Freshman Extravaganza At The Red Mile Has Future Stars Aboard

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

October 7th, 2020

Grand Circuit action is the next stop for the divisions’ stars and those looking for late-season fame. The Red Mile is the stage again, with big purses and more hope for beating the best in the 2020 Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park. Our never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list reflects opportunities in the harness hinderlands.


The reflection of the Bluegrass Stakes for freshmen at The Red Mile is the International Stallion Stakes (ISS), beginning Oct. 9. This program presents two-year-old colt trotters ($86k) and filly pacers ($109k).

The fillies begin on the day’s program with a field of seven. It’s a tough bunch, with Test Of Faith , Caviart Audrey and Marsala Hanover the top earners in that order. This could be a good betting race if the money is spread out, leaving Test Of Faith with reasonably higher odds than expected from a seven-wins-in-eight-starts filly. Clearly the best, “Faith” has a mighty late blast and there is enough speed in here to compromise those gunning for the top with duels and shuffling.

Seven ISS colt trotters go in their first round next. Our Mohawk Million choice, the French-sired Venerate, faces a stronger field but has hit his stride, which is a powerful place to be at this point in the stakes season. Julie Miller’s colt is next to being gigantic and it would be no surprise if he commanded this field from start to finish. A short price can be expected and it is your choice to evaluate it.

Another frosh-filly pace episode follows, with Ron Burke’s Blue Diamond Eyes standing out as the obvious favorite. However, here we see an upset possibility from Fire Start Hanover. Nifty Norman’s meal ticket has long been filly pacers and this one is improving. She is one of the last daughters of the ill-fated Somebeachsomewhere and looking dangerously good as she nears three.

Eight more colt-trotting youngsters get going next and we are staying with last week’s BG choice, Jack Fire. He surprised the crowd, finishing second, but the son of Cantab Hall (the underrated sire) also comes from the Norman barn and will offer a strong win price against his foes, who are loaded with trot.

The third and final ISS for all is for colts. Eight tightly matched, well-bred boys with dreams of the Hambletonian Trail, make for a fair betting race as the lightest of the three colt miles. These guys have either not won yet or broke their maiden status. Five of them are by Muscle Hill, so no advantage there. Only one, Fly Light, is by leading sire in the division, Father Patrick. It’s in the hands of Ake Svanstedt and should have a slight edge here. Unfortunately, bettors should see the edge and bet the colt down. Still, the low price could be an overlay.


Two-year-olds continue battles in ISS action at The Red Mile on Oct. 10. There are four splits for the frosh-filly trotters (75k each) and a trifecta (99k) for the frosh-colt pacers.

Fillies begin on the program with seven to post. Although Svanstedt’s Flawless Country is the top earning youngster, Nancy Takter’s Insta Glam will take plenty of money to keep her main rival from strong favorite. Both will keep Mike Palone’s Gimme Shelter from getting into the top betting position. The Rolling-Stones-song-named filly by Father Patrick has a chance to steal this one, if even by a nose.

Fillies’ ISS two puts seven on the scarlet mile surface. We offer a bet-back Takter gal, Aunt Irene. Trixton-sired progeny are spiking the sire standings and this one has the trainer’s sire aboard, though that is an observation more than any measurable advantage.

The third fillies ISS is next on the program, again with seven to the post. Miller’s Gotta Believe is lightly raced and already loaded with finish photos. Like the probable favorite (Anoka Hanover), Gotta Believe is by Hambo-champ Donato Hanover, the most experienced in this young group and super earner for Noel Daley. The duo may take the exacta either way.

The colts’ first of three ISS adventures offers eight to the gate. We are out on a limb with this, going with the Brian Pelling bet-back Beach Party. Every Pelling entry needs be a contender; he can turn horses around quicker than a merry-go-round (and toss a good price with them) and there is nothing special about the accomplishments of the other seven.

The final filly ISS of the season is eight gals but only one by Cantab Hall. Our favorite trotting sire (due to his fabulous history of pricey winners) presents Mazzarati, who has won three of seven and is trained by Lucas Wallin, he a name not many bettors consider star quality. That’s good for an outside contender’s price that has to beat product taught by the likes of Svanstedt, Burke, Norman and Melander. Driver Tim Tetrick must think so too, accepting to drive this Mazzarati.

Eight colts go in the penultimate ISS of the program. The speed badge set by Joe Holloway’s Perfect Sting in a BG last week, his seventh straight win, will attract the majority of win bettors. We have an outside contender with a brighter price promise—Billy Clyde. This Ray Schnittker special is a Always B Miki colt that has merely three starts (one win, one show). We do not know just how fast this colt can race from the front or from behind. It’s our leap-of-faith bet, considering the possible talent and the obvious standout involved.

The ISS finale for the program is the last colt episode. We will again take the leap, but this time with a Takter-trained son of Always B Miki, confusingly named Always A Miki. The genuinely talented sire is producing better and better members of his own sex and could be better competition for the obvious best in this field than anyone would care to admit before he wins and delivers a good number.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.


10/10/20, Rear View Blue Chip R6; Determined R8
10/8/20, +Casino Cash R2; +Colition R7; Windsun Missile R11

10/8/20, High Gear No Fear R2; Bluebird Deacon R7; +Virgo R13
10/9/20, Genie Rockwell R2; +Roll With Time R11; Island Of The Sea R12

10/9/20, +Hell Patrol R6
10/10/20, Blood Line R10

10/9/20, +Kolt Power R3; Vega Star N R5; Maor Nemesis R8; Dracarys Z Race 10

10/8/20, Humble N Kind R3; Rock Icon R7; +Six Roses R9

10/9/20, +On The Tab R5; Skyway Bebop R7
10/10/20, My Partner Finn R2

10/8/20, +Skyway Kon Man R9

10/9/20, Caviart Caterina R4; Dontstopbelivn N R6; Free Exchange R7

10/10/20, My Lindy Winner R2; Smooth Aceleration R7

Red Mile
10/9/20, +Dip Me Hanover R2
10/10/20, +High Baller R11

10/9/20, Southwind Moroccan R3