Special Way All The Way; Boys Blowout In Bluegrass

Special Way
Published: September 30, 2022 05:29 pm EDT

Ake Svanstedt pupil Special Way defended her Kentucky Championship crown on the high stage to decimate her competition in the third of three divisions for the $354,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes for freshman trotting fillies on Friday afternoon (Sept. 30) at The Red Mile.

Sent off as the 1-2 favourite, Special Way and Svanstedt secured the point from the pylon post to a :28.3 first quarter with Una Madonna tracking closely in second. Past a :57 half, Special Way continued unphased and unchallenged as Warrawee Yes sprung a three-wide bid to land first over on the rim around the final turn, but stalled going to three-quarters in 1:25. Walner Payton circumvented that cover coming off the corner and gave pursuit to Special Way into the stretch as she strode to a 2-1/4-length victory in 1:52. Secret Volo closed for third and Royal Filly finished fourth.

“It’s thrilling for us to have fillies like this, but particularly to share it with George [Segal] and Al [Libfeld] – the three of us love the sport and are heavily involved in it, but to be here in Lexington and enjoy the experience...it’s hard to describe,” said Marvin Katz, co-owner and breeder of Special Way. “It’s great to develop a line like that, which we have over a period of years, and it's very rewarding.”

George Segal, of Brittany Farms, then said “This is another [great memory]. Maybe the best trotting filly I’ve ever owned.”

Special Way, a Walner filly, is a homebred for Brittany Farms, Katz and Libfeld. She won her fifth race in a row and of her career from seven starts and has now earned $384,975. She paid $3 to win.

Railee Something scored a 16-1 upset in the opening division of the Bluegrass.

Driver David Miller floated Railee Something to the front toward a :29.1 first quarter, but soon sat the pocket behind odds-on choice Fashion Annie up the backstretch. That pair coasted to a :57.3 half as the tempo continued to quicken into the turn. Heart On Fire attempted to gain first over into the final turn but floundered through three-quarters in 1:26 before making a hasty retreat in the stretch. Meanwhile, Fashion Annie had one main threat on her back and soon at her side when the fresh legs of Railee Something drew to equal terms at the sixteenth pole. The tempo-setter gave into the pressure and Railee Something strode home a length winner in 1:53.2. Emira Mil It finished third and Kayleigh S closed for fourth.

“We thought she deserved the shot,” said owner-breeder Ron Mersky of trying Railee Something, runner-up in the Kentucky Commonwealth final, on the Grand Circuit. “[Trainer] Chris [Ryder] has done a wonderful job with her. We actually have her eligible for the Breeders Crown and next week’s race, but one at a time. We’ll assess it after this one.”

A daughter of International Moni, Railee Something has won six times in 11 starts and earned $196,306. She returned $34.60 to win.

Mambacita rebounded in her Bluegrass division off a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Championship final with a 1:53.2 win.

Life Itself led to the quarter in :28.4 but yielded command to Mambacita as driver Dave Miller circled the filly from the pocket to the point up the backside. She continued to roll through a :57.2 half and to three-quarters in 1:26 with Life Itself in tow and waiting to pounce. Though once Life Itself took her shot at the leader, Mambacita responded to urging and scooted away to a three-length victory. Pure Hope S gave chase off a pylon trip in third and Pride N Joy closed for fourth.

“She really has been a model of consistency throughout the year,” trainer Tony Alagna said after the race. “She started early [in the] New Jersey Sires [Stakes], and our plan was always to bring her down here. She went good through the Sires Stakes, got a little bit of a break, qualified her back, went to the [Kentucky Championship] final and then today she was probably as good as she’s been all year. I told Dave it looked like she’s back to her old self.”

Winning her third race from eight starts, Mambacita has now pocketed $276,312 for owners Alagna Racing LLC, Crawford Farms Racing and Pryde Stables Inc. of North York, Ont. She paid $5.04 to win.

Each division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes was sponsored in partnership by Arden Homestead Stable, E.T. Gerry and Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menhammer Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables, Lawrence DeVan and William DeVan.

Pair Of Boys Bag Bluegrass Blowouts

Of the three divisions for the $327,000 Stay Hungry Bluegrass Stakes for freshman pacing colts and geldings contested on Friday afternoon (Sept. 30) at The Red Mile, two were won in decisive fashion.

First with a knockout blow was Lyons Surfing, who slipped out of the pocket when the outer tier jumped and sailed to the finish a 5-1/4-length winner.

American Fling fired for the front to a :28 first quarter with Lyons Surfing protecting position from the pylons to sit second and Cannibal racing third. Bamboozler, the 2-1 favourite, flushed cover from Blue Lou into a :56 half but started to sputter around the final turn as Blue Lou pressed American Fling.

The leading pair clicked three-quarters in 1:23.3 while Bamboozler jumped and broke Ervin Hanover’s stride coming for home. But that incident opened a wide-enough seam for Lyons Surfing to peel out and power home to a 1:50.1 victory with Cannibal giving chase in second. Ervin Hanover recovered stride to finish third, beaten another three lengths, with American Fling fourth.

“He’s been very likeable all along,” trainer Jim King Jr. said after the race. “[He] hasn’t always done quite as much as I thought he should, but he’s been getting better and better. We like him. [Tim] said ‘This is what we’ve been looking for. He’s okay.’”

Lyons Surfing competes for owner Threelyonsracing of Brantford, Ont. The colt by Stay Hungry grabbed his fourth win from eight starts, lifting lifetime earnings to $163,587. He paid $7.66 to win.

Handlelikeaporsche visited the winner’s circle next with an in-hand 8-1/4-length victory in the second Bluegrass division.

Floating Handlelikeaporsche off the wings from post eight, driver Dexter Dunn failed to secure a position at the pylons into the first turn, so he pushed forward with the pacer into a :28.1 first quarter and grabbed the lead in the backstretch. The Lazarus N colt cruised by a :56.2 half and separated from his rivals as Dunn shifted gear with his charge to click three-quarters in 1:23.3. With the engines revved for home, Handlelikeaporsche rolled to the finish widening his lead to the end of a 1:50.2 mile as Gung Ho closed for second with Its My Show third and Macs Delight fourth.

Chris Ryder trains and co-owns Handlelikeaporsche with William Ezzo, Robert Mondillo and Barry Spak. The colt collected his second win from five starts and padded his bankroll to $179,000. He paid $4.46 to win.

Ryder returned to the winner’s circle in the final Bluegrass split when Admiral Hill survived on the lead to post a 1:50.4 victory.

Driver Dexter Dunn sent Admiral Hill to the lead but let Christchurch clear to a :27.4 first quarter before moving back to the lead. Snapping a half in :55.3, Admiral Hill attempted to snag a breather around the far turn while Mamba led the overland charge to three-quarters in 1:23.4. The field towered behind Admiral Hill straightening for the finish, but he staved all challengers to score a 1-1/4-length win over Mamba. Lousain Bolt closed for third and Stay Grounded settled for fourth.

“I guess we [did] pretty right with this fellow,” Chris Ryder said after the race on starting Admiral Hill in the Kentucky Golden Rod Series, in which he won the $50,000 final by seven lengths in 1:50. “We started at the bottom because he was a slow developer. I knew he had some talent, but he wasn’t showing us much and the experience did him a world of good. He just keeps getting better.”

A homebred for Tom Hill, Admiral Hill won his third race from six starts and has now earned $98,250. The son of Sweet Lou returned $4.10 to win.

Each division of the Stay Hungry Bluegrass Stakes was sponsored by the Stay Hungry Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms.

Racing resumes at The Red Mile on Saturday (Oct. 1) with a 13-race card highlighted by eight Bluegrass Stakes:

  • Sophomore pacing colts and geldings in two divisions of the $178,000 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes
  • Sophomore trotting colts and geldings in two divisions of the $237,000 Greenshoe Bluegrass Stakes
  • Sophomore pacing fillies in a single dash of the $150,000 Papi Rob Hanover Bluegrass Stakes
  • Sophomore trotting fillies in three divisions of the $242,300 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes

First-race post time is 1 p.m. (EDT).

(Red Mile)

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