By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY— A trio of Kindergarten divisions highlighted the latter part of the Thursday night card at The Red Mile, with round three of the freshmen trotting series attracting 29 colts.
Indiana-native Airman Batten bested series-leader French Laundry as the 1-2 favorite in 1:57.1.
Driver Lewayne Miller protected the pylons with Airman Batten as French Laundry was in pursuit of the front. After tucking into the pocket, Airman Batten passed the quarter in :30. Slowing the tempo to the half, Boots N Chains brushed to the lead from sixth. Airman Batten yielded to the 22-1 shot in 1:01.2 (:31.2).
Airman Batten was patient around the far turn, pulling out of the pocket once passed three-quarters, which was timed in 1:30.2 (:29). Airman Batten slowly made his way passed Boots N Chains, who was drifting far off the pylons. French Laundry attempted to close at the inside, but settled for third as Airman Batten was a length winner over Boots N Chains in 1:57.1 (:26.4).
A colt by Swan For All, out of the mare Ladylike Volo by Yankee Glide, Airman Batten is owned by Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and Greg Gillis and is trained by Erv Miller.
He paid $3.00 to win.
Wicker Hanover sat patiently in the mid-pack and swept by his competition in the stretch to win in 1:57.
P Mac Attack took command, with True Blue Stride tucking into the pocket and Ferragamo progressing first over. Past a quarter in :28.2, Ferragamo went on to take control. P Mac Attack sat behind as Ferragamo passed the half in :57.4 (:29.2).
Into the far turn, True Blue Stride broke from third as P Mac Attack angled to the outside with Wicker Hanover on his tail. Ferragamo was starting to lose his stride at three-quarters in 1:27.3 (:29.4).
P Mac Attack inherited the front upon Ferragamo’s break in the stretch. Wicker Hanover fanned three wide and trotted by for driver Andrew McCarthy and won by 2 lengths at the finish over Cinnabar Hall, Ss Poseidon, and P Mac Attack in 1:57 (:29.2).
Wicker Hanover is by Explosive Matter, out of the Conway Hall mare Won An Done. Owned by Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable Inc. and trained by Noel Daley, he paid $9.40 to win. This was the first win of his career.
In the final division, Musical Rhythm sat at the pylons for the whole mile and found room in the final eighth to score in 1:56.4.
First-time starter Iron showed speed, with Bighandsbiggloves getting away second and Musical Rhythm in third. Iron passed the quarter in :28.4. He was uncontested up to the half, timed in :59 (:30.1).
Suit And Tie pulled first over from fourth around the far turn and was stride-for-stride with Iron heading to three-quarters. Iron had a slight advantage through three-quarters in 1:28.4 (:29.4).
Suit And Tie had a nose in front at the top of the lane, while Iron fought on towards the inside. Musical Rhythm slowly eased his way up the inside and took control approaching the finish. He won by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:56.4 (:28) over Suit And Tie, Iron and Bighandsbiggloves.
Musical Rhythm is by Cantab Hall, out of the Valley Victory mare Musical Victory.
Owned by Mystical Marker Farms, In The Gym Parnters, Joe Sbrocco and T. Massey, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, he paid $13.80 to win. The 1:56.4 mile is a lifetime mark for Musical Rhythm.
French Laundry remains on top of the standings with 112 points, while Wheels Ah Smokin maintains second at 58 points and P Mac Attack is third with 55 points. Airman Batten, making his Kindergarten debut, is tied for fifth between Suit And Tie and Habitat at 50 points.
The fourth preliminary of the Kindergarten series has been moved from Friday, September 19 to Thursday, September 18. Declaration time is at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, September 15.