Red Mile Grand Circuit Launches With Bluegrass Stakes
Lexington will showcase two divisions of the $259,000 Bluegrass stakes for two-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Many throughout this preview are eligible for the Breeders Crown (e).
Freshman leader Broadway Donna (e) heads the first of two eight-horse divisions, with six other hopefuls lining up next to her. However, the lone ineligible trotter, Catch All, should be a major value factor. Despite her breaking issues, she won the $46,750 American National at Balmoral Park in first-over fashion. She appears to have talent, but her gait will need to be maintained.
Peaceful Way runner up Celebrity Eventsy (e) is the one to beat in division two. She is up against a more balanced group in terms of class, compared to Broadway Donna. Yet, if Celebrity Eventsy is labeled a heavy favorite, All The Time should provide a good price. Even though she lost stride in the Peaceful Way stakes, her miscue is easily forgiven by her consistency, having four wins in seven starts, including the $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes and a division of the Tompkins-Geers and Reynolds Stakes. She was also second to Peaceful Way champion Caprice Hill in the elimination. She should benefit from being forwardly placed as well.
On Thursday, Oct. 1, The Red Mile continues with Bluegrass Stakes and with frosh-and-soph trotters. This time the frosh colts take to the gate in four divisions worth $70,000-plus.
Milligan’s School (e) paid off for us in a Peter Haughton elim and he has picked up four other checks, two for wins, since. This six-horse field may be stronger than his “Haughton” elim win, with Ake Svanstedt’s Metatron (e) already two wins for three starts and Rob Burke’s Make Or Miss (e) ready to gun for a second win.
But with two wins, a place and a show in eight starts, Chuck Sylvester’s Waitlifter K (e) could be the overlooked of the sextet and certainly may have better chances than his odds to take this.
In round two, Jimmy Takter’s Honor Above All (e) has a great shot to break his maiden for the best share of $72Gs and will do so at a decent price in a sex-horse field that includes probable public choices Desert Runner and Hollywood Highway.
Two sets of six Bluegrass affairs are next with soph- and frosh-colt trotters. For the soph division, Manthaka looks to suck in all the win wagers with six wins in eight starts, battling Takter’s Lagerfeld, the top money-earner with only a par of wins. Take a good look at Sutton, however, who may make up for three place finishes that should have added to his two wins with a victory here.
In the Bluegrass nightcap, seven frosh-colt trotters hope for a huge check. Svanstedt sends another hot youngster out in Dupree (e). With only one win in six tries, he has earned the most of the seven. Action on Petrossian As is near guaranteed as well.
But from post 1 comes Labatt Hanover (e) in only his third start. He has won his maiden and comes into this for trainer Nikolas Drennon looking like he has to prove himself. We will take him as he shoots for improvement among six that may have already shown the best they have this season.
Follow major BC hopefuls on their road to the Breeders Crown at Woodbine at the Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, with archived reports on the results at the Hambletonian Society web site.