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Freshmen Trotting Fillies Square Off In Lexington

Published: September 30, 2008 2:00 pm ET

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Harness racing action is underway once again at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, and this afternoon's card of racing will shine the spotlight on two-year-old trotting fillies as they battle in five divisions of the International Stallion Stakes.

Margarita Momma and driver Ron Pierce lulled the first $74,600 division to sleep by setting tepid fractions of :29.1 and :59. Pierce hit the accelerator around the final turn and took the field to the three-quarter station in 1:27.4 before sprinting home in :27.2 en route to an easy win in 1:55.1.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Yankee Glide miss, who defeated One Tough Girl and the 3-5 favourite, Windsong Soprano, who picked up the catch-driving services of Trace Tetrick. The Bob McIntosh trainee was scheduled to be paired up with Steve Condren, but his flight was grounded as a result of bad weather.

Trainer Jan Johnson, who co-owns Margarita Momma with Jorgen Jahre Jr. of Sandefjord, NOR, has watched the filly put together a 5-0-3 record in nine starts. The $50,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase has banked $210,662 to date.

Up Front Annika gave Ron Pierce back-to-back stakes victories thanks to her 1:55.1 score in the $74,600 division of the International Stallion Stakes.

Pierce had the Andover Hall miss on the engine through an opening quarter in :29 seconds before giving way briefly to Celebrity Deville. Up Front Annika quickly popped off the rail for the retake at the mid-way point in :57.4 before cruising past the three-quarter station in 1:27.1. A 28-second closing panel earned her the 1:55.1 decision over race favourite Southwind Wasabi. All Star Hanover was third.

Kelly O'Donnell conditions the $62,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase for partners Ed Mullinax of Amherst, Ohio and Murray Brown of Hanover, Pennsylvania. The victory gives the filly, who is named after Brown's granddaughter, a 2-2-1 record in seven starts. Her earnings climbed to $88,581 with the win.

Musical Mystery took full advantage of an inside trip to take home the hardware in the third division, winning in a career-best clocking of 1:56.2 for the duo of trainer Ron Gurfein and driver John Campbell.

Campbell cut the opening quarter in 28 seconds with the Cantab Hall filly before releasing her stablemate, Dover Miss, to the top. That Ron Gurfein trainee laid down middle fractions of :56.3 and 1:26.3 before giving way in deep stretch. Musical Mystery swung out three-wide for the stretch drive and rallied for the narrow score.

Gift Card, who won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last week, turned on the jets late to finish a fast-closing second. Dover Miss was a bang-up third.

Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky bred and owns the filly, who has put together a 5-2-0 record and earnings of $143,337 in her first eight starts.

A costly miscue in the first turn by Honorable Daughter, who took a 6-for-6 record into today's assignment, threw the door wide-open in the fourth division and Seaside capitalized on the favourite's mistake.

In rein to David Miller, the Jonas Czernyson-trained daughter of Yankee Glide was allowed to sit off the leaders until being asked to step to the top as the field rolled past the half-mile marker. Miller rolled the filly past the three-quarter pole in 1:26.4 and she went on to win handily in a time of 1:56 over OK To Play and Grand Cameron.

Thomas Dillon of Anson, Maine holds the papers on the seven-time winner, who upped her lifetime earnings to $164,454 with the victory.

Missys Doubt Fire earned a new speed badge when she toured the Lexington oval in a time of 1:57.2 in the final division of the International Stallion Stakes for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter.

The daughter of Cantab Hall sat in mid-pack throughout the early stages of the mile before rolling to the top as the field moved into the final turn. She tripped the teletimer at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.1 before dishing out a :29.1 final frame to seal the deal. Neiths Song was second and B Nicki finished third.

The $140,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, who is owned by Deseks Ab of Oslo, NOR, has banked $110,729 to date. The filly has assembled a 2-3-2 record in 10 starts.

The Tuesday afternoon program proved to be a productive one for Hall-of-Fame reinsman Ron Pierce, who made seven trips to victory lane.

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