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Favourites Dominate In Kentucky Finals

Published: August 30, 2015 11:25 pm ET

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The Bluegrass State crowned its champion two and three-year-olds of both gaits and sexes on Sunday night, with the eight $175,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) finals dominated by favourites.

Cinnabar Hall won the KYSS final for three-year-old male trotters, earning the distinction of being the only reigning champion to successfully defend his title. Tom Jackson drove Cinnabar Hall to the wire-to-wire 1:56.2 victory for trainer Pete Foley and owner All Star Racing of Towaco, New Jersey. Sent off the 1-9 favourite, Cinnabar Hall swept the three-leg KYSS series this year, increasing his career earnings to $222,840.

A son of Groton Hall, Cinnabar Hall was bred by Walnut Hall Ltd. of Lexington, Kentucky, which had three winners to its credit on Sunday night.

Tail Gunner Hall, bred and owned by Walnut Hall Ltd., won the KYSS final for three-year-old male pacers. Starting from the outside post nine as the 9-5 second favourite, Tail Gunner Hall crossed the wire in 1:52, two lengths better than runner-up and even-money favourite McEnroe Hall.

A son of Third Straight, Tail Gunner Hall now has seven wins and four seconds in 11 starts this year after going unraced last year at two. His career earnings now stand at $109,083.

The three-year-old filly pace final went to Twilight Princess, who made just one start at two but has now scored nine wins in 12 starts this year. Aaron Merriman, the leading dash-winning driver in North America in 2014, directed the daughter of Prince Chablis to the 1:54 victory as the 1-5 betting favourite. Kentuckian Robert Mullet bred Twilight Princess, who now has earnings of $113,070 for trainer/owner Donna Gilfson-Eferstein.

Jane Eyre led wire-to-wire to win the three-year-old filly trot final in 1:55.1 with Tom Jackson driving for trainer Fred Grant, who also shares ownership with Steve Katz and Janice Rubin. A strong second choice on the toteboard, Jane Eyre defeated favourite (and defending champion) Armatrading by one length. Just the second win of the year for the daughter of Groton Hall bred by Mary Katz and Berto Stable, it boosted her earnings to $164,770.

Barryscourt rallied from six lengths back at the half to win the two-year-old male trot final by seven and a quarter lengths in 1:58.4. Josh Sutton drove the Peninsula Farm-bred son of Northern Kid for trainer Bobby Brower, who shares ownership with Mystical Marker Farms, Ben Graber and Victory Hill Farm. A 14-1 winner in the opening KYSS leg on Aug. 9, Barryscourt was the 4-5 betting favourite in the final as he won for the second time in three starts.

Lakeisha Hall, the 1-9 favourite, won the two-year-old filly pace final in 1:54, scoring by three and a half lengths. Dave Palone guided the Walnut Hall Ltd.-bred daughter of Third Straight to her fourth win in five starts. Ron Burke trains Lakeisha Hall or owners Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Burke Racing Stable.

The complexion of the two-year-old filly trot final changed dramatically when odds-on favourite Kentucky Hall made a break while on the lead near the half-mile point. That paved the way for second-choice Erica America to rally for a four and three-quarter length win in 1:59.4 for driver Chris Page. Kevin Thomas trains the daughter of Northern Kid and shares ownership with Jim McLaughlin, Fortunate One and Red Mile announcer Gabe Prewitt. Erica America was bred by Dunroven Stud of Kentucky.

The lone upset on the night came in the finale in the two-year-old male pace when the 8-1 Dragallthemoni rushed past favourite Cracker Cam in deep stretch to win by one and a quarter lengths in 1:53.2. Chris Page drove the Thomas Cave-bred son of Third Straight for trainer Steve Carter and owners Peggy Carter, Sheila Hummel, Ron Reid and Chuck Grubbs.


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