Homeracing

Two-year-old take center stage

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Ted Black

October 5th, 2017

Over the course of this year and well into next year, many of the top juvenile pacers and trotters that competed in lucrative stakes Wednesday evening at Harrington Raceway and several nights earlier in open stakes at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, may prove to have little in common. But as of now they are promising youngsters.

Wednesday evening Harrington Raceway in Delaware hosted a quartet of $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals for two-year-olds of both gaits and genders and all four winners and several of the runner-ups delivered very promising performances.

In the first of the four $100,000 DSBF finals, Gracefullyforgiven (Art Stafford, Jr.) remained undefeated in her young career when she led throughout as the 1-5 favorite and drew clear to a four-length score against overmatched juvenile filly pacers. A homebred daughter of Roddy's Bags Again owned and trained by Jeff Clark, Gracefullyforgiven notched her fourth win in as many starts and pushed her career earnings past $70,000 and looks poised to continue her winning ways in the next round of DSBF elims at Dover Downs this fall.

Two races later in the second $100,000 DSBF final, this one for two-year-old filly trotters, Star Sapphire (Russell Foster) left to secure the pocket behind odds-on choice Deja Vu Blue (Ross Wolfenden), sat a loose pocket through the first three calls then overhauled the leader in the lane to a two-length score in 2:01.3. A daughter of Anders Bluestone trained by Tui Stone for owner-breeder Serendipity Stable (Marv Bachrad), Star Sapphire picked the ideal time to notch the first win of her three-race career.

Then just past the midway point of the card, Bosston Cruiser (Jonathan Roberts) remained undefeated in his young career when he gained command early and just outlasted the late bid of the pocket-sitting Brother Kenny (Tim Tetrick) to score in 2:01. A freshman son of Don Boss Vita trained by Andrew Glassmyer, Bosston Cruiser notched his fourth straight tally in as many starts and pushed his career earnings past $73,000 with the determined, narrow score.

Then two races later in the $100,000 DSBF final for two-year-old pacing colts, Slick Tony (Russell Foster) overcame a long, first over bid and wore down 3-5 choice Transitioning Joy (Montrell Teague) and outlasted the late bid of Evolution Tour (Tetrick) to score by a head in 1:55. A juvenile son of No Spin Zone owned and trained by George "Ronnie" Leager of Sudlersville, Maryland and Mom's Toy fame, Slick Tony notched his sixth win in eight starts and handed Transitioning Joy the first setback of his career while avenging an earlier loss to the choice in a DSBF elim.

Four nights earlier at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, a bevy of two-year-old pacing colts and fillies were on display and several of them also delivered performances that indicate they could be star bound.

In the first $87,500 division of the Artspeak for two-year-old filly pacers, Kissin In The Sand (Yannick Gingras) displayed good early speed, yielded to 1-5 choice Rainbow Room (David Miller) before the half in 55.4, sat a loose pocket down the backside and through the far turn, angled out at the head of the lane and wore that one down late for a length score in 1:51. A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Nancy Johansson, Kissin In The Sand recorded her fourth win in nine starts and pushed her  career earnings toward $120,000.

Rainbow Room, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Hall of Fame mare Rainbow Blue, suffered only her second defeat in eight career outings for trainer Joe Holloway. She already owned victories in the $200,000 Kentuckiana at Hoosier Park and the $250,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final at Pocono Downs and, like her supremely talented dam, could be the best of this division when all is said and done.

One race later in the first $75,000 Western Ideal division for two-year-old pacing colts, I'm A Big Deal (David Miller) gained command soon after the gate folded and carved out modest fractions of 27.4, 57 flat and 1:24.3 then drew clear to a four-length score in 1:51.3. Initially the fractions and final times posted were two seconds fast and immediately adjusted. The juvenile son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Chris Ryder recorded his third win in eight starts this year and pushed his bankroll past $55,000.

One race later in the second $87,500 Artspeak split for two-year-old filly pacers, Sansovina Hanover (Gingras) closed willingly in the lane to score in 1:53 as the solid favorite. Another daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Ron Burke, Sansovina Hanover notched her second straight tally and now owns two wins from nine career outings and earnings just shy of $80,000.

Then one race later in the second $75,000 Western Ideal division for two-year-old colt pacers, Nutcracker Sweet (Tetrick) rebounded from a sixth-place finish in the $650,000 Metro Stakes final at Mohawk to post the fastest clocking of the night among the juveniles. This sophomore son of Bettor's Delight trained by Jimmy Takter got away third, brushed to command, yielded to Closing Statement (David Miller), sat a loose pocket behind that one through the far turn then angled out and prevailed in 1:50.3. It was his third win in eight career starts and pushed his bankroll past $85,000.

Then one race later in the third $75,000 Western Ideal split for the juvenile colt pacers, Points North (Andrew McCarthy) left to gain command, yielded to favored Grand Teton (Mark Macdonald) before the half in 56.1, sat a loose pocket through the far turn then angled out and overhauled that one in the lane to score in 1:52.4. A gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman, Points North recorded his fifth straight tally and now owns five wins in nine starts and career earnings of $75,000.

Then one race later in the third $87,500 Artspeak split for two-year-old filly pacers, Bye Hanover (David Miller) forged a mild upset when she rallied late to edge Alexas Power (Scott Zeron) in 1:52.2. A daughter of Well Said trained by Brian Brown, Bye Hanover recorded her second win in her last three starts and her second in nine tries overall and pushed her career earnings over the $100,000 plateau.

Then in the last $75,000 Western Ideal split on the card, This Is The Plan (Tetrick) overcame a long, first over bid into a rapid back half to overtake Pro Beach (Gingras) in 1:52.4. A gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Chris Ryder, This Is The Plan posted his second straight tally having won the Metro consolation in his previous outing in 1:51 - Lost In Time won the final in 1:50.1 - and now owns two wins and nearly $150,000 banked from nine career tries. Of the juvenile colts that competed on the card, This Is The Plan may prove to be the best of the bunch.
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