cover photo by Clive Cohen/New Image Media
by Nick Salvi
Grand Circuit racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at The Red Mile with the $323,200 International Stallion Stakes (INSS) for two-year-old filly trotters. Thirty three freshman lasses were declared, resulting in four divisions of the stake.
The marquee player in the division thus far, co-world record holder Mission Brief has been entered and will leave from post three in the day’s fourth race. The Muscle Hill filly from Southwind Serena has been sensational if slightly erratic in her young career.
Her blazing speed has carried her to five wins by wide margins in fast times, including the Merrie Annabelle and NJSS finals in stakes record time and a Peaceful Way elimination in the record mile of 1:52.1 (equaled last Thursday by Jolene Jolene at The Red Mile). The only blemishes on her eight race slate are by her own hand, going off-stride in all three and losing all chance.
The Grand Circuit’s leading combination handles Mission Brief, with Ron Burke doing the conditioning for his own Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stable and J&T Silva Stable while Yannick Gingras will try to keep her on her best behavior. The way the track has been playing thus far, with her talent that record may be further reduced on Thursday.
The Burke stable will also send out contenders in two of the other divisions, with Kirsi Hanover a key player in race two and Gatka Hanover to be dealt with in race eight.
In between, Alfred Ross’ emerging star debutante Bee The Queen will look to complete the Lexington Grand Circuit double by winning both weeks as she seeks her fifth consecutive win for trainer George Ducharme in race five. The Donato Hanover x Bee Line filly was a late comer, but she has surely found her best form here in Kentucky. Brian Sears has the drive.
Competition for the “Queen” will be led by Livininthefastlane from the rail for driver Tim Tetrick. She’s also a Donato Hanover (Nicole’s Promise) owned by the potent partnership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld & Sam Goldband and trained by Julie Miller. Livininthefastlane comes in off a convincing win in the Kentuckiana Farms trot at Hoosier Park and has amassed more than $165,000 on the season.
Ten races comprise the Thursday Red Mile card with a post time of 1:00pm, which shall continue through the meet’s end on Kentucky Futurity Day, October 5. You can find more pertinent info at The Red Mile website and if you missed any of last week’s action visit the YouTube page for all video replays of the races.
The start of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale is Tuesday at 7:00pm and continues through Saturdaywith the cream of the Standardbred yearling crop available for your inspection and purchase.