the field by the :27.4 first panel. Celebrity Juliet (John Campbell) managed to close that gap in second eventually as Broadway Schooner came back to the field for the :56.4 half. First up to challenge the Hambletonian Oaks champion was American-National winner Southwind Wasabi (Mike LaChance) with world record holder Highscore Kemp (Tim Tetrick) on his back spotted second over.

At the 1:26 three-quarter marker, Southwind Wasabi was at the pacesetter's wheel setting up for a stretch battle between the two trotting standouts. As the fillies traded blows down the lane, Southwind Wasabi was able to wear down Broadway Schooner for the 1:54.1 decision by a one length margin. Highscore Kemp rounded out the top three.

Co-owned by trainer Chuck Sylvester along with Neal Goldman of Washington, NJ, Margaret Dey of Allentown, NJ and Jerry Silva of Long Beach, NY, Southwind Wasabi is now 5-for-13 on the season and close to the half-million plateau in lifetime purses.

Windsong Soprano Dead Game In Third Bluegrass Division

The conditions had downright deteriorated by the time Windsong Soprano and Seaside faced the gate for their Bluegrass duel -- and what a duel it turned out to be.

After having left from Post 6, Windsong Soprano and driver Mike Lachance were intent on the lead along the first turn. Seaside and pilot David Miller had left from Post 7, grabbed control of the rail early, and forced Lachance and 'Soprano' to earn the engine spot.

Lachance and the daughter of the late Windsongs Legacy cleared to the lead after the :28.2 opening station flashed to life. The pair put in some work on the front end through middle panels of :58 and 1:27.2 with Seaside and Miller drafting oh-so close behind.

When the action shifted to the head of the lane, Miller tipped Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Seaside out to vault past Lachance and Windsong Soprano, but the leader would have none of it. Stepping up for the challenge when there was no shame to throw in the towel, Windsongs Soprano dug deep into the slop and fended off Seaside in a win photo. Musical Mystery, driven by Ron Pierce, finished third.

Windsong Soprano is trained by Bob McIntosh and is looking to start up another win streak after having bagged back-to-back-to-back wins a few weeks ago in the Hudson Filly Trot, Simcoe and Buckette.


Yellow Diamond Sparkles In Garnsey

Bet down to 1-5, Yellow Diamond and Jim Morrill Jr. delivered on their pari-mutuel promise to the public with a convincing 1:52.1 score in the first $151,500 division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial/Tattersalls for three-year-old pacing fillies.

West Of L A (Ron Pierce) was quickest off the gate from Post 4, outsprinting rail horse Perfectionist (Dan Dube) to the :27.1 first quarter. Morrill sat settled the favourite into fifth and as the pace slowed Morrill had the right line pulled, makiung his brush to the lead and clearing before the :55.3 half. Special Sweetheart (David Miller) prompted the pace and tracked the leader through the 1:24.2 third panel but couldn't get closer than the pacesetter's wheel. With a :27.4 final quarter, Yellow Diamond tripped the timer in 1:52.1 with pocket sitter West Of L A besting Special Sweeheart for the place position.

Track announcer Sam McKee asked Morrill about how Yellow Diamond has been more manageable as of late, to which the driver took the blame and passed the credit onto the conditioner.

"I kind of got her like that early," remarked Morrill, "Tracy's done a great job quieting her down and getting her to relax more."

Morrill, now based out of New York state after being one of the Meadowlands' top drivers for more than a decade, is in the midst of a career year and admits he has to pinch himself every now and again.

"I feel blessed, I never thought I'd be doing the best of my career from where I am now."

Yellow Diamond (Western Terror - Mattatonic) is trained by Tracy Brainard for Bulletproof Enterprises of Boca Raton, Florida. She is now a winner of 10 starts in 17 seasonal outings, good for over $750,000 in purses.

Bulletproof, Brainard, Morrill Sweep Glen Garnsey With 'The Money'

Showherthemoney impressed everyone at Ohio's Delaware County Fair with her dominance in the Jugette just a few weeks ago. The Cams Card Shark filly continued to impress her watchers today after turning a first-up effort into a sweep of the Glen Garnsey/Tattersalls Pace for owners Bulletproof Enterprises.

Jim Morrill, Jr. started from the rail with the Tracy Brainard pupil and filled the three-hole as Kiss Me Kate (driven by John Campbell) and Indulge Me (Jody Jamieson) battled for the lead by the :28.2 opening quarter.

Jamieson and Indulge Me leaped to the lead after the first call. Morrill let out a notch on Showherthemoney down the backside, erased a few gapped lengths and angled his mount out for a first-over advance past the :57.2 opening half.

Showherthemoney was first up in second as Indulge Me sprang the three quarters up in 1:25.4. Continuing to sustain her bid in the lane, Showherthemoney paced right on to the wire in the final quarter and went on to stop the clock in 1:52.2.

Indulge Me hung on for second and Kiss Me Kate third.

"She was on the left line a little bit today, especially at the start," Morrill said of Showherthemoney. "I had a hard time getting her going, but once we straightened up in the stretch and I kicked the plugs, she was pacing just as straight and as fast as a horse can be."

When asked whether the filly is showing any signs of being tired, Morrill said, "no, I don't think she's tired. We were really pacing in the stretch off that slow half. Jody called on his filly at the top of turn. From the top of the turn here to the wire we were really pacing."

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