By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY— A trio of divisions for round four of the Kindergarten Classic Series were held at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18, with 24 freshmen colts entered on the late stages of the weekday card.
First-time starter Whataworkout defeated 1/5 favorite Airman Batten in a 1:56.4 gate-to-wire effort.
Keystone Bodacious made a bid for the front, as well as Suit And Tie to the inside and Whataworkout taking the outer route towards the top. Keystone Bodacious broke as they began to turn, taking Suit And Tie out of contention, as well as impeding Airman Batten, causing him to run for a moment. Whataworkout trotted to the quarter in :30.1.
Strolling to a 1:00 (:29.4) half-mile, Whataworkout soon had Airman Batten challenging for command. True Blue Stride sat in the pocket third and Whom Shall I Fear tracked the favorite’s move from fourth. Stalled first over,
Airman Batten remained 1 ½ lengths off leader Whataworkout through three-quarters in 1:28.4 (:28.4).
Whataworkout began to extend his stride into the final eighth. Airman Batten backed into the pocket, admitting defeat to 48-1 Whataworkout in 1:56.4. Whom Shall I Fear finished third and True Blue Stride, galloping into the stretch, recovered his stride to finish fourth.
A $99.60 winner, Whataworkout is owned by Lindy Farms, trained by Frank Antonacci and was driven by Domenico Cecere. Sired by Muscle Hill, out of the Chocolatier mare Southwind Sofia, the 1:56.4 effort is a lifetime and season best.
French Laundry, sent off the 1-2 favorite, won by lengths in 1:54.4.
Special Action left from the center, with Image Of Luck sliding into the pocket, and French Laundry opted for the overland route as they rolled into the turn. Special Action had a slight advantage over French Laundry through a :29.3 quarter.
Clearing the lead in the backstretch, French Laundry coasted his way to the half, with Special Action now second, Image Of Luck third and P Mac Attack trotting fourth, nearly 5 lengths off the lead. French Laundry traveled past the half in :57.2 (:27.4) and three-quarters in 1:26.1 (:28.4).
P Mac Attack took to the outside after French Laundry, while Special Action and Image Of Luck continued to chase. Under minimal urging, French Laundry drew clear of his foes and won by 5 lengths in 1:54.4 (:28.3) over Special Action, Lucky Ten K and P Mac Attack.
Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, and trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, the son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall paid $3.00 to win.
Wicker Hanover, victorious in the third leg of the Kindergarten, returned to Lexington and claimed victory in the final division of the Kindergarten in 1:57.
Bighandsbiggloves got the lead, while Divisionist sat the pocket, Dapper Don trotted third and Boots N Chains stalked from fourth. The front quartet remained in that line-up through fractions of :29.1 and :59.2 (:30.1).
Boots N Chains pulled first over and engaged with Bighandsbiggloves for command. Wicker Hanover traveled second over while Divisionist sat the pocket.
After three-quarters in 1:29.3 (:30.1), Boots N Chains had a slight lead. Wicker Hanover fanned three wide, while Divisionist attempted to split horses. Wicker Hanover, in the final sixteenth, swept by Boots N Chains and won by a half-length in 1:57 (:27.2) over Boots N Chains, Divisionist and Bighandsbiggloves.
Owned by Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable, the son of Explosive Matter-Won An Done-Conway Hall is trained by Noel Daley and was driven by Kyle Bolon. He returned $6.40 to win.
French Laundry remains on top of the leader with 162 points. Wicker Hanover moved into second with 100 points and Airman Batten is third with 75 points.
Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22.