On Sunday, September 11, the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky held one of its richest programs of the 2011 campaign. The card featured state-bred juveniles and sophomores battling for over $2 million in purses, as eight Kentucky Sires Stakes Finals worth $250,000 a piece headlined the docket
The evening proved to be a lucrative one for owner/trainer/driver Joe Hudon, who struck paydirt when Feels Good, a three-year-old filly by Mr Feelgood, went on to record a one-length victory in 1:53.2.
Hudon, a resident of Acton, Ont., started with his filly from Post 6 in the nine-horse field. The pair were parked in fourth as the opening quarter was rung up in :28.1. Hudon hustled his lass to the front before the :56.2 opening half was recorded.
Feels Good was all business the rest of the way, as she spun off three quarters in 1:25.4 and kicked home with a :27.3 final quarter. The filly recorded a one-length victory over Hello Camie (driven by Brian Sears) and Cameo And Pearls (Chip Noble).
In the final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings, prohibitive favourite Bolt The Duer paced home in 1:52.1 for Mike Lachance to become the third foal (along with Blue Claw and Shanghai Lil) from his late dam, Wonderbolt, to become a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion. The son of Ponder, who is owned by All Star Racing and conditioned by Peter Foley, boosted his record to 5-0-0 from six starts.
Prayer Session, piloted by Ron Pierce, fended off the late charge of the previously undefeated Louie The Fourth to triumph in the final for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings in a lifetime-best 1:55.4. The son of Like A Prayer--Ens Tag Session is trained by Jeff Smith and is owned by Dm Stables. The colt’s resume now stands at 3-1-1 from five starts.
In the final for the two-year-old trotting fillies, Northern Hall kept her unblemished record intact with a victory in 1:55.1 over Gisela As. The daughter of Like A Prayer-Duchess Hall is owned by Northern Lane Farm, trained by Johnson Hill, Jr. and was guided by the Red Mile’s leading driver, Dan Noble.
TB Beach Girl took advantage of a break made by the morning line favourite, Cindys Flower, shortly after the field left the gate in the final for the two-year-old pacing fillies. The daughter of Jennas Beach Boy--Sign Of Life is owned by Rocco Ruffolo and trained by Ron Gurfein. With this triumph, the filly also established a new lifetime mark of 1:56.1 and accomplished the task while being hampered by the 10 hole. This was also one of Mike Lachance’s three winning drives in sire stakes events during the card.
Trained by John Butenschoen and owned by William Wiswell and Jean Goehein, The Evictor rewarded the bettors’ faith in his ability as he had his picture taken after the final for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. From 22 lifetime starts, the Valley Victor gelding’s record now stands at 6-4-1. The Evictor was steered to victory by Mike Lachance and trotted home in 1:54.2.
In the final for the three-year-old colts and geldings, Im Feelin Good kicked away from the field in the stretch and won handily in 1:50.1. Piloted by Brian Sears and trained by Ron Burke, the son of Mr Feelgood defeated his rivals by nearly 10 lengths and improved his career record to 5-4-3 from 17 starts.
In the final for the three-year-old trotting fillies, last year’s champion, Screaming Awsome, was denied the opportunity to repeat when Adagio poured it on coming home to score an authoritative victory in 1:57. Conditioned by Stacey Ruddick and owned by Dm Stables, the daughter of Valley Victor continued her top form of this season. From 21 career starts, Adagio now has six victories --- all of them from her last seven races --- and one third-place finish. It was also the fourth win on the card for Noble.
(With files from the USTA)