By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY-- The $289,000 Bluegrass stakes for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters, going on Thursday, Oct. 1, was split into four divisions when 25 horses dropped into the box.
The first of three $72,000 divisions goes as the third race on the program. Julie Miller-trained Milligan's School headlines the six-horse field off a 1:57.2 qualifier at Harrah's Philadelphia. Owned by Stroy Inc., the son of Yankee Glide has three wins to his credit, including an elimination of the Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and a division of the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs. Jimmy Takter's Earn And Burn is also a major contender, with his resumé consisting of $65,551 in earnings, a second in a Peter Haughton Memorial elimination, and a third in the Peter Haughton final. Earn And Burn is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Brixton Medical Ab.
Kindergarten series star Hollywood Highway leads the second split, entering off of wins in both prelims of the series held at Lexington. Trained by Staffan Lind, the Muscle Massive colt has hit the board in three of four starts, with $14,000 banked. Jimmy Takter sends a Kindergarten contender in Honor Above All, who has hit the board in the Kindergarten preliminaries but is still seeking his maiden win. He's owned by Order By Stables.
Winner of the $351,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, Jimmy Takter's Lagerfeld highlights the third division, owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman. He has entered the winners' circle twice this season in seven starts, with the other occasion being in a $36,030 sires stakes division. Another state-bred star will line up on the gate with Kanthaka. Third in the $225,000 Ohio Sires Stakes, the Triumphant Caviar colt won six legs of the Ohio Sires Stakes leading into the final, accumulating $135,054 this season. He was more recently fourth in a $35,061 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship. He's owned by trainer Christopher Beaver in partnership with Wilbur Stoll Lang.
The final round goes for $73,000 and features a septet of trotters. It also features the return of Jimmy Takter-trainee Bar Hopping, who enters off a 1:57 qualifier at The Red Mile. Owned by Christina Takter, Hattfield Stables, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, he has one win this season, coming in a preliminary of the New Jersey Sires Stakes at the Meadowlands. He makes his first pari-mutuel start since scratching sick from a division of the Reynolds in late August. He was fourth in the Peter Haughton Memorial after finishing second in an elimination for the Peter Haughton and in the $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes final. He'll be competing against improving trotters Celebrity Pilatus, who enters off a fourth in a $50,000 division of the Standardbred at Delaware, Ohio, and Ake Svanstedt's Dupree, who finished third in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final.
The quartet of Bluegrass stakes holds the spotlight for Thursday's program, which consists of 10 races and kicks off at 7:00pm.