Gillis Doubles Up In Bluegrass

09-29-18 Race 1 LYONS NIGHT HAWK.jpg
Published: September 29, 2018 11:02 pm EDT

Woodbine-based trainer Jeff Gillis grabbed two victories in the five divisions of the $367,000 Western Ideal Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace Saturday, Sept. 29 at The Red Mile, winning with Lyons Night Hawk and Lyons Johnnyjnr.

Lyons Night Hawk advanced first over to the top rounding the final turn and maintained control from rivals barreling into competition late to take the first division of the Bluegrass in 1:50.2.

Dancin Lou dashed for the lead with Buddy Hill away second and Rock Candy, the 3-5 favourite, third. Rock Candy edged off the rail and brushed for the lead past the :27.3 opening quarter with Captain Trevor following suit and eventually clearing command to the half.

Positioned fifth, Lyons Night Hawk moved first over through a :55 half with Sugar Factory on his back. The son of Sweet Lou marched towards pacesetter Captain Trevor and slid by to the top past the 1:23.4 third-quarter. Rock Candy tipped out of the pocket and lunged through a seam towards the pylons to finish a neck back in second while Sugar Factory, kicking three wide into the stretch, settled for third. Captain Trevor held fourth.

Owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyons Night Hawk won his second race from nine starts, earning $136,071. Tim Tetrick drove the $8.00 winner.

Gillis and Tetrick took the following division as Lyons Johnnyjnr pushed through the inside to pull a 21-1 upset in 1:52.1.

Captain Victorious took command with Lyons Johnnyjnr away second and Loutenant sitting third. Proof, the 1-9 favourite, paced sixth past the :28 opening quarter before sliding off the cones in search for cover. American Mercury, positioned fifth, flushed first over and carried the two-wide flow towards the pacesetter through a :57.4 half.

American Mercury dug into Captain Victorious rounding the final turn. Proof, second over, gapped cover slightly while Lyons Johnnyjnr paced tightly in the pocket by three-quarters in 1:25.3. Captain Victorious remained on the front through the stretch but Lyons Johnnyjnr, with a slight opening, crept to the lead at the pylons in the final strides to win. Captain Victorious held second from Loutenant, rallying from off the rail, in third and Proof, with a belated stretch bid, settling for fourth.

Returning $45.00 to win, Lyons Johnnyjnr, a colt by Well Said, won his second race in nine starts, collecting $108,718 for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound.

Trainer Brian Brown also doubled up on the card when his Captaintreacherous colt Workin Ona Mystery remained unbeaten in his fourth pari-mutual outing with a 1:50.3 performance in the fourth Bluegrass division.

Blood Money made the lead early with Tim Tetrick putting Workin Ona Mystery into the pocket. Passing the quarter in :27.3, Workin Ona Mystery promptly popped pocket and circled to the top before hitting the half in :56.1.

Fabrice Hanover attempted a pursuit first over heading into the final turn but continued to chase as Workin Ona Mystery paced to three-quarters in 1:24.2. Blood Money tipped out of the pocket into the stretch and chased the leader alongside Arties Ideal firing through the pylons. Workin Ona Mystery accelerated into the final sixteenth and widened his margin heading to the wire as Arties Ideal edged Blood Money for second.

Compiling $69,400 in earnings for owners James Stambaugh, Alan Keith, Milton Leeman and Wingfield Brothers LLC, Workin Ona Mystery returned $3.00 to win.

Air Force Hanover took his competition wire to wire and gave Brown his first of two Bluegrass wins on the night in the third division timed in 1:51.

Driver David Miller sent the Brian Brown-trained son of Somebeachsomewhere to the front with Waterway securing the pocket and No Mas Amor positioned third. Past the quarter in :27.4, Air Force Hanover maintained a hot clip to the half as Mangogh, from fourth, moved first over through the :55.4 clocking.

Mangogh gained ground first over but remained two lengths off Air Force Hanover by three-quarters in 1:24.1. Air Force Hanover continued on the lead through the stretch as Mangogh forced the pace but finished second ahead of Waterway third and Can’t Beach That sweeping into fourth.

Winning his third race in nine starts, Air Force Hanover, owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and William Donovan, pushed his career bankroll to $103,888. He paid $4.20 to win.

Surging off cover, Covered Bridge collared pacesetter and 4-5 favourite Love Me Some Lou in the final sixteenth to take the last division of the Bluegrass colt pace in 1:52.

Odds On Boca Raton led early with Bicorne Hanover circling to the front and Love Me Some Lou moving first over from third. Love Me Some Lou brushed to the lead after a :28.1 opening quarter and took the field to the half in :56.2 while Cub Fan began a first-over bid with Covered Bridge on cover.

Cub Fan drew closer to Love Me Some Lou moving around the final turn as Covered Bridge mounted his move to three-quarters. By that station in 1:25.3, Cub Fan quickly gave way into the stretch and driver David Miller unleashed Covered Bridge towards the center of the track, swooping by Love Me Some Lou to win. Black Smile, from last, closed for third while Bicorne Hanover took fourth.

Owned by David Smith and James Giannuzzi, Covered Bridge, an American Ideal gelding, won his third race from 11 starts, earning $116,259. Jessica Okusko conditions the $9.60 winner.

Sent the 1-9 favourite, Nancy Johansson trainee Kissin In The Sand floated towards the front past the quarter and progressed under minimal pressure to a 1:50 score in the $126,000 American Ideal Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Pace.

Baron Remy rushed to the lead from the center of the track with Double A Mint pushing for position towards the inside and Kissin In The Sand unhurried into third. Kissin In The Sand cleared command following a :28 opening quarter and quickened the pace as Cuts Like A Knife, parked from the start, continued first over into second and through a :55.2 half.

Cuts Like A Knife faltered into the final turn, leaving a gap for Baron Remy to pull out of the pocket while also forcing second-over Dance Blue three wide. Kissin In The Sand faced no challengers past three-quarters in 1:23.2 and scooted clear into the lane under pursuit from Baron Remy, who held second from Dance Blue rallying through the center of the track. Double A Mint shot through the pylons for fourth and Im Trigger Happy rounded out the super high five.

Owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, Kissin In The Sand, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, won her ninth race in 13 starts this season and her 16th in 27 overall while surpassing $900,000 in career earnings. Scott Zeron drove the $2.20 winner.

Grand Circuit action continues at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 29 with the first matinee card of the meeting. The program features sophomores in stakes action as the filly trotters compete in three divisions of the $206,000 Cantab Hall Bluegrass Stakes, the colt trotters in two splits of the $242,000 Explosive Matter Bluegrass Stakes and the colt pacers contest in two divisions of the $183,000 Somebeachsomewhere Bluegrass Stakes.

The Pick 5 had no winners on Saturday night, carrying $3,328.87 into the pool Sunday. Sunday’s Pick 5, a 50-cent minimum wager covering races two through six, will have a $15,000 guarantee.

First-race post Sunday is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT).

(With files from The Red Mile)