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Tall Dark Stranger Returns

Published: September 13, 2020 1:53 pm ET

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After having not raced since his August 29 win in the $1-million North America Cup, Tall Dark Stranger was in the spotlight on Sunday (Sept. 13), as he headlined Kentucky Sire Stakes action at the Red Mile, which was contested over a 'sloppy' track rated two seconds slow.

The off-going certainly didn't seem to bother Tall Dark Stranger on Sunday, as the talented Nancy Takter trainee blitzed to the point at the half and charged through the slop to record an authoratative victory in 1:49.2.

With regular pilot Yannick Gingras currently in Ontario for Grand Circuit racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Dexter Dunn got the call behind Tall Dark Stranger, and the duo lined up in Post 5 in Race 2, which carried a purse of $40,000.

There was a battle for the front right from the word 'go,' as at least five of the seven starters fired for the lead into the first turn. The early battle left Tall Dark Stranger in fifth past the :26.2 quarter pole, but he wouldn't be there for long.

The second panel saw Captain Kirk (who was driven by Joe Bongiorno) dart first-up from fourth, and Dunn followed suit second over. Captain Kirk cleared to the point before the :53.4 half-mile pole, which allowed Tall Dark Stranger to take dead aim at the new leader.

Captain Kirk's lead was short lived, as Dunn and Tall Dark Stranger roared right by and angled back down along the pylons. Tall Dark Stranger navigated the turn with ease and clicked off three quarters in 1:22 before his journey home.

Tall Dark Stranger was within himself in the final quarter, as he paced home in :27.2 and held off a late rally by Catch The Fire (Mike Wilder), who closed with pace at the end of the mile. Captain Kirk held on to finish third.

Courtesy of the victory, Tall Dark Stranger, who is by Ontario sire Bettors Delight, has now won seven of his eight starts this season and 15 of his 17 career starts. The bay colt has now banked $1.96-million in career purses for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor.

Three-year-old pacing fillies also faced off in a $40,000 KYSS tilt, as a field of seven faced the gate for Race 4. In the contest, the Tony Alagna-trained and Dexter Dunn-driven Reflect With Me came first up after the half, shrugged off soft fractions (:29, :57.2, 1:26.3), and paced away to a strong win in 1:53. Courtesy of the win, the daughter of Captaintreacherous extended her seasonal unbeaten streak to six for breeder Brittany Farms, who own the bay along with Brad Grant. Reflect With Me has now won 11 of her 17 career starts and banked more than $857,000 overall.


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