By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY— The opening night of the Grand Circuit meeting at The Red Mile began with two divisions of the $259,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday night, Sept. 30.
Broadway Donna escaped defeat in a stretch-drive duel against Ultimate Shopper, winning the opening division by a nose in 1:59. The 1-9 favorite controlled the pace for a majority of the mile, circling early pacesetter I’m Outstanding, who established the first quarter in :30.4, before the half to obtain the lead. Drawing away off a half of :59.4 and three-quarters in 1:29.2, Broadway Donna led by about 5 lengths at the top of the stretch. Ultimate Shopper, sitting third for the entire mile, edged first over into the stretch and gave pursuit to Broadway Donna, coming up to her wheel by the eighth pole. However, Broadway Donna faced the challenge and claimed victory. Finishing third and fourth were Twice Is Right and Southwind Pearl.
A $2.10 winner, Broadway Donna, sired by Donato Hanover out of the mare Broadway Schooner by Broadway Hall, is owned and bred by Fashion Farms, trained by Jim Campbell, and driven by David Miller. Broadway Donna remains undefeated in nine starts this season, piling $531,286 in career earnings.
“She’s been terrific all year,” Dave Miller said. “Tonight might have not been a good night for her, and maybe the front [was] not a good place to be, but she held tough.”
“The rail [was] pretty deep,” Miller also said. “I tried to stay off the rail, but it was getting to her late.”
The other split went to Celebrity Eventsy, who battled for the lead with All The Time throughout the mile, progressing to a 1:56.1 victory. The second choice at 6-5, driver Brett Miller sent Celebrity Eventsy to the lead and through a :28.3 first quarter. All The Time, the 4-5 favorite, tipped off the pylons and brushed to the top after a :58 half. Controlling the pace at three-quarters in 1:27.2, Celebrity Eventsy popped out of the pocket into the stretch and drifted in her bid after the favorite. She eventually edged past All The Time in the sixteenth pole, winning by a neck. Dancing In Thehall finished third, and Miss Tezsla was fourth.
Celebrity Eventsy, from the first crop of Manofmanymissions out of the mare Little Ms Queenie by American Winner, was bred by Kentuckiana Farms, and races for the interest of Celebrity Farms. She is conditioned by Staffan Lind and was driven by Brett Miller. She has now won three races this season, and has earnings of $167,212.
“[If] you go by the times of the rest of the races, this was a very good mile,” Brett Miller said. “She raced very well in her last start in the Peaceful Way. I actually turned the guy [Could It Be Magic] loose at the half, and I’m not so sure if it didn’t cost me the race. She’s a very nice filly.”
Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 1, with four divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. Post time for the 10-race card is 7:00pm.