By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY— A trio of divisions for the $253,700 International Stallion Stakes (ISS) for two-year-old filly pacers was contested at The Red Mile on Friday, October 3 over a slightly wet track.
She’s A Great Lady winner Jk She’salady traveled first over and easily paced by her rivals to win her division of the ISS in 1:50.2.
Hillary’s Style and Heavenly Bride started fast, with Heavenly Bride taking control into the first turn. Bettor Be Steppin, getting away third, pulled to the outside after a :27.1 first quarter.
Gaining control in the backstretch, she progressed to the half in :55.1 (:28). Jk She’salady edged to the outside from fourth, with Bedroomconfessions riding her cover. Jk She’salady gradually approached the leader around the far turn, eventually taking command at three-quarters in 1:23.3 (:28.2).
Bettor Be Steppin chased Jk She’salady from second, with Heavenly Bride racing third and Bedroomconfessions hanging in fourth. Jk She’salady remained clear and in control to the finish, winning in 1:50.2 (:26.4).
A daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady-Presidential Ball, she is owned by 3 Brothers Stable, trained by Nancy Johansson, and driven by Yannick Gingras. Now earning $421,025, she paid $2.10 to win. She remains undefeated in her eight pari-mutual starts.
“She likes to race that way [off the pace], and we’ve never tried her on the front, so there seems no reason to change it,” driver Yannick Gingras said.
Sassa Hanover, fresh off a victory in a $96,200 division of the Bluegrass, equaled the world record of 1:50.1, set by Jk She’salady at Mohawk, in her ISS victory.
Crescent City circled Deli Beach to take control through a :27 first quarter. Ideal Nuggets soon pulled first over from third, with Divine Caroline tracking her move. Ideal Nuggets cleared the lead, and was soon shuffled to second as Divine Caroline gained control. Sassa Hanover, traveling third over after the quarter, was left uncovered through a :54.3 (:27.3) half.
Sassa Hanover cleared the field around the far turn, while Divine Caroline chased in second. The duo edged away from the rest of the field at three-quarters in 1:22 (:27.2).
Sassa Hanover was still in control, but was soon pressured by a pocket-move from Divine Caroline.
Sassa Hanover was game in holding off Divine Caroline, doing so in 1:50.1 (:28.1).
Bankrolling $254,451 this season, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover-Allamerican Native is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and Larry Karr, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Yannick Gingras. She paid $3.00 to win.
“Yannick [Gingras] didn’t like the trip he worked out for her [Sassa Hanover], but he said she was strong and dug in and was happy with the effort, though,” trainer Ron Burke said.
Bettor N Better brushed to the top after the half and continued towards the finish on the lead, winning in 1:51.
Zip Code Envy and My Little Delight tangoed for the top, with Zip Code Envy clearing around the turn. She lead through a :27.1 quarter.
Shakai Hanover, getting away third, edged off the pylons and swept by leading Zip Code Envy as they approached the half. After a :55.1 (:28) half, Bettor N Better began her bid. With Wicked Little Minx stalking her far-turn sprint, Bettor N Better was soon 4-lengths clear approaching three-quarters.
Passing the third split in 1:23 (:27.4), Bettor N Better had to fend off Wicked Little Minx, who began to rally on the outside. While she did reach Bettor N Better’s wheel, she could not do better than second, as Bettor N Better kept pacing strongly to the line, winning in 1:51 (:28). Zip Code Envy finished third, and My Little Delight was fourth.
Owned by Our Horse Cents Stable and Blue Chip Bloodstock, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Yannick Gingras, the Bettor’s Delight-Vanite Semalu-Chief Marty filly returned $7.20 to win.
Establishing a lifetime best mile, she now has $173,190 credited to her career.
“She was good last week; she was really grabby,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “I had to fight her the whole way to try and keep her in the hole. In the stretch, she was even [last week]. She wasn’t bad; she was still pacing. Today, she was more relaxed, and definitely had more kick finishing.”
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.