Newsroom Streaks Into Friday's Bluegrass Blitz

Newsroom winning at The Meadowlands
Published: September 27, 2023 05:10 pm EDT

Trainer Joe Holloway returns to The Red Mile with another promising pacing prospect on Friday afternoon (Sept. 29): the Always B Miki colt Newsroom, who will try to raise his unbeaten streak to seven in the third of four divisions for the $348,000 Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Newsroom will start from post two in race 11 on Friday off a 1:51.4 victory in the $116,000 Elevation Stakes at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. He’s already taken a mark of 1:49.4 when winning the start prior in a steamroll mile to take the $150,000 New Jersey Classic by open lengths. Eight other foes will look to upend Newsroom, including Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champ Captain Albano from post three for trainer Noel Daley as well as Tony Alagna pupil Remember The Alamo, who exits a sixth-place finish in the $970,000 Metro Pace.

Kentucky Sires Stakes champ Better Is Nice and driver Andy McCarthy will look to open the stakes action for the pacing freshmen when he starts from post two in race three. Listed at 9-5 on the morning line, the son of Bettors Wish trained by Tony Alagna enters from a 1:50.3 coast job in the $400,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final and faces only one familiar rival in Dancin Champion, starting from post three off a fourth-place effort. The field also includes Tall Dark Strangers full brother Total Stranger from post four along with New York Sires Stakes final runner-up Avenger Force from post five.

Ivy Park, runner-up to Better Is Nice in the Kentucky Sires Stakes final, lands post five in the third Bluegrass division, race seven, for the boys as the 5-2 choice on the morning line. The Nancy Takter-trained colt by Captaintreacherous keeps Yannick Gingras in the sulky as he’ll spar with the likes of Arson, the Kentucky Golden Rod champ and a three-quarter brother to sophomore stakes filly Charleston. The Kentucky Commonwealth champ Sir John B, trained by Tony Alagna and reined by Andy McCarthy, also lands in the third division and starts from post six.

A batch of nine rounds out the action for freshman pacing colts and geldings in tace 13. Tony Alagna pupil Rock The Captain N goes as the slight morning-line favourite from post four with Todd McCarthy in the bike. The ridgling by Captaintreacherous has only missed the board once from six starts and won a preliminary for the Kindergarten Classic back on July 28 in 1:52. The field also includes Kentucky Golden Rod runner-up Steely Knife from post nine and Kentucky Commonwealth third-place finisher Swaggy Cal from post five, among others.

Freshman trotting fillies share the spotlight on Friday with five divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes, with purses totalling $429,000 for the set.

The card on Friday kicks off a bundle of seven trotting fillies going to post. Chaparmbro will start as the 9-5 choice from post two for the tandem of trainer Trond Smedshammer and driver Brian Sears off a close defeat in the $150,000 New Jersey Classic final to Soiree Hanover. The daughter of Chapter Seven will try to return to the winner’s circle against the likes of New Jersey Classic consolation runner-up Glamorous Hanover from post three, Kentucky Commonwealth third-place finisher One World from post one and New Jersey Classic consolation third-place finisher Cocktailwithakick from post six.

Division two for the fillies wraps up the early daily double with eight starters competing. Ake Svanstedt student Warrawee Michelle, a son of Walner, will attempt to rebound from a fourth-place finish to Soiree Hanover in the New Jersey Classic final when she starts from post six, just to the inside of Tony Alagna upstart Honeys Sweet. Honeys Sweet will make her fourth start and currently holds a mark of 1:54.1 over the clay set in a non-winners of one event on Aug. 22. Yannick Gingras has the drive in a group that also includes 2022 Hambletonian winner Cool Papa Bell’s half-sister Cool Ma Belle from post four.

New Jersey Sires Stakes champ Buy A Round will also look for vengeance off a loss to Soiree Hanover when she starts from post two in the third division for the fillies, carded as race four. Andy McCarthy pilots the Noel Daley-trained daughter of Walner who snagged a 1:55 victory on Hambletonian Day in the New Jersey Sires Stakes final, but more recently finished third in the $150,000 New Jersey Classic. She’ll face morning-line chalk Sierra Girl, a daughter of the late Bar Hopping starting from post four for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt off a 1:55.4 victory as the odds-on choice in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final.

Svanstedt has another developing talent in division four, race eight, with undefeated French Champagne. The daughter of Muscle Hill has ripped off five straight wins in progress to a 1:54.1 win in the $100,000 Kentucky Commonwealth final. She lands post six against Kentucky Sires Stakes champ Date Night Hanover, who will start from post four in rein to Brian Sears for trainer Marcus Melander.

Race 12 wraps the set with eight going to gate. Melanie Wrenn trainee Bonn will start from post eight as the 2-1 morning line favourite off a fourth-place finish in the $266,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes in rein to Peter Wrenn, who has the drive on Friday. The daughter of Tactical Landing squares off against seven others looking to breakthrough, including Dustin Jones pupil Draw The Line, who was fifth in the $425,000 Peaceful Way and fourth in a $90,500 Champlain division, as well as Green Mercedes, the fourth-place finisher in the Golden Rod Series final, from post one.

Three of the four divisions of the Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace go as “The Stay Hungry,” sponsored by the Stay Hungry Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms. Race 11, the third of the four divisions, is named “The Arlene Siegel Memorial Race” and is sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms.

Each division of Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Trot is named the Norman Woolworth Memorial presented by Arden Homestead Stable, ET Gerry and Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menhammer Stuteri AB, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables, Lawrence DeVan and William DeVan.

Friday’s card features 14 races in total beginning at 1 p.m. (EDT). The Red Mile offers a $5,000 guarantee on the Pick-5 pool, starting in race three and a $10,000 guarantee in the Pick-4 pool starting in race sox. Both the Pick 5 and Pick 4s feature an industry-low 12 per cent takeout.

(With files from The Red Mile)

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