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Pinske, Ramona Hill Shine In KY

Published: September 27, 2019 5:04 pm ET

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After winning in his Grand Circuit debut, 24-year-old trainer Carter Pinske sent out both winners in the $280,500 Artspeak Bluegrass Stakes on the Friday (Sept. 27) card of harness racing at The Red Mile.

Marloe Hanover made her way to the top early and withstood the backfield’s late rally to take the $139,750 opening Bluegrass division, sponsored by the Artspeak Syndicate and Winbak Farms, in a lifetime-best 1:50.4.

Driver David Miller brushed the Carter Pinske trainee to the front past a :27.4 first quarter while Shouldabeenatd raced second. Beyond Ecstasy, the 6-5 favourite, angled first-over from fourth heading to a :56 half and progressed towards the pacesetter while carrying Lady Lou on cover rounding the final turn. Beyond Ecstasy stalled passing three-quarters in 1:24 and retreated through the stretch as Marloe Hanover sprinted for the finish. Shouldabeenatd gave chase to secure second while Lady Lou kicked off cover for third.

Winning her second race from seven starts, Marloe Hanover has earned $124,279 for owners Pinske Stables, David Hoese and Bridgette Jablonsky. The Hanover Shoe Farms-bred filly paid $12.40 to win.

Sitting behind dueling favourites around the final turn, driver Dexter Dunn pulled Annabelle Hanover from the pylons and darted past 8-5 favourites Baby Your The Best and Gai Waterhouse to take the second Bluegrass division.

Gai Waterhouse took command from Annabelle Hanover moving to a :27.4 opening quarter but soon faced a first-over challenge from Baby Your The Best heading up the backstretch. Baby Your The Best crossed over to control after a :55.3 half, leaving Love For Sail uncovered with Blood Red gapped from second-over rounding the final turn. Annabelle Hanover wove through the two-wide gap passing three-quarters in 1:23.1 and surged by Baby Your The Best through the stretch to win drawing away in a 1:50.2 mile. Gai Waterhouse settled for third.

“[She’s] just a real gamey-looking filly,” trainer Carter Pinske said after the race. “Just the right size, right build; [it’s] what we look for in a Somebeach[somewhere]. There’s a pretty big story behind this horse, it’s about one of the craziest breaking stories ever...just to have her here is awesome. It took until about February until she was broke good. I just have to say thanks to Erv Miller and everybody down in Florida that helped get her to the track, let alone here.”

Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and owned by Pinske Stables, Lawrence Means and Curly Tall Curly Small, Annabelle Hanover broke her maiden in her sixth start, while amassing $115,233 in earnings. The Somebeachsomewhere filly paid $7.20 to win.

Sent the 1-5 favourite, Ramona Hill sat second through the mile before tipping from the pocket and striding to a 1:52.4 victory under a hand drive in the final of four divisions for the $330,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies.

Panem pushed for the front moving to a :28 opening quarter with Ramona Hill floating into the pocket. Madame Sherry sat third up the backstretch as the field raced single file towards a :55.4 half. Ramona Hill then edged from the pocket passing three-quarters in 1:24.4 and lunged to the lead through the stretch as Madame Sherry gave chase in second and Panem settled for third.

“We trained the mare, Lock Down Lindy, and this filly had a very similar frame to Lock Down Lindy, but she was an end-of-May foal so she was very immature at the sale but had a great look to her,” trainer Tony Alagna said after the race on purchasing Ramona Hill for $70,000 at the Lexington Yearling Sale last fall. “Knowing how fast the mare was, I thought I’d take a shot at that number.

“I didn’t stake her to the [Jim] Doherty at the Meadowlands because she was a late foal and I told the partnership that I think this filly’s special, but I don’t want to push her early because I want to make sure we have a great three-year-old. That’s what we’ve done by design and so far she’s paying us off.”

Co-owned by breeder Crawford Farms with Brad Grant, Robert LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners, Ramona Hill has won in all four of her starts, earning $66,000. Andrew McCarthy drove the $2.40 winner.

Shishito took the lead early and strode to a 1:53 victory in the opening division of the Bluegrass filly trot.

Dune Hill dashed to the front moving to a :28 first quarter before yielding command to even-money favourite Shishito moving to the backside. Second-betting choice Senorita Rita angled first over from fifth passing a :56 half and ranged towards the tempo-setter nearing three-quarters in 1:24.3. Senorita Rita continued to dig into Shishito through the stretch but could only manage second while Dune Hill gave pursuit from third.

Bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC and owned by Black Horse Racing and John Fielding, Shishito won her fourth race from eight starts, earning $222,776. Dexter Dunn drove the $4.00 winner for trainer Per Engblom.

Common Sense S handed 1-2 favourite Sister Sledge her first loss in winning the second Bluegrass split.

Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt snagged the pocket with Common Sense S while Hello Tomorrow led the field to a :28.1 first quarter. Sister Sledge slid first over from fourth passing a :56.2 half and drew alongside Hello Tomorrow approaching three-quarters in 1:25.2. Hello Tomorrow kept Sister Sledge at bay through the lane but drifted from the pylons enough to create a seam for Common Sense S to shoot through late in the mile to win in 1:53.3. Sister Sledge settled for third.

“I bought her in Sweden,” Svanstedt said after the race. “It was because I trained her mother and grandmother and they were very successful — they made around a half- to two-million Swedish kronor. [Coming from the small tracks], it’s good for them to come here and stretch out here on the big track.”

Co-owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc. with S R F Stable, Common Sense S won her fifth race from nine starts, earning $122,600. The Menhammer Stuteri Ab-bred Trixton filly paid $12.20 to win.

Love A Good Story surged past 3-5 favourite Ms Savannah Belle late in the stretch to take the third Bluegrass split.

In control through a :28.1 first quarter, Love A Good Story settled for the pocket past a :55.4 half after Ms Savannah Belle pushed first over for the front nearing the final turn. Seventimesalady floated first-over approaching three-quarters in 1:26 but forced Love A Good Story to pop pocket heading for the top of the stretch. Seventimesalady lost ground and gave chase as Love A Good Story and Ms Savannah Belle matched strides towards the finish, with the favourite giving way in the final sixteenth to the Julie Miller-trained Chapter Seven filly in a 1:52.2 mile.

Winning her seventh race from nine starts, Love A Good Story has earned $216,187 for owners Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe. Andy Miller piloted the $17.80 winner, who was bred by Celebrity Farms.

Each division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial was sponsored by Arden Homestead Stables, Et Gerry & Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables and Lawrence S. Devan.

Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile on Saturday, Sept. 28 with four divisions of the $324,800 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt Pace and a single $163,100 Bluegrass division for three-year-old pacing fillies. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).

(with files from The Red Mile)

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