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International Stallion Stakes At The Red Mile

Published: October 3, 2008 7:05 pm ET

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A stakes-packed card of racing from the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky kicked off today with the first of five of five divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

The Jim Campbell-trained and Brian Sears-driven Dial Or Nodial sat off the early tempo and kicked home late to capture the first $89,320 division in 1:51.2, equaling his life's mark.

Lightning Elvis (driven by Mike Lachance) and Hay Goodlooking (Gates Brunet) took turns on the engine through the opening half, which saw the fractions cut in :27.4 and :56.4. Scottie C (Tim Tetrick) came first up and cleared in the third panel, having provided Sears and his victorious mount, a Western Ideal colt, a second-over tow.

After the 1:24.2 three quarters, Dial Or Nodial continued to chug along with authority, pacing away from the field in the lane and winning by open lengths.

"He's a really nice horse. He floats over the ground so easily and the speed comes naturally to him," said Campbell. "Everybody that has raced him says that he's just two fingers to drive."

Dial Or Nodial, a Bluegrass winner, has now won seven of his eight career starts. Best Dream Seeker (Luc Ouellette) finished second, while If I Can Dream (Ron Pierce) finished third.

Excelling off a strong first-over effort in the second $89,320 division, Cams Card Shark colt Fireintheshark gave a good showing of himself, pacing to a life's best 1:52.1 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim Campbell.

After leaving from the rail, Tetrick elected to let the colt race from well off the pace through the :27.4 opening quarter. By the time Sand Benelli (driven by David Miller) clicked off the half in :56.1, Tetrick was well on his way to the front, passing his foes with ease.

Having reached the pacesetter by the time the 1:25.3 three-quarters came to life, Fireintheshark charged home through the lane for the impressive score.

"I just wanted to sit back," said Tetrick. "Last week he was up close and I got jammed in and just got out too late, so I wanted for him to have plenty of room."

Sand Benelli held on for second, and after making a break behind the gate, Vintage Master (Ron Pierce) rallied for third.

The Jack Darling-trained Real Desire colt Carnivore was solid in the third $89,320 division, pacing to a wire-to-wire win in 1:52, as he raced as a heavy 1-5 favourite for driver Ron Pierce.

The Kentucky Sires Stakes champion and recent Bluegrass winner cut the fractions in :28.3, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before coming home in :27.1. Racing odds of 53-1, Hypnotic Blue Chip (driven by John Campbell) finished second. Upfront Hoosierboy and driver Andy Miller finished third.

"The race went really well for him," said Darling. "He's had a good week. I expected him to race, and he came up big."

Darling mentioned that the colt will be contesting the Governor's Cup at Woodbine Racetrack later this fall. Carnivore has now won six of his nine career races.

Annieswesterncard, the Western Hanover filly trained by Joe Seekman, was a judges' scratch from the contest.

Fresh off his World Record performance in the Bluegrass last week, the Mickey Burke-trained Real Desire gelding Sheer Desire captured the eventful $88,320 fourth division in 1:51.1.

With Dave Palone calling the shots, Sheer Desire got away fourth and sat there through the :28.2 opening quarter and 56-second half.

On the final turn, McLaren, who had gained the lead via a first-over move, made a break while on the engine. Palone had Sheer Desire first-over at that point, and had to tip his mount wide to avoid the breaker. Clearing to the lead near the 1:23.4 three quarters pole, Sheer Desire went on to cruise to victory. Pro Prospect (driven by Eric Goodell) finished second and Sir Arthur (Brian Sears) third.

"I don't know if any of us knew his was going to bounce today or not off of that [the World Record mile last week]," said Palone. "He did get a good trip, got up the inside and fired home last week, but I think today he showed that he might be for real.

"Today he roughed it up first over. I know there was some turmoil behind me there, but he did pace through the wire."

Sheer Desire has now won three of his four lifetime starts.

Ahead Of The Curve broke his maiden in the final division for the team of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Blair Burgess. The Real Desire – Latest Design colt slipped into fifth as Western Dakota (Dave Miller) posted the quarter in :28.3.

Down the backstretch, Ideal Danny (Andy Miller) rushed fourth-to-first and set a half in :56. When that time flashed up, Jamieson moved Ahead Of The Curve to the outside and they came first-over heading into the final turn.

Ahead Of The Curve drew within a half-length of Ideal Danny at the 1:24 three-quarters and off the turn, Ideal Danny experienced some steering problems. Miller corrected Ideal Danny, but Ahead Of The Curve had all the momentum on the outside and paced to a length victory in 1:51.3.

Born To Rockn Roll (Dave Palone) won the place photo over Ideal Danny.

Robert Burgess, Karin Olsson Burgess and Marsha Cohen co-own Ahead Of The Curve, who was a $40,000 yearling purchase. The colt was beaten only a neck in last week's 1:49.3 World Record mile by Sheer Desire. In eight starts, he is 1-1-2 with earnings of $73,437.

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