By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
The Red Mile showcased the top two-year-old colt trotters and filly pacers on their Friday matinee, with the $223,900 International Stallion Stakes for the fillies and the $260,500 International Stallion Stakes for the colts.Muscle Network broke Muscle Hill’s world record mark of 1:53.3 in the first International Stallion Stake of the day, trotting his mile in 1:53.2.
Master Kemp left fast for command, with Shift Into Glide at his flank and Odds On Amethyst tracking the duo from third. Shift Into Glide cleared the lead just before the quarter and was soon challenged by a parked Odds On Amethyst at the quarter, in :28.1.
Odds On Amethyst cleared the lead shortly into the backstretch. From seventh, Muscle Network tipped first over and began a furious bid two wide. Odds On Amethyst was bracing for the challenge of Muscle Network at the half in :55.4 (:27.4).
Master Kemp, having been shuffled to fourth, tracked the cover of Muscle Network around the far turn. At three-quarters, Jody Jamieson pulled the plugs on Muscle Network and passed that station in 1:24.4 (:29).
With a couple taps of the whip, Muscle Network lifted flight upon the field. He was 4 lengths in front on his way to the wire and grew that margin to 4-and-a-quarter lengths to win the first International Stallion Stake in 1:53.2 (:28.3). Monkey Man closed to finish second, Shift Into Glide was third and Odds On Amethyst faded to fourth.
Muscle Network ($12.40) is a two-year-old colt by Muscle Hill, out of the mare India Hall by Garland Lobell. He is owned by Frank Bellino, trained by Tony O’Sullivan and
Jody Jamieson was the pilot.
“It probably never happens [breaking your maiden in a world record,” trainer Tony O’Sullivan said. “You would have to check the record books, but I don't think it's ever happened.”
“I went a slow trip with him down in Vernon; he qualified and he seemed like such a natural trotter with speed. We hit some bumps at Vernon and we brought him down here to see what he could do. All week he just kept getting better and better.”
“He's been enjoying jogging on this track all week and he has looked sharp. He's a beautiful horse and he certainly has everything to suggest, maybe not a world record, but that he would be a talented individual. We will take him to the farm down in New Jersey and then take a shot at the Breeders Crown.”
The fillies broke an international standard as well in their stakes competition. Precocious Beauty, the division’s current leader, completed the act, equaling the world record of 1:50.1, set by I Luv The Nitelife last year.
Precocious Beauty got the lead, with I Need Hotstuff getting away in second and Delightful Dragon in third. Precocious Beauty passed the quarter in :27.2. She cantered her way to the half unpressured, yet clocking that station in a speedy :54.4 (:27.2).
Uffizi Hanover came first over from fifth and was applying a challenge to Precocious Beauty heading to three-quarters. Unthreatened by the pressure, Precocious Beauty passed three-quarters in 1:22.3 (:27.4).
Doug McNair kept Precocious Beauty to her task, as she continued her mile-sprint into the stretch. Uffizi Hanover was left to give chase, while Lasting Appeal was closing from second over into third and I Need Hotstuff trying to hold on to fourth. Precocious Beauty shortened in stride entering the sixteenth pole, but managed to stop the clock in 1:50.1 (:27.3). Uffizi Hanover finished second, Lasting Appeal was third and Delightful Dragon got fourth.
Precocious Beauty ($2.80) is a two-year-old filly by Art Major, out of the mare Precious Beauty by Jate Lobell. She is owned by James Avritt, trained by Gregg McNair and son Doug McNair sat in the bike.
“I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic or anything in the back,” driver Doug McNair said. “I floated out and guys were just getting organized, so I revved it up into the first turn and she did everything from there. She’s versatile. There are a lot of good horses out there and very few great ones; she’s definitely one of the great ones. It’s great to be down here and be part of [the Grand Circuit] and to get to drive a filly like that is the cherry on top.”
“I started out over 50 years ago in this business with a $300 mare, and we’ve come from there,” owner James Avritt said. “I could get used to this.”
“My dad was high on her all winter,” Doug McNair said. “The first time I drove her was when she qualified and I couldn't really tell about how good she was, but I knew in her first start. She is very talented, but lazy. She likes to wait on them. Today she had her head to the side and did the same thing, so you have to watch her but she is a very nice horse.”
Two more divisions were contested for the freshmen trotting colts, with the second going to Outburst, returning from his world record mile last week to score in 1:54.4.
Muscle Midas got the lead, while Outburst tucked into the pocket and Gangio was racing in third. Muscle Midas led by the quarter in :28. Outburst soon took to the outside and cleared the lead just before three-eighths. He was left unchallenged at the half in :56.3 (:28.3).
Il Sogno Dream pulled first over from fifth at the half. It Really Matters was tracking his move into the far turn. Il Sogno Dream had marched his way to Outburst’s wheel, but soon began to retreat as Outburst was accelerating. Muscle Midas remained prime in the pocket as Outburst passed three-quarters in 1:26 (:29.2).
Outburst had a stampede ready to contest him into the stretch. Muscle Midas edged out of the pocket and began narrowing in on the leader. It Really Matters tipped three wide and began his charge. Outburst dug in through the wire, holding on to win by half-a-length in 1:54.4 (:28.4). Muscle Midas was second, It Really Matters was third and Auspicious Hanover rallied for fourth.
Outburst ($3.00) is a two-year-old colt by Explosive Matter, out of the mare Exquisite Lady by Supergill. He is owned by Adam Victor and Son Stable, Mirva Bogucki and Noel Daley, trained by Noel Daley and Ron Pierce was in the bike.
“This will set him up perfectly for the Kindergarten [Series], as he has two weeks before that race," trainer Noel Daley said. “He trains funny on the front at home and that's one of the reasons I had to geld him. I didn't really want him out there [on the lead], but I didn't tell Ronnie [Pierce] that because I figured it would probably happen, as he was 1-2. I was pleased with him today, he was good.”
The final colt division was won by E L Titan, fighting off a game Trixton to nip him at the wire in 1:53.4
Speak The Truth launched off the gate, but made a break entering the first turn. Hillustrious took command, while Trixton refused to tuck into the pocket. E L Titan was racing in third and Raise The Curtain was in fourth. Hillustrious led by the quarter in :29.1.
Trixton cleared the lead into the backstretch. He was left unchallenged as he passed the half in :57 (:27.4). E L Titan popped out of third and began a charge towards the leader. Hillustrious was keeping up in the pocket and Raise The Curtain entered the two wide flow heading to three-quarters. E L Titan and Trixton were stride-for-stride at three-quarters in 1:26.1 (:29.1).
The tussle on the lead continued into the stretched. Trixton was all-out, as was E L Titan on the outside. The two gained instant separation on Hillustrious entering the final eighth as the pace quickened. In the final quarter sprint, E L Titan emerged better over Trixton, with Hillustrious finishing third and Raise The Curtain was fourth.
E L Titan ($5.20) is a two-year-old colt by Muscle Hill, out of the mare Courtney Hall by Garland Lobell. He is owned by Erkki Laakkonen and is trained and driven by Riina Rekila.
"He is big, strong and a nice horse," trainer Riina Rekilla said. “It's very special to win here; all my friends from Finland are here. We will take him to the Valley Victory if he comes out of this well, but will skip the Breeders Crown because two weeks is too soon. He's usually very quiet in the paddock at home, but he has been wound up here. Also he was wide for most of the mile and I'd like to give him some time. He is a special horse to me.”
A duo of filly pace divisions for the International Stallion Stakes were contested on the card, as well. The opening division crowned Allstar Rating a Grand Circuit champion, pacing a 1:51.2 effort.
Beach Body got the lead, while Allstar Rating tucked into second and The Beach Nextdoor paced into third. Beach Body led by the quarter in :28.1. Allstar Rating did not hesitate in the pocket, pulling to the outside and was slightly stretched out by Beach Body before the half. She cleared command and the two wide flow remained non-existent at the half in :55.2 (:27.1).
The first over cavalcade commenced into the far turn, with Barefoot Beauty taking the bait from Beach Gal behind her. Barefoot Beauty made slow progress towards Allstar Rating on their way to three-quarters. Beach Gal was carried into the race and Beach Body was caught with no racing room at the pylons. Allstar Rating still held command at three-quarters in 1:23.2 (:28).
Allstar Rating had pressure on her march to the wire. Barefoot Beauty appeared to be stalled first over, as was Beach Gal in her three wide bid. Beach Body tried to sneak up the pylons, but soon pulled back in a jerk. Barefoot Beauty and Beach Gal were left to give chase into the sixteenth pole, as Allstar Rating crossed the wire in 1:51.2 (:28). Barefoot Beauty finished second, Beach Gal was third and Beach Body was fourth.
Allstar Rating ($4.80) is a two-year-old filly by Four Starzzz Shark, out of the mare Credit Rating by Western Hanover. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stables, trained by Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras was the driver.
“She’s learning,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “She was a little bit green on the front today, but I was happy with the way she raced. If they were moving along faster [early in the mile], I would have been content to sit there, but you can’t get away with easy fractions. I thought on paper it was a two-horse race, so I thought if I could steal it, I might as well take it.”
The second division was referred to by announcer Sam McKee as “the closest finish in Grand Circuit history,” as a quintet of freshmen fillies were only separated by a nose in their International Stallion Stake. My Lady Day emerged an upset winner, somehow splitting horses with little room to win in 1:52.1.
My Lady Day sprinted off the gate and was at the pylons before the first turn. A La Notte Hanover was up to pressure and grabbed the lead before the quarter. Somethinincredible was racing third and Rosie De Vie was in fourth, as A La Notte Hanover passed the opening panel in :28.1. She had no interaction heading to the half, strolling by in :56 (:27.4). Rosie De Vie was prepared to take her shot, tipping first over into the far turn. Anegada was racing second over and in fourth, while My Lady Day was getting a pocket ride. Rosie De Vie was on equal terms with A La Notte Hanover at three-quarters in 1:24.2 (:28.2).
After her fierce first over journey, Rosie De Vie continued to pressure A La Notte Hanover on the lead. Anegada tipped three wide, while My Lady Day had no room to pace. Instant Respect fanned off her cover from third over and was five wide coming after the leader. A La Notte Hanover within a matter of strides began to slow down into the sixteenth pole. In a miraculous bid, My Lady Day practically played bumper cars to weave her nose in front, just as the shine of the wire was with them. A fast closing Instant Respect was second, Anegada finished third and Rosie De Vie was fourth.
My Lady Day ($19.80) is a two-year-old filly by Western Ideal, out of the mare Economic Clout by Artsplace. She is owned by Val D’or Farms, trained by Joe Holloway and Andy Miller sat behind.
“I always have a little confidence, but it was a good race and at the wire there were five of them across; I couldn’t separate them,” driver Andy Miller said. “It was very tight until right down late and then I got my wheels pushed through. She went a really good effort today. She put her nose out today.”.
“We always knew she had plenty of pace and that was never a problem,” trainer Joe Holloway said. “She was lightening up the last eighth of a mile and Kentucky has that new rule on Lasix, so I figured why not try her on it? She definitely improved. She might race once more this year, we will see. I can't take her to the Breeders Crown because Pennsylvania allows Lasix for two-year-old Thoroughbreds, but not for Standardbreds. So we are going to keep her on the Lasix and just race her in the states that allow it. She is sound and doesn't have a breathing problem.”
Live racing continues tomorrow at The Red Mile, with Captaintreacherous matching up with rivals Vegas Vacation and Sunshine Beach in a division of the Tattersalls. The Glen Garnsey Memorial and International Stallion Stakes also headline tomorrow’s racing action, with a matinee post of 1 PM.