Alagna Armada Poised For Oak Grove Stakes

I Did It Myway winning at The Red Mile
Published: April 21, 2023 11:33 am EDT

I Did It Myway and Boudoir Hanover, top-three finishers in the Breeders Crown in their three-year-old season, are poised to kick off their 2023 campaigns on a high note in the first round of the Kentucky Standardbred Development Fund series for four-year-olds, which opens Sunday (April 23) at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel.

Both pacers — two of trainer Tony Alagna's nine stakes starters on the program — have been named the morning line favourites in their respective $50,000 events.

I Did It Myway (pictured) raced mainly in the shadows of divisional leaders Pebble Beach, Beach Glass and Bythemissal last season but still amassed a tidy $790,140 in purses while winning seven of 20 starts, with his 1:48.4 triumph in the $400,000 Kentucky Championship Series final at the Red Mile his seasonal high point. Andy McCarthy will drive the son of Captaintreacherous-Flyme To The Moon from the outside post eight in the first preliminary for male pacers, carded as the third of 11 races on the program.

"I'm very happy with how he's coming back," said McCarthy, who drove I Did It Myway to six of his sophomore wins and both of his qualifiers at The Meadowlands earlier in the month — his most recent capped by a :25.2 final quarter mile. "He's always been a terrific closer — sometimes he doesn't feel like he's got as much go as he actually does. As soon as you move him off a helmet, he goes to work."

Alagna also sends Caviart Camden (Todd McCarthy, post two) and Taurasi (Dexter Dunn, post nine) to post in the male pace.

McCarthy's other top-rated assignment on Sunday comes in the mare trot (race seven), in which he will be reunited with Eternal Lee. The daughter of Southwind Frank-Charity Hall ended her sophomore season with four consecutive wins over The Red Mile while under the care of Chris Ryder, and she made her debut for trainer Roger Cullipher a winning one by way of a decisive four-length score in last week's $24,000 Open Trot.

"She's a beautiful, big mare," said McCarthy. "Great gaited, powerful and very versatile. I'm excited to sit behind her again; she's got a lot of high speed when you call on her."

Of the 10 starters in the mare pace (race four), trainer Tony Alagna accounts for four of them, most notably 2-1 morning line favourite Boudoir Hanover, who will be driven by Andy's brother Todd. The Captaintreacherous-Bedroomconfessions mare enters her four-year-old season off a pair of strong Meadowlands qualifiers, but must overcome a back-row starting spot having drawn post 10. Style For A Mile (post four, Dexter Dunn), Dont Fence Me In (Scott Zeron, post eight) and Queen Of Success (Andy McCarthy, post nine) complete Alagna's quartet.

Iwont Backdown As, who took his lifetime mark of 1:51.2 in last year's Kentucky Commonwealth Series final, is the 4-5 early favourite in the male trot (race one). Tony Hall will drive the Anette Lorentzon trainee against three rivals, including Just For Trix, who won seven of 18 races last year and took his 1:51.3 mark in Commonwealth competition at the Red Mile.

The Kentucky Standardbred Development Fund four-year-old series consists of four preliminary rounds. The top eight point earners in each division will advance to their respective $150,000 finals, to be contested on May 29.

First post at Oak Grove is 3 p.m. CDT (4 p.m. EDT).

(Oak Grove)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.