By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
Round three of the Kindergarten series was contested on Thursday, September 11 at The Red Mile, with four divisions, compiled of forty freshmen filly trotters in all, carded for the weeknight action.
The opening division was taken by 30-1 shot Bee The Queen, doing so in a career best 1:56 over a good track.
Leaving the gate, Bee The Queen secured forward position as Sweet Thing, from post 7, began to make a move to the front. Clearing past a quarter of :28.3, public-choice Allerage Star then made her move towards the front, taking control at three-eighths.
Bee The Queen was shuffled to third and sat 2 ¾ lengths off the leader, Allerage Star, through a :57.4 (:29.1) half-mile.
Into the far turn, driver James Stiltner II pulled Bee The Queen first over and began to pursuit the lead. Past three-quarters in 1:27.4 (:30), she was up to the throat of Allerage Star. As Sweet Thing faltered behind them, Bee The Queen powered by the 3/5 favorite to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:56 (:28.1) over Allerage Star, Sarcy and Murderers Row.
A filly by Donato Hanover, out of the mare Bee Line by Self Possessed, Bee The Queen paid $62.00 to win, with the exacta returning $127.20 on a $2 investment. She is owned by Alfred Ross and trained by George Ducharme.
The second division saw another long shot, Waiting Room, foil the public choice at odds of 41-1 in 1:56.1.
Waiting Room was among a trio of leavers, with favored Lilu Hanover and Bright Baby Blues, from post 10, also heading to the front. Lilu Hanover was the pacesetter through a quarter in :28.3.
While Waiting Room remained in the pocket, Lady Clarabella traveled first over, with Josie’s Joy drafting behind her. That duo parked as Lilu Hanover remained in control through a :58.3 (:30) half.
Heading to three-quarters, Lilu Hanover was 1 ¾ lengths clear of pocket-sitter Waiting Room as they passed that station in 1:28.1 (:29.3). Encouraged for trot, Lilu Hanover did not respond in the stretch while Waiting Room popped out of the pocket, as well as Bright Baby Blues from third. Waiting Room gained control while Bright Baby Blues stalled to her outside. Waiting Room remained in front at the finish, winning by a half-length over Bright Baby Blues, Lilu Hanover and Bright Eyes in a lifetime-best 1:56.1 (:27.3).
Paying $85.60 to win, Waiting Room is by Credit Winner, out of the mare Wedding Dress by Muscles Yankee. She is owned by Andy Miller Stables Inc., Little E LLC, and Lawrence Dumain, trained by Julie Miller and was driven by Charlie Norris.
Gold Cora ironically defied the odds, winning the third division as the 3/5 favorite in 1:57.
Gold Cora secured command at the inside, but Aarena Hanover brushed by to take the lead heading to the quarter. Classical Annie tucked into third and Morcredit Bluechip was
fourth through a :28.4 quarter.
Driver Mike Lachance sent Gold Cora back to the front and cleared the lead with ease approaching the half. He was uncontested through a :58.3 (:29.4) half-mile.
Into the far turn, Morcredit Bluechip took to the outside, but stalled as Gold Cora maintained a 1 ¾ lengths lead passed three-quarters in 1:28.2 (:29.4). Aarena Hanover attempted to slingshot out of the pocket, while Classical Annie was gradually gaining ground three wide. Aarena Hanover dropped out of the battle from in between horses and Gold Cora, despite getting a little rough-gaited in the stretch, held off the bid of Classical Annie to win by 1 length in 1:57 (:28.3).
Rob Key owns the filly by Encore Encore, out of the mare Striking Gold K by Striking Sahbra. Trained by Rich Gillock, she paid $3.20 to win.
With the break of 4/5 favorite Saturday Mornings, Rules Of The Road sat a perfect trip to slide by race leader Pad Princess to win at 19-1 in 1:57.
Rules Of The Road and Pad Princess left the gate well and battled for control through a :29.3 quarter. Approaching three-eighths, Pad Princess cleared the lead while Rules Of The Road drafted in second. Pad Princess led past the half in :57.4 (:28.1).
Wordie Hanover was flushed first over entering the far turn and gradually made his way to Pad Princess. The two were neck-and-neck through a 1:28 (:30.1) third-quarter.
Wordie Hanover stalled first over and Pad Princess began to drift off the pylons, leaving room for Rules Of The Road to squeeze through and win by 1 length in 1:57 over Pad Princess, What Ru Going Todo, and Meadowbranch Lulu.
Owned by Arden Homestead Stable and trainer Janice Connor and driven by Chuck Connor Jr., the daughter of Muscle Hill, out of the mare Right On Renee by Andover Hall, paid $41.00 to win.
Bee The Queen currently leads in the standings with 108 points, while Lady Clarabella sits second with 100 points and Allerage Star is tied for third with 75 points to Josie’s Joy.
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.