LEXINGTON, KY –The Red Mile's marquee harness racing events have drawn 12-horse single dashes for the Grand Circuit's curtain call Sunday (Oct. 11).
A dozen colts spar in the, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc. and Menhammer Stuteri Ab and carrying a purse of $444,000. Hambletonian runner-up Ready For Moni lands in the second-tier for driver Yannick Gingras following a defeat in the $425,600 Canadian Trotting Classic Final.
Post 11 positions the Nancy Takter-trained Ready Cash colt behind Amigo Volo, the Richard "Nifty" Norman-trained Father Patrick gelding who made his Grand Circuit "coming out" last season at Lexington but enters off a loss to Back Of The Neck in the Bluegrass. Back Of The Neck, third in the Hambletonian, starts from post 4 with Scott Zeron in the bike. The Futurity goes as Race 9 on the card.
Ramona Hill will try to rebound in the event preceding–thepresented by the Father Patrick Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farm, carrying a purse of $255,000. The Hambletonian winner suffered her second defeat of the season when Ab'sattitudexpress, who starts from post 12 Sunday, nailed the Tony Alagna trainee at the finish. Alagna later confirmed the Muscle Hill filly scoped sick after the race and will look to protect her spot atop the division from post 3 with Andrew McCarthy in the bike.
Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella starts alongside Ramona Hill from post 4 for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras with Sister Sledge, the other filly who took aim in the Hambletonian, starting from post 5 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. Hypnotic AM–the Marcus Melander-trained Chapter Seven filly who lost as the favorite in the Oaks, will have to overcome post 10 with Brian Sears in the bike.
Tall Dark Stranger leads a nine-horse charge into the first division of the $479,000 Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace, sponsored by Michelle and Albert Crawford. The Bettor's Delight colt, trained by Nancy Takter and with over $1 million banked this season, scored a 1:48.3 victory last week in the Bluegrass. Yannick Gingras will pilot the divisional leader against Warrawee Vital, off a 1:47.1 victory in the Bluegrass, and Cattlewash, off a 1:46.4 victory in the Bluegrass.
On the Futurity undercard, Party Girl Hill–following 12-straight wins from 12 starts–tries her hands at open company in the second division of the Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace. The Chris Ryder-trained Captaintreacherous filly enters off a 1:48 plugs-in performance in the Bluegrass last week. She meets No Lou Zing, the Nancy Takter-trained Sweet Lou gelding entering off a victory in the $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy, and Capt Midnight, the Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous colt who finished second in a 1:47.1 mile in the Bluegrass.
Without Party Girl Hill, 14 fillies compete in two divisions of the $250,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial, sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms. Division one gathers Lyons Sentinel, the Jim King Jr.-trained Captaintreacherous filly who flew to a second-place finish behind Party Girl Hill last week, and JK First Lady, the Nancy Takter-trained Western Ideal filly off a 1:49.2 score in the Bluegrass, among five others. Kentucky Sires Stakes champ Baby Your The Best also starts in the first division along with last year's Breeders Crown winner Reflect With Me.
Peaky Sneaky powers into the second split of the Glen Garnsey Memorial off a 1:49.1 stroll in the Bluegrass. The Nancy Takter-trained Bettor's Delight filly starts from post 6 with Yannick Gingras in the bike against two fillies who finished behind JK First Lady last week–Rocknificent, starting from post 2 for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron, and New Year, starting from post 3 for trainer Chris Ryder and driver Dexter Dunn.
A full field congregates for the $150,000 Odds On Racing Allerage Open Pace, sponsored by Dana Parham and Best Bet Stables. Bettor's Wish ships into Lexington off 1:49 victory in the $176,500 and scores from post 7 for trainer Chris Ryder and driver Dexter Dunn. Trainer Ron Burke sends his free-for-all barrage, composing nearly half of the field. Backstreet Shadow starts from post 6 off a traffic trip in the Dayton Pacing Derby while Canadian Pacing Derby winner Dorsoduro Hanover starts from post 8. This Is The Plan, winner of the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and entering off a fourth-place effort at Dayton, starts from post 9 with Filibuster Hanover securing the inside-most spot from post 1.
Atlanta continues to roll in open company heading into the $148,500 Allerage Farms Open Trot, sponsored by Jeff and Paula Gural and Allerage Farms. The five-year-old Chapter Seven mare, with over $2.4 million earned, enters off a 1:51 blowout in the Dayton Trotting Derby and draws post 3 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. She matches up against Gimpanzee, who downed the world champion mare in the $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park two weeks ago. Brian Sears drives that Marcus Melander-trained four-year-old by Chapter Seven from post 5.
Grand Circuit action wraps with the $72,000 Harness Racing Update Allerage Fillies and Mares Open Pace. Kissin In The Sand strides into the event as the 3-2 morning-line choice off three-consecutive wins including victories in the $161,250 Milton Stakes and in the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby. Dexter Dunn drives the Nancy Takter-trained five-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere from post 5 against Caviart Ally, the Brett Pelling-trained six-year-old mare by Bettor's Delight who has finished third in her last three starts as she regains her groove. Andrew McCarthy will have the drive from post 6.
Kentucky Futurity Day at The Red Mile features a total 12 races on the afternoon. The card is slated to get underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).
By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile