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Tall Dark Stranger Delivers Again

Published: September 20, 2020 3:03 pm ET

Last Comment: September 20, 2020 10:44 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

One week after an impressive win over a 'sloppy' surface at the Red Mile, Tall Dark Stranger returned to the heralded Kentucky oval on Sunday (Sept. 20) to headline the afternoon's Kentucky Sire Stakes finals, each of which carried a purse of $250,000.

Tall Dark Stranger's KYSS final took to the track for Race 5, as a field of seven lined up for what was the main event of the program. Yannick Gingras was back in the sulky behind Tall Dark Stranger. The duo got away well from Post 3, but yielded early to Caliber (who was driven by David Miller), who was intent on making the lead as the field headed into the first turn.

Caliber cut the opening quarter in :26.1, but was soon under pressure, as Gingras and Tall Dark Stranger powered out of the pocket, cleared to the point, and clicked off the opening half in :54.2. The 2020 North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace winner was quite comfortable on the lead, as the son of Bettors Delight cruised past the third station in 1:21.3.

Things got interesting in the stretch, as Tall Dark Stranger's stablemate, Fortify, angled out from third and made a late bid for driver Dexter Dunn. Gingras and Tall Dark Stranger kept tabs on the threat and continued their mission to the wire. Tall Dark Stranger went on to hit the wire first off of a :26.2 final quarter. The win time was a sharp 1:48. Fortify settled for second, while Captain Kirk (Joe Bongiorno) finished third.

Tall Dark Stranger has now won eight of his nine starts this season and 16 of 18 overall. Tall dark Stranger is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor.


Tall Dark Stranger (3), pictured at the wire in the 2020 KYSS finals.

Perfect Sting showed that he is the real deal in the final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings (Race 3), as the Joe Holloway-trained and David Miller-driven bay was a determined competitor while winning in 1:49.4. The son of Always B Miki was sent off as the 1-9 favourite and raced fourth past the :28.2 quarter pole. Miller had him out and attacking first-over in the second panel. It wasn't an easy jaunt to the front for Perfect Sting, though, as leader Natives Filou (Dan Noble) played a bit of hardball down to the half-mile pole, which was clicked off in 55 seconds. Perfect Sting hustled through three quarters, which he posted in 1:22.4, and had a target on his back as he raced for home. Natives Filou pressured Perfect Sting to the wire, but Miller had his charge on his game, and Perfect Sting had what it took to get the job done. The win time was 1:49.4. Natives Filou had to settle for second, while Captains Place (Tyler Smith) closed for third. Perfect Sting is now unbeaten through six starts for his breeder/owners Brittany Farms LLC and Val Dor Farms.

Three-year-old trotting colts and geldings kicked off the action in Race 1, and it was the heavily-favoured Beads ($2.10) who dominated his four rivals from the get go, as the Per Engblom-trained and Brian Sears-driven colt sauntered to an impressive gate-to-wire win in 1:51.2. The son of Archangel left from Post 2, cut the fractions (:28.2, :56.2, 1:24), and fired home in :27.2 for a mark-equalling win. The victory was Beads' fifth consecutive win. Barley (David Miller) finished second and Ontopofthehill (Dexter Dunn) was third under the wire. Beads is owned by Renee Spahr and Christina Takter.

Blue Diamond Eyes ($6.40) followed suit with the front-end tactics in Race 2, which was the final for two-year-old pacing fillies. The daughter of Captaintreacherous fired out from Post 4 and went on to tally a wire-to-wire win in a mark-equalling 1:51. David Miller was in the bike behind the Ron Burke trainee, and the duo fought for the early lead before clicking off the quarter pole in :28.3. From there, the bay sliced the middle panels (:56.4, 1:24.3) before firing home in :26.2. Making Waves (Scott Zeron) made a bid in the lane after a two-hole ride, but had to settle for second. High Minded (Dexter Dunn) closed while heading for home, but had to settle for third. Blue Diamond Eyes is owned by Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillon.

Race 4 featured three-year-old trotting fillies, and it was Hypnotic AM's time to shine, as the Marcus Melander-trained and Brian Sears-driven bay was sharp for her connections and posted a mark-equalling win in 1:51.2. After a post 3 start, the Chapter Seven filly was second to the :27.2. quarter pole and looped to the lead just prior to the half-mile indicator, which she clicked off in 55 seconds. Hypnotic AM led her rivals past the 1:23.2 three-quarters pole and had foes within striking distance through the lane. The filly stayed on her game when the money was down, though, as Hypnotic AM held off Panem (Dexter Dunn) on her inside and Crucial (David Miller) through the stretch to record the win. Hypnotic AM, who returned $3.40 to win, is owned by Courant Inc.

Two-year-old trotting fillies took to the track for Race 6, and it was the combination of trainer Linda Toscano and driver David Miller that clicked with Lady Chaos, as the daughter of Cantab Hall got up for a minor 6-1 upset and returned a $14.40 win mutuel to her backers. Miller was able to get Lady Chaos positioned fourth after a Post 8 start. The duo watched the action unfold in front of them through the :27.4 quarter and :56.1 half. Miller and Lady Chaos advanced second over past the 1:25 three-quarters pole and got up on the leaders late via a :27.4 closing quarter. The margin of victory was one length and the win time 1:53.1, which was a new life's mark. After having taken a pocket ride for much of the mile, Beautiful Game (Dexter Dunn) finished second. Eazy Pass (Mark MacDonald) closed late and got up to finish third. Lady Chaos has now won four of her seven starts and is owned by Richard Gutnick, Thomas Pontone, Joseph Lozito Jr., and Enviro Stables Ltd.

Baby Your The Best proved to be just that in the three-year-old filly pace, as the daughter of Captaintreacherous disposed of the heavily-favoured Reflect With Me and went on to record a front-end win in 1:49.3, which was a new life's mark for the bay. The victory was the second consecutive win of the afternoon for the combination of David Miller and Linda Toscano, who had clicked one race earlier with Lady Chaos. Miller and Baby Your The Best started Race 7 from Post 7 and found themselves third at the :27.3 quarter pole. Miller called for pace in the second quarter and shot to the lead with Baby Your The Best prior to the :55.2 half-mile indicator. The duo rolled past the three-quarters pole in 1:23.1 and opened up daylight from there. Baby Your The Best finished things off with a :26.2 final frame and was three and a half lengths the best at the wire. After an unsuccessful first-up move, Reflect With Me (Andrew McCarthy) had to settle for second. After a pocket right through the middle half, Pettycoat Business (Scott Zeron) finished third. With the victory, Baby Your The Best has now won five of her 22 career races. Baby Your The Best is owned by Richard and Joanne Young.

There was almost an addition to the world record books in the last of the afternoon's KYSS finals, as the Julie Miller-trained and Andy Miller-driven Venerate dominated Race 8, which was for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The public's two favourites (Cuarto De Julio and Dancinginthedark M) made early breaks, and that allowed Venerate to assume the lead and have things all his way. The French-sired colt by Love You out of Peaceful Kemp sliced the fractions in :28, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before kicking home with a 27-second final quarter. Cricket Fashion (Dexter Dunn) finished second in front of New Legacy (David Miller). Venerate's 1:51.4 win time was just one fifth of a second off of Walner's 1:51.3 world record, which he trotted over the Red Mile as a freshman in 2016. Venerate has now won three of his six starts for owners Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc.

September 20, 2020 - 10:44 pmIf TDS is going to win the

Mike Mobley SAID...

If TDS is going to win the LBJ on Thurs, he'll have to win 3 races at 2 different tracks in a span of 5 days. Has any horse ever done that? Also, if The Mohawk Million was for 2yo pacers rather than trotters, which would make more sense since pacing is far more popular in North America than trotting, I'm sure that Perfect Sting would be entered in the race. Since The Metro is the final stakes race of the year at Mohawk for 2yopc's, I don't think that there's any chance at all that he'll race on Canadian soil in 2020.


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