By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY— In the premier afternoon card of the annual Grand Circuit fortnight, sophomore filly trotters were in the spotlight, as they competed in two divisions of the $173,400 Bluegrass Stakes.
With Cooler Schooner setting fast fractions, Cee Bee Yes coasted in the pocket, passed her into the stretch and dueled with Hambletonian Oaks-winner Lifetime Pursuit, ultimately getting her neck in front to win in a world record of 1:50.2.
Cooler Schooner took control with ease, while Cee Bee Yes sat in second and Lifetime Pursuit in third. The top trio remained in that order as Cooler Schooner set splits of :27.4, :53.2 (:25.3), and 1:21.4 (:28.2).
Galloping at the top of the stretch, Cooler Schooner was passed by Lifetime Pursuit, with Cee Bee Yes circling by, too. In the final eighth, Lifetime Pursuit had a slight advantage on Cee Bee Yes, who trotted alongside, then by the world champion filly, to christen her has a champion in 1:50.2 (:28.3).
Owned by Jason and Doug Allen, trained by Julie Miller, and driven by Scott Zeron, the daughter of Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee-Enjoy Lavec paid $115.40 to win, with the $2 exacta, over 1/9 favorite Lifetime Pursuit, paying $217. This victory pushed Cee Bee Yes’s career earnings to $339,532.
“I didn’t expect her to be the fastest of all-time, but I knew the race would set up with fast fractions,” regular driver Andy Miller said, whose been sidelined due to a race injury sustained in April. “She’s a very tough filly. Scott [Zeron] did a great job getting her into the race. He was patient, then he got her home.”
“In this business, you always throw the audible, but we would talk to Ron Allen and see the plans,” trainer Julie Miller said in regards to Cee Bee Yes’s retirement at the end of the season. “I would think she’d be a great mother.”
Shake It Cerry, clearing the lead before the half, strode through the stretch to win in 1:51.2.
The other Takter-trainee in the field, Scream And Shout, took the lead, while My Inspiration got away in second and Shake It Cerry in third. After a :27.2 quarter, Shake It Cerry made her move.
Controlling the pace through a :55.1 (:27.4) half and 1:23.2 (:28.1) third quarter, Shake It Cerry kicked clear of Scream And Shout chasing in second, while Chivaree Hanover was rallying down the center of the course into second, and My Inspiration weaved her way into third. Shake It Cerry crossed the line in 1:51.2 (:28).
With career earnings of $1,405,205, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide is owned by Solveig’s Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Ron Pierce. Paying $3.00, her 1:51.2 mile is a lifetime best.
“The filly [Shake It Cerry] took me around there [The Red Mile] on her own,” driver Ron Pierce said.
“I just sat there, just a passenger.”
“She sure felt like it to me,” Pierce also said in regards to Shake It Cerry’s sharp form. “I was saying ‘Whoa girl, whoa, girl,’ and she was thinking I was saying ‘Go girl, go girl.’ I could have let her trot and easily broke the world record, but I didn’t see any sense of it; we have the Breeders Crown coming up, the [Filly] Futurity next week. There are still some major races for her.”
Live racing will resume on Thursday, October 2 with the $300,000 International Stallion Series for two-year-old filly trotters. The entry box will be open until 9:30amEDT on Monday, September 29.
Post time for that card is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT.
Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness.