Homeracing

Lexington and Rosecroft offer solid Sunday cards

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Ted Black

September 30th, 2018

While many National Football League fans were glued to the television sets on Sunday afternoon, harness racing enthusiasts made their plans to focus on the stakes-filled card at Lexington's famed Red Mile and at Rosecroft Raceway later for a solid overnight program.

Just before the midway point of the Lexington card on Sunday, Supergirl Riley lived up to her role as the 4-5 favorite in the first $70,000 Bluegrass Stakes split for three-year-old filly trotters when when quarter moved to command before the half in 56 flat, rebuffed a first over bid from 6-5 second choice Live Laugh Love and drew clear in the lane to a three-length score in 1:52.2. It was her third straight win and she now owns a 3-2-3 slate and $275,000 banked from 14 starts this year and a solid 9-4-3 slate and $375,000 banked from 23 career tries.

Then two races later in the $120,000 Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-old colt trotters, Met's Hall (Andy Miller) lived up to his billing as the 1-2 favorite when he left to gain command from post seven before a 28.2 opener, strolled by the midway station in 56.1, met pressure from 44-1 outsider Maxus (Tim Tetrick) briefly until that one went off stride then shook loose in the lane to score in 1:51.2. The Maryland-bred son of Cantab Hall owns a 4-2-2 slate and $700,000 banked from nine starts this year and a 9-5-3 slate and $965,000 bankroll from 20 career outings. He was second in both the Hambletonian final and the Canadian Trotting Derby.

Then one race later in the second $70,000 Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-old filly trotters, Hey Blondie (Andrew McCarthy) rallied third over and widest of all in the lane to score by a length over Bella Glos in 1:51.1. A sophomore filly trained by Chuck Sylvester, Hey Blondie now owns a 3-3-2 slate and $180,000 banked from 11 starts this year and an 8-4-5 slate and $475,000 banked from 24 career outings. She was fourth in the Hambletonian Oaks six weeks earlier behind Machego and Phaetosive.

One race later on the card, Tactical Landing (Jimmy Takter) lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite in a $120,000 Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-old colt trotters when he brushed to command before the half, maintained a clear lead through the far turn and by three-quarters in 1:24.2 then held safe stablemate Zephyr Kosmos to score in 1:51.1. A sophomore son of Muscle Hill trained by Takter, Tactical Landing notched his fifth win from nine starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $300,000.

Then one race later in a $90,000 Bluegrass Stakes split for three-year-old pacing colts, Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) rebounded from his rough outing at the Little Brown Jug when he benefited from a second over journey behind second choice American History (Yannick Gingras) through the far turn then overhauled that one in the lane to score by a neck in 1:48.2. Stay Hungry notched his sixth win in 13 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings toward $700,000 and now owns 12 wins and $1.25 million banked from 22 lifetime outings.

One race later in the third $70,000 Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-old filly trotters, Phaetosive (Trond Smedshammer) lived up to her role as the 1-20 favorite when she overcame a long, first over bid to score in 1:51.3. The sophomore daughter of Explosive Matter recorded her fourth straight tally and now owns seven wins and $560,000 banked from nine starts this year and 11 victories and $820,000 bankroll from 16 career tries. She is among the stellar group of sophomore filly trotters that includes Atlanta and Manchego.

Then one race later in the Sunday finale, Thinkbig Dreambig (Gingras) lived up to his billing as the 3-5 favorite in the second $92,000 Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers when he brushed to command before the half in 54.2, opened a clear lead on the far turn and held safe the late bid of Hayden Hanover (Andy Miller) in the lane to score in 1:48.2. Unraced at age two, Thinkbig Dreambig now owns six wins and $450,000 banked from 15 outings, including a prior score in the $400,000 Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park.

That same evening Rosecroft Raceway kicked off its solid Sunday card with a $9,000 winners over class. Go Big Spinder (Timmy Offutt), overlooked at 12-1, displayed plenty of early speed, sat a tight pocket behind Ok Fantastic (Russell Foster) to the half and three-quarters then found room along the passing lane and prevailed late to score in 1:52.2. The seven-year-old No Spin Zone stallion is owned, bred and trained by Virginia "Leigh" Louthan, one of the sport's premiere, petite blacksmiths.

Then one race later in a non-winners of three races or $25,000 lifetime class for younger pacers, J P Oscar (Jonathan Roberts) easily lived up to his role as the 1-5 favorite when he gained command in a 27.1 opener, got a breather by the half in 57.4, rolled by three-quarters in 1:25.3 then sprinted clear in the lane to a five-length score in 1:53.1. The four-year-old Stand Forever gelding trained by Sheldon Powell for owner Robert Pulley, recorded his second win in three starts at the meet and lowered his lifetime mark by a second in the process.

Just past the midway point of the Sunday card, Don Dorado (Allan Davis) lived up to his role as the 6-5 favorite in the $9,000 Winners Over Trot when he gained command before a 27.4 opener, got a breather by the half in 57.2, raced unpressed by three-quarters in 1:25.3 and held sway through the lane to score in 1:55.3. A seven-year-old Donato Hanover gelding trained by Andrew Fulton, Don Dorado won his second straight start over the strip and now owns three wins from 13 starts this year and 17 wins and over $520,000 banked in his 92-race career.

Then one race later in the featured $12,000 Open 1 Handicap, sophomore star Slick Tony (John Wagner) overcame his assigned post eight against seven older foes when he brushed to command past the opener in 26.2, rolled by the half in 54.4 and by three-quarters in 1:22.3 then held sway through the lane to score in 1:50.2. A three-year-old son of No Spin Zone owned, bred and trained by George "Ronnie" Leager of Sudlersville, Slick Tony notched his eighth win from 14 starts this year and inched closer to $200,000 in seasonal earnings and now owns 17 wins and nearly $350,000 banked from 25 career outings and took a new lifetime mark on Sunday.

One race later in a non-winners of $4,100 last five starts class for older pacers, Yankee Heaven (Bret Brittingham) lived up to his billing as the 7-5 favorite despite arriving winless in 26 starts and leaving from post nine on the far outside when he rallied from last early and overhauled Outstand Forever (Jason Thompson) to score by two lengths in 1:51.1. A six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding trained by Don Brittingham, Yankee Heaven recorded his first win from 27 starts this year and only his 10th score from 127 career tries and lowered his lifetime mark in the process.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $6,000 last five starts class for older pacers, Rocktavius (Jonathan Roberts) eventually got the better of Kotare Yael N (Brittingham) after they exchanged leads and battled through fractions of 26.4, 55 flat and 1:22.2 and finally edged clear for a length score in 1:50.3. A five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding trained by Megan Roberts, Rocktavius notched his first win in three tries at the meet and now owns six wins and $34,000 banked from 24 starts this year and equaled his lifetime mark in the process.

One race later in a non-winners of $4,000 last five starts class for pacers, Pumped Up Kicks (Foster) and Girl Crazy (Kim Vincent) battled down the backside, through the far turn and to the wire and could not be separated by a photo in 1:54. Pumped Up Kicks recorded his second win in 31 starts this year for trainer Joseph Eisenhower, while Girl Crazy notched his third win from 22 seasonal outings for owner-breeder-trainer Philip Jasper.
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