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Bluegrass Series Continues

Published: September 29, 2012 1:00 am ET

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A trio of $108,700 divisions of the Bluegrass Series for two-year-old pacing fillies and four $101,000 splits for two-year-old trotting colts were featured on Friday night at The Red Mile.

In the opening filly split, Richard and Joanne Young's world champion I Luv The Nitelife (Brian Sears) went over the $500,000 mark in season's earnings with a late rally that took her to a 1:52.4 triumph over Belle Boyd (Ron Pierce). Miss Madi M (David Miller), who led for most of the mile, finished third.

The winner is a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune, trained by Chris Ryder. It was her fourth win in eight trips behind the gate. The overwhelming 1-5 favourite of the public returned $2.60 to win.

I Luv The Nitelife was gapping as she followed the first over cover of Belle Boyd on the final turn, but when she hit the top of the stretch she was all business and got up at the last possible moment for the win.

"Yes, I noticed the gap in cover," said trainer Chris Ryder. "That never really satisfies me very much, but being the good filly she is, she did what she had to do and won -- which was tremendous.

"She's on a winning roll, she's making money, and made a lot of money pretty quick."

The middle filly Bluegrass division saw Ritascape and driver Jody Jamieson win for the fourth time in six trips behind the gate, hitting the wire first in a lifetime best 1:52.2. UF Dragons Queen (David Miller) was second and Want Answers (Tim Tetrick) was third.

Owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler and South Of The Tracks Racing, the Artiscape-Rita J miss is trained by Homer Hochstetler. She more than doubled her career earnings to $89,319.

Ritascape got away fourth, but had to come first over on the final turn, then got up between pacers at the wire for the narrow win.

"Homer just told me you kind of have to watch her," said Jamieson. "She puts the odd shuffle step in, which she was doing quite a bit over on the last turn. He said if you drive her and keep the bit in her mouth, she'll pace right through it and she did. She was very good.

"I didn't want to be first up. I didn't think there was any way I would be first up when I looked at the program. But as it turned out these other drivers got me in that situation.

"But she was game right to the wire, with a neck to spare."

The final filly division went to Brittany Farms' Nikki Beach, who came flying down the lane from way back to score in a time of 1:53.2. Wherethegirlsare (Ron Pierce) was second and South Pacific (Dave Palone) finished third.

The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Wisdom won for the fifth time in nine lifetime starts, lifting her career bankroll to $240,049. Tim Tetrick drove the winner for trainer Tony Alagna.

South Pacific cut the fractions in this mile, taking the field to the quarter in :28, the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:26.1. But she was no match for Nikki Beach in the lane as the winner followed the cover of Wherethegirlsare on the final turn and kicked loose late to post the victory.

"She's been a pleasure right from the get go," said Myron Bell of Brittany Farms. "She got a little sick on Tony about two months ago, but she's come back with a vengeance now. She's very good."

In the opening trotting colt division, Thomas Brice and Charles Receski's Major Athens rallied in the final strides to nip the previously unbeaten Mystical Dew (Tyler Smith) in a time of 1:56.3 over a 'good' track. Pine Credit (Lewayne Miller) was third.

Brian Sears was in the bike behind Major Athens ($4.80), who is trained by Rich Gillock. The victory was the seventh in 10 lifetime starts for the homebred son of Andover Hall-Miss Athens, who took his lifetime bankroll to $299,856.

"I think I bit off all my fingernails," said co-owner Thomas Brice of watching the late rush of Major Athens. "He's been in the lead most of his races and tonight it was a race from behind. It shows he can come from behind.

"We're just happy to have Brian being our driver and Rich Gillock is a great trainer for us. So we've been real lucky this summer. He'll hopefully race [at The Red Mile] next week in the International [Stallion Stakes]."

In the second Bluegrass colt division, Noel Daley's All Laid Out and driver James Rattray came flying down the stretch to nip My Man Can (Andy Miller) in a time of 1:57.1. Heavilly favoured Fashion Blizzard (Jim Morrill Jr.) checked in third.

The win was the second in four lifetime starts for the son of Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall, who is also trained by Noel Daley. All Laid Out has now earned $57,875. He paid $24.60 to win.

The third Bluegrass colt division saw Diamond Creek Farm's Creatine and Hall of Fame reinsman Mike Lachance hit the wire first in 1:57.1 over Broadway Prince (James Rattray) and Your So Vain (Tim Tetrick).

Trained by Bob Stewart, the son of Andover Hall-Berry Nice Muscles won for the third time in six trips behind the gate, lifting his bankroll to $56,400 thanks to the lifetime best score.

Creatine was the early leader in this mile, hitting the quarter in :30.1, then yielded to Caveat Emptor who cut middle fractions of :59.1 and 1:28.4. But Creatine found racing room down the middle of the track and got to the lead late to post the winning score.

"I wanted to sit close to the front, but not in front," said Lachance. "So it worked out good that I could get out in the last turn. I had a lot of luck involved, but we still got it done.

"Right from the start when I baby raced him at the Meadowlands, I told Bobby [Stewart] that I liked that colt. He's big, but he's immature. But he's got the speed and he's got a good head on him. I really think that next year as a three-year-old he could mature into a very nice colt."

In the final colt division it was Jerry Graham's Punxsutawney ($4.80) who took advantage of a second over trip on the final turn to reach the wire first in 1:57.2. Deadliest Catch (John Duer) picked up the place cheque, with Crazy About Pat (David Miller) third.

Tim Tetrick was in the bike for trainer John Butenschoen as the Glidemaster-Sunseeker Kosmos colt won for the second time in eight trips behind the gate. He has now earned $138,465.

"John's trained him all winter," said owner Jerry Graham. "I looked at him in the sale book and I asked John to go look at him. John liked him so we bid on him."

(With files from USTA)

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