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KYSS Sophomore Prelims Conclude

Published: September 7, 2018 2:10 pm ET

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The third and last preliminary of Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for three-year-old pacers and trotters is set for Sunday, Sept. 9, at The Red Mile, with a first-race post time of 7:00 p.m.

There are two divisions for filly trotters and filly pacers and single heats for the male trotters and male pacers, and when the night is over the fields will be set for the $250,000 KYSS finals on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16.

It’s “Team Alagna” vs. “Team Takter” in the seven-horse contest for sophomore male pacers (Race 5). Trainer Tony Alagna sends out four starters, including second-leg winner American History, who starts from the outside post 7 with driver Yannick Gingras, while trainer Jimmy Takter sends out the other three starters, including first-leg winner Grand Teton (post 5, Takter driving) and two-time runner-up Thinkbig Dreambig (post 6, Jordan Stratton).

Respectively sitting in the top three positions in the standings, Grand Teton, Thinkbig Dreambig and American History are secure in their places for the rich final. Earning one point by starting on Sunday, Key Advisor and Legal Power will also advance. The Takter-trained Decoy (post 1, David Miller), making his first KYSS appearance this year, will need a top-five finish to guarantee a ticket to the big dance.

The Takter-trained Wolfgang and Tactical Landing are one-two in the standings among male trotters, and while the former will be in action in Sunday’s lone 10-horse contest (post 9, Gingras), the latter will sit this week out secure in his spot on the starting gate in the final. The race sees three newcomers -- American Moni (post 2, Takter), US Marshall (post 5, Brett MacDonald) and Classichap (post 6, Trond Smedshammer) -- who all have a chance to make the final with a good performance.

In the first of two KYSS divisions for filly pacers (Race 1), Hurrikane Empress is the lone prelim winner lining up behind the gate. Daniel Dube drives for trainer John McDermott Jr. The second split (Race 3) sees two-time prelim winner Dance Blue lining up in post 3 for driver Andy McCarthy and trainer Nancy Johansson, with first-leg winner Pure Paradise in post 2 for driver Chris Page and Brian Brown. Neverforgetwhour, who has finished second twice to Dance Blue, starts from post 4 for driver Elliott Deaton and trainer Anette Lorentzon.

In the first filly trot division (Race 2), the hopes for a sweep from defending champ Top Expectations (pictured above) will be hampered a bit as she drew the outside post 9 for driver Stratton and trainer Erv Miller. Bandol Rose, a 14-1 upset winner in leg two, starts from post 4 for trainer-driver Charlie Norris. Lily Stride, who finished a close second in last year’s KYSS final behind Top Expectations, will make her first 2018 appearance, starting from post 1 with Gingras driving for trainer Mark Harder. Lily Stride comes into the race off a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) championship on Sept. 2 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Live Laugh Love, a first-leg KYSS winner and fourth-place finisher in the PASS championship, starts from post 3 for driver David Miller and trainer Nifty Norman in the second filly trot division (Race 4). Her rivals include first-leg winner Urban Legend (post 1, Marcus Johansson) and Nixie Volo, who has finished third twice after starting from post 7 and will line up again in that same slot on the gate with Stratton driving for trainer John Butenschoen.

One interesting newcomer to the race is Supergirl Riley, who won the $180,000 Zweig Filly Trot on Aug. 17 at Vernon Downs and was third in the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot on Sept. 1 at Yonkers. Driven by Marcus Miller and trained by Erv Miller, Supergirl Riley was also entered in a New York Sires Stakes event on Friday, Sept. 7, at Saratoga Harness, but she was scratched in lieu of Sunday’s KYSS race. Supergirl Riley starts from post 6.

The KYSS championship card on Sept. 16 has a first-race post time of 3:00 p.m. The Fayette County Fair will run from noon until 6:00 p.m. Admission is free and the fair will include food trucks, local craft breweries, bourbon tastings and an arts and crafts market.

Several music acts will play on two stages (one inside and one outside), with rising country star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery, Avery Crabtree and Conch Republic among the performers. Montgomery is slated to perform on the outdoor stage from 4:00-6:00 p.m. The racing program will kick off with a horse parade of various breeds and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation will offer hands-on equine experience.

The up-to-date point standings for each KYSS division can be viewed by clicking here.


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