Off a decisive victory in her Kentucky Sire Stakes (KYSS) division last week, Ms Savannah Belle returned to The Red Mile with a pocket-rocket mile of 1:53.3 to take the first of three $30,000 third-preliminary KYSS divisions for two-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday, Aug. 31.
Crucial protected position from the pylons while Ms Savannah Belle ducked for the pocket heading to a :28.4 opening quarter. Bange Bi raced wide from third and progressed towards the pacesetter nearing a :57.1 half but failed to clear. Crucial kept Bange Bi parked past three-quarters in 1:26.2 before the first-over challenger dropped anchor and opened room for Ms Savannah Belle to pounce. Driver Jimmy Takter sent the Muscle Hill filly after Crucial at the head of the stretch and kicked clear to a four-and-three-quarter length victory over Heaven. Crucial held third.
A homebred for Al Libfeld, Ms Savannah Belle won her second race from five starts, earning $54,658. Per Engblom trains the $2.80 winner.
Driver Chris Page circled 3-2 favourite Violet Stride to the front past the quarter and held firm on the lead in progress to a 1:55.2 victory in the second KYSS filly split.
Page positioned the Trixton filly third behind early duelers Do You Wanna Dance and Julia C heading to a :28.3 first quarter. He then sent the Mark Harder trainee after Do You Wanna Dance and took control before a :57.4 half. From there she withstood minor first-over pressure from Julia C passing three-quarters in 1:27.1 while holding off that challenger by two-and-three-quarter lengths at the finish. Sequin rallied from a pylon trip for third.
Bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr., Violet Stride won her second race from six starts, earning $34,250. Emilio & Maria Rosati own the $5.00 winner.
Page also steered Cover Girl to a 1:56.3 victory in the final filly division of KYSS.
Even-money favourite Caviart Eva cleared the front moving to a :29.3 opening quarter while Page had Cover Girl placed fourth. He soon pulled the Paul Kelley trainee first over past a :59 half and rushed to the helm circling the final turn. Cover Girl led Caviart Eva passed three-quarters in 1:28.2 and strode clear to a two-and-a-half length victory. Miss Kendra D, off a pylon trip, took second while Caviart Eva settled for third.
Winning her first race from three starts, Cover Girl has earned $25,500 for owners Paul Kelley Racing Stable, T L P Stable, S R F Stable and Lawrence Thomases. The Muscle Hill filly—bred by Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband—paid $4.80 to win.
Expectations topped the two KYSS colt dashes with a wire-to-wire victory as the 1-5 favourite.
Driver Mattias Melander had the Marcus Melander trainee on the lead while Hit Show tracked from the pocket approaching a :28.4 opening quarter. The Muscle Hill colt endured no challenge from there, trotting a half in :58.3 and three-quarters in 1:27.3 in progress to a three-length victory in 1:55.3. Hit Show held second while Mcmatters rallied from off cover for third.
Owned by Vicky Trotting Inc. and bred by Dunroven Stud LLC, Expectations won his second race from six starts, earning $76,899. He paid $2.60 to win.
Ready For Moni ranged to the front from the outermost post in the other KYSS colt division and coasted clear of his rivals to win by five-and-a-quarter lengths in 1:57.3.
Driver Jimmy Takter floated the Ready Cash colt towards the front when racing in the center of the course nearing the first turn. Ready For Moni crossed to the lead past a :30.4 opening quarter and slowly widened his lead through a 1:00.3 half and past three-quarters in 1:29.4. Ontopofthehill rallied from a pylon trip to chase the Per Engblom trainee for second while Legion Of Honor, pulling first over around the final turn, took third.
Collecting his third victory from four starts, Ready For Moni has banked $36,500 for owners John Fielding, Herb Liverman, Bud Hatfield and Lindy Farms Of Connecticut. The Moni Maker Stable bred the colt who paid $3.20 to win.
KYSS action resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 1 with two divisions for frosh pacing colts and a single split for frosh pacing fillies. The card will start at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).