By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY— A cavalcade of freshmen colt trotters gathered at The Red Mile to compete in four divisions of the $383,600 International Stallion Stakes over a slightly wet track on Friday, October 3.
Aldebaran Eagle, heading to the pylons right at the gate’s dispersal, got a perfect trip, and slid up the pylons to win at 106-1 in 1:55.1.
Whom Shall I Fear took the lead from Aldebaran Eagle through a :29.3 quarter, with The Bank trotting on the outside in pursuit of the lead. The Bank was the tempo setter to the half, passing that station in :58.2 (:28.4).
Southwind Stryker applied pressure from first over, while Centurion Atm tracked his cover. He was sent three wide after The Bank through a 1:27.4 (:29.2) third-quarter.
Centurion Atm gradually gained ground down the center of the course, while Whom Shall I Fear snuck by a drifting The Bank. Aldebaran Eagle had room to trot at the inside, and managed to sprint up that crevice to defeat Whom Shall I Fear and Centurion Atm in 1:55.1 (:27.2).
Paying $214.80 to win, the son of Muscle Hill-Letsjusttalkaboutme-Self Possessed has earned $72,962 this season, breaking his maiden with his 1:55.1 victory and lifetime best. He’s owned by Aldebaran Park, trained by Jonas Czernyson, and driven by Corey Callahan.
“I was just going to take a chance,” driver Corey Callahan said. “This was one of the stiffest divisions, but I’ve liked this colt all along. From the first day I baby-raced him, he felt like he was something special. He just hasn’t been wanting to pass [horses], so today, I figured I was going to get out of there, get away [near the lead.”
Pinkman defeated the unbeaten Billy Flynn in 1:53.3.
Crazy Wow set the tempo, while Pinkman stalked from second and Whataworkout sat third. Billy Flynn began his brush to the top after a :27 quarter.
Billy Flynn cleared control approaching the half, but was soon contested by Suit And Tie, traveling first over. After a :55.2 (:28.2) half, Billy Flynn began to edge away from Suit And Tie.
Remaining in control after a 1:25.2 (:30) third quarter, Billy Flynn appeared home free in the stretch. Out of the pocket came Pinkman, beginning to rally down the center of the track. Billy Flynn was kept to his task, but Pinkman had more trot and trotted by to win by a half-length in 1:53.3 (:28.1).
Returning $10.00 to win, and $19.20 for a $2 exacta (over Billy Flynn), the son of Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster-Angus Hall has earned $70,835 this season, and set a lifetime best with his 1:53.3 effort. He’s owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joe McClelland, and Herb Liverman, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Yannick Gingras.
“I was very confident in my horse,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “When I raced him in Delaware, I really liked him. I put him on the front here [at The Red Mile], and he wasn’t quite as good; he wasn’t a big fan of that. I got lucky to get out [of the three-hole] at the top of the stretch, but I knew he’d give me a good kick if he did.”
Cruzado Dela Noche traveled wire-to-wire through the misty atmosphere, winning in 1:53.4.
Cruzado Dela Noche set opening fractions of :28.1 and :57.2 (:29.1) with French Laundry coasting in the pocket. Around the far turn, pressure came from Sugarmakesmecrazy, as well as Big Rich, traveling three wide. Cruzado Dela Noche held control through three-quarters in 1:26.1 (:28.4).
Cruzado Dela Noche held onto command despite drifting off the pylons. French Laundry tried to seep up the fresh gap and claim victory, but Cruzado Dela Noche held onto the lead sternly and won by a neck in 1:53.4 (:27.3). Muscial Rhythm finished third, and Sugarmakesmecrazy was fourth.
Sent off the 9/5 second choice, the son of Muscle Massive-Alidade-Credit Winner paid $5.60 to win, with the $2 exacta (over the 8/5 favorite) returning $14.20. Owned by Courant AB, trained by Nancy Johansson, and driven by David Miller, he’s now earned $135,540 this season. His 1:53.4 victory is a lifetime mark.
“I was actually leaving to see if I could get a spot [near the lead], just to see how the race went,” driver David Miller said. “He was getting to the front, and they left him alone. He had a lot of trot finishing.”
“He [French Laundry] sounded like he had a lot of trot behind me,” David Miller also said, in regards to the stretch drive. “My horse still felt pretty good; I hadn’t asked him yet [to trot], and he raced very tough.”
Walter White sat in the pocket for the whole mile, and snuck up the pylons by pacesetter Special Action to win in 1:56.1.
Special Action set fractions of :28.2 and :58.4 (:30.2) while in control. Amicus applied pressure to the leader around the far turn, with Shoot The Thrill tracking second over, and Divisionist, after breaking at the start, trotting three wide. The fractions remained slow past three-quarters in 1:28.1 (:29.2).
Special Action tried to hold off a duo of closers, Explosive Drama and Fashion Creditor. Walter White found room at the inside to get into contention, and it was soon Walter White sticking his nose in front of a sprinting Explosive Drama. Walter White was victorious by a nose with Fashion Creditor finishing third, and Special Action fourth in 1:56.1 (:28).
A son of Cantab Hall-Muscaloosa-Muscles Yankee, Walter White is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and R A W Equine, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras. His 1:56.1 win is a lifetime best, and his win pushes his bankroll to $106,887.
“It was a little bit tight turning for home, but all he [Walter White] needed was racetrack,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “I wanted to be up-close [to the leader], but I didn’t want to be on the front. Last week, I put him on the front, and he felt really good at the top of the stretch, but he got a little tired.”
Muscle Diamond was gradually carried into the race, and flew by his competition in the stretch to win in 1:53.4.
Piercewave Hanover was uncontested on the lead. Iron tracked from second, and On The Sly raced third. Piercewave Hanover set fractions of :27.3 and :56.1 (:28.3) before challengers began their march.
Pierre traveled first over around the far turn, but was still nearly 3 lengths off of Piercewave Hanover. Piercewave Hanover continued in control passed three-quarters in 1:25 (:28.4).
Piercewave Hanover soon lost the lead to Pierre in the stretch. On The Sly edged off the rail and began to close, while Muscle Diamond was trotting down the center of the course. Muscle Diamond took the lead, with Boots N Chains flying into second. On The Sly held third, and Pierre settled for fourth, as Muscle Diamond flew up to win in 1:53.4 (:28.4).
Owned by Charlie Keller III, Charlie Keller IV, and trainer Brett Bittle, and driven by John Campbell, the son of Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane has earned $110,039 this season, with his 1:53.4 victory serving as his lifetime best. He paid $4.60 to win.
“Once we put the hopples on him, he’s just a little more steady with his gait,” driver John Campbell said. “He’s really just a nice, little horse. He’s very professional for a two-year-old, and he’s raced good, and finished every race really strong.”
“I wasn’t that far back,” Campbell also said, in regards to his second-over trip. “Before we came off the turn, I saw David [Miller on Pierre] was gaining on Yannick [Gingras on Piercewave Hanover], so I wasn’t in any hurry to get off David’s back at that point.”
Live racing resumes on Saturday, October 4 with the $288,000 International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old colt pacers, the $220,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial for three-year-old filly pacers, and the $436,600 Tattersalls Pace for three-year-old colt pacers. First race post is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT.
Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. Keep track of all happenings on the Grand Circuit with our Facebook page: The Grand Circuit.