Clear skies are forecast for the next few days in Lexington, setting the stage for more intriguing two-year-old racing in the International Stallion Stakes. Friday brings with it nearly $600,000 in purses for the taking.
The INSS events begin in the second half of the Daily Double, where two razor sharp fillies come in off of wins in last week’s Bluegrass series.
Nikki Beach, a homebred Brittany Farms lass by the sensational Somebeachsomewhere (represented by 8 of the 22 entrants in the stake) is over $240,000 in earnings for the season and used a flawless cover trip from Tim Tetrick to score a handy win last Friday. She hails from the powerful Tony Alagna stable.
Ritascape had to rough it and wore down a stubborn UF Dragons Queen to score in a personal best of 1:52.2 with Jody Jamieson doing the driving for owners South of the Tracks Racing Inc, Connie and Homer Hochstetler (also her trainer).
I Luv The Nitelife returns for week two for Richard & Joanne Young in race four. This Rocknroll Hanover filly is over a half million this season and scored last week with a :26.3 panel on the end of a 1:52.4 jaunt. Brian Sears has been chosen by trainer Chris Ryder for her U.S. races and they matched up beautifully in the Bluegrass.
The pacing fillies are right back with perhaps the most competitive division in Race 5.
Novascotia Hanover is another Somebeachsomewhere debutante with a quiet $150,000 to show for her nine appearances in 2012. She is owned by the partnership of Susan Castelli, Reed Broadway and trainer Randy Bendis with Sears listed.
Wherethegirlsare boasts impeccable bloodlines, by Somebeachsomewhere from world champion filly Cabrini Hanover. She’s been a winner once in six tries for the Takter barn and owners David Willmot and Clay Horner. South Pacific and Canary Island complete the quartet of Somebeachsomewhere fillies with talent in this one.
Trotting colts are back as well in four divisions, starting in the third race. It took All Laid Out every foot of the long Red Mile homestretch to track down the very game My Man Can for driver James Rattray last week, but he got there. Noel Daley owns and conditions that Yankee Glide freshman.
Fashion Blizzard will likely assume the favourite’s role in race six. The imposing Fashion Farms homebred by Credit Winner was the New York Sires champion and lacked a clear lane in his last. Jim Campbell trains and Jimmy Morrill drives the winner of over $260,000.
Punxsutawney trotted to a solid score in last week’s stake and will provide completion for the top choice here for owner Jerry Graham, trainer John Butenschoen and driver Tetrick.
Race ten offers another look at Pine Credit and his underexposed yet talented young driver, Lewayne Miller. Lewayne, but 25 years of age, has been under the watchful eye of trainer Erv Miller (no relation) and has shown patience and talent in primarily the upstate New York arena. He and Pine Credit have clicked and are both on the way up.
Race Secretary Billy Perkins has saved the best for last on this occasion with the eleventh race on the menu just loaded with talent.
Major Athens has had a great campaign for owners Tom Brice and Ed Receski, who were in attendance for his off the pace Bluegrass triumph last week. Major Athens has collected just shy of $300,000 this season with Rich Gillock conditioning and Brian Sears the primary pilot.
Creatine was also a Bluegrass winner for local talent Bobby Stewart and Diamond Creek Farm and looks for more in the INSS. One of the more remarkable performances at Delaware on Jug day was Dontyouforgetit’s 1:55.3 world record in the Standardbred stakes for trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Solveig’s Breeders. He has drawn into this division as well and is reunited with driver Yannick Gingras who has won several stakes with the Cantab Hall colt.
Friday’s races have a 1:00 p.m. post time.
(The Red Mile)