Autumn Aglow With Red Mile Action; Dayton Delivers Derbies

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

October 1st, 2015

The weekend focuses upon the autumn theater at Lexington, Kentucky, where division champs meet for the Grand Circuit Bluegrass stakes at The Red Mile. 

This week, the Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC) blog enters October, the month that will present the series of championships races. We will continue to handicap important races at the exclusive in league with the Hambletonian Society and follow through with the elims and finals. This week we cover Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile in the first of the two-week Grand Circuit meet at the Kentucky harness track.

Our sub-features take place in Ohio at the current meeting at Dayton Raceway. The track’s namesake open pace and trot invite older horses from the national scene to battle for six-digit purses on Oct. 3.

As well, our horses-to-watch list (H2W) parades suggested contenders that may not be mentioned in other public-handicapping forums. Our H2W horses are great for win, place, show and exotic plays. Please consider them when putting together your tickets. And at Hoosier Park, which is included in the list, TwinSpires account-holders can play for profit and points.

Dayton Derby Day

Dayton Raceway offers this season’s top older trotters and pacers a pair of high-stakes events, luring many of the stars in their divisions. It begins with the trotters.

For $135,750, the Dayton Trotting Derby Grand Circuit Stake will find eight FFA trotters on edge at the gate. If top betting honors should be shared by a few here, will that leave the mare, Shake It Cerry, at an appetizing price (se is the morning-line choice, believe it or not). She has struggled a bit as an elder but Jimmy Takter keeps her in the game and here she faces a field she could topple with little support from the public. Takter has placed her perfectly. Exotic action with value, using “Cerry,” should involve Obrigado, which on a good night could take this whole mile his own.

The $138,500, the Dayton Pacing Derby Grand Circuit Stake has attracted the division’s big dog, State Treasurer, who was beaten by Doo Wop Hanover, who leaves from the far outside in this contest. State Treasurer will fill the win pool, especially with Ohio’s favorite driver, David Miller, in the bike. “Doo Wop” could be second choice even with his post and Ron Burke’s All Bets Off will get sufficient action to keep him in the top three. Of course that is, if the public lays off of Shamballa, who is in a great spot for an upset. Things will have to go his way but that’s the preferred scenario to get our price.

The Green On The Bluegrass

Freshmen swarm The Red Mile this first week of the Grand Circuit stakes. On Friday, Oct. 2, six high-priced Bluegrass Stakes feature two divisions of green-pacing guys and gals.

The three filly divisions are worth $81,000 each. Seven go in division one, all represented by top sires. Call Me Queen Be’s bankroll is largest of the group and may be the choice. She is the “now” filly, coming from great performances. The Takter brand is here with Ivy League, the filly from Takter’s great mare See You At Peelers .Our attention is drawn to Brian Brown’s Tipton Teeze, a good earner and winner of half of her eight starts. She should be improving and has the competition to show it.

The next seven in the filly triptych will most likely be trying to beat Pure Country, Takter’s undefeated pacing gal. She towers over these in earnings from six wins. Ross Croghan’s Upside Surprise is the most lightly raced of this group and deserves a shot at a big Kentucky mile and will certainly pay well should she excel here.

The last of the filly Bluegrasses for this program features another seven with the familiar trainers behind them, except for Wine Snob. Bob Stewart’s filly has been very competitive and could be better than these and up her earnings big time with a win, as well as pay supporters a decent mutual.

the first colt Bluegrass (each is $97,400) presents its best of eight from the outside. As well, a more diverse trainer roster sends the boys out. From post 8 comes Tom Canciliere’s I’m Some Gratuate, who will get supported well regardless of leaving from the far right.

We like the 7, Beach Ogre, trained by Ray Schnittker, and we hope he drives (Tim Tetrich is listed at post time on both colts mentioned) because that will raise the odds significantly. These two have shown they know how to win; the others have just broken their maidens. Hopefully, trainer brands will allow the Schnittker colt to get looked over.

In round two we find Mindtrip, who we backed in the Elevation last week at Hoosier. He was terrific, almost winning at 9-1 against American Passport. With three seconds he has earned over $52Gs, better than some of the winners here. He should be a good price again.

The last colt pacing Bluegrass of the card features another octet, headed by Ideal Rocky from the rail. Overlooked may be Manny, who is three for eight in the win column and shows a great deal of admiration for the two-turn mile. Trainer Jessica Okusko doesn’t have many at this level, so you can bet, literally, this one will be pushing the fractions.

Bluegrass Glamour

Sophomores line up at The Red Mile on Saturday, Oct. 3 for their Bluegrass Stakes events. Each division of gaits and sexes features some recognizable competitors in the round of stakes preceding the divisions’ harvest—the Breeders Crown.

Filly trotters fight in two $72,000 divisions. In the first, Mission Brief tunes up for Woodbine, taking on far less than she has beaten through the season. Six defy her with little argument of success. An upset? Livininthefastlane could surprise off of a solid cover trip and if something goes terribly wrong with the best.

The second filly trot presents favorite Wild Honey. Sharp and rich, I’m So Fancy will get support, leaving Noel Daley’s Katniss with an outside chance at a good price. This is a good group to buy into a scenario where the few top ones develop a stage for an upset.

Glamour-girl pacers have three $62,000 splits on tap. Six go in the first split, with Joe Holloway’s Bettor Be Steppin most likely atop the win-bettors’ list. Considering the weakness of this year’s Jugette, we will insist Wicked Little Minx can do better here and be worth a win price.

Episode two for the soph gals also brings us back to a “Jug”-week failure. Bedroomconfessions races well, though losing, in Ohio and we will take her right back in this extremely soft field of six.

Finishing the glamour-girl trio of Bluegrasses brings a field of seven, each an on-again-off-again winner. The favoritism may go a few ways but once again the tried-and-true season of great returns from The Show Returns, deserves another chance to ignite. This is just the kind of contest she may find a chance to take advantage of an inconsistent bunch.

Crazy Colts

Two soph-colt trots in the name of Bluegrass offer purses of $109,500 and $110,500 respectively. Don’t look for Pinkman; the gelding may be back in next week’s Kentucky Futurity before the trek to Woodbine but he is resting this week.

Takter trotters are here, though. There are Walter White and The Bank. Crazy Wow returns and so does Donatomite, tuned up by Trond Smedshammer to keep his gait strong. However, the troubled Billy Flynn could find his stride for trainer Staffan Lind in this contest. Staying flat and out of trouble, he could end the eight-race losing skein of his disappointing soph season.

Takter sends out Uncle Lasse from the rail in the second soph-colt affair. On the outside he launches another good earner, Whom Shall I Fear. But lightly raced and late-blooming Muscle Diamond could have a good trip and a good price as he coasts to the Canadian cavalcade. His price? It is your judgment how worthy it presents itself, considering his changes are great.

The boy pacers go for $90Gs-plus in a pair of stakes without the presence of the division’s star cast. Of course In The Arsenal is happy most of his treacherous foes are gone and he will be winging to take this as easily as possible. From the inside, however, we could back a storyline that gets National Seelster the upset victory, certainly at a deserved price.

Episode two is a chance to once again back Revenge Shark while the adoring fans of Dude’s The Man pound the win pool. Revenge Shark had no chance battling from behind in the Jug but returns to a mile track and a few foes that are bound to be short without the advantage of the magic inside path at Delaware, Ohio. This victory would make sitting through a replay of the Jug with a win ticket on “Shark” a pleasure.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


10/2/15, Wrangler Potogold R6; Shes A Ladro R8

10/1/15, Every Day ae R3; Perfect Circle R8; Spirit Of America R8
10/3/15, Astor Shark ae R7

9/30/15, +Pandas Image R10
10/1/15, +Luann Dunn R5
10/3/15, +Action-broadway R4; +Hanky L R5

10/1/15, +Niyama R2

10/1/15, +Amber Fella R12

9/30/15, +Victors Hall R2; +Churita R13; +I Request R14
10/1/15, +Hoosier Image ae R6; +Bluebird Reverend R13
10/2/15, +Sandysgoldenhour R10
10/3/15, +Always A Fighter R6

10/1/15, +So Reserved R7; +Mcgroots R10
10/2/15, +Major Degree R1

10/2/15, Braggin Hanover R2; +Hagitha R14

10/2/15, Power Stick R2; MA Duty R4

9/30/15, +Red Rock R12

9/30/15, +Alwaysafirstime R14
10/3/15, Eveil Dun Champion R1; White Mountain Top R3

Red Mile
10/2/15, Canepa Hanover R2; +Twinspeak R10

0/2/15, +Molon Lave R2

10/2/15, Pair Of Deuces R2
10/3/15, Rules Of The Road R7

10/2/15, +Sumatra R11
10/3/15, +Mr Hasani N R5; +Lyonssomewhere R10

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition