posted on 9/27/2013 11:27 am
By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
The annual Grand Circuit meet
contested at The Red Mile, which attracts the continent’s best performers in
harness racing, kicked off Thursday night with three divisions of the
$287,600 Bluegrass Stake for two-year-old filly trotters.
Division one of the Bluegrass action
went to Struck By Lindy, who sat a pocket trip and kicked by race leader and
post-time favorite Heaven’s Door in the stretch to win in 1:53.1.
Heaven’s Door left for the front and
was four wide briefly around the first turn, while Struck By Lindy was racing
at the pylons in second. Heaven’s Door cleared the front and trotted by the
quarter in :28.3. Struck By Lindy was in the pocket, while Grammas Girl was
trotting in third and Anonyme Hanover behind her in fourth. There was no
challenger for Heaven’s Door at the half, as she went by that station in a
speedy :56.1 (:27.3).
Fillies began making their charge
after Heaven’s Door in the middle of the far turn, led by Anonyme Hanover.
Backorder trotted behind second over and Bikini So Teeny was third over. The
duo of Heaven’s Door and Struck By Lindy were well clear of that cavalcade
heading to three-quarters. Grammas Girl was trotting behind the top two in
third and went off stride at three-quarters, timed in 1:25 (:28.4).
Into the stretch, Heaven’s Door was
clinging onto the lead as Struck By Lindy pulled the pocket to be alongside the
pacesetter entering the final eighth. The pocket ride benefited Struck By
Lindy, as she coasted by her rival to take the first Bluegrass division in 1:53.1
(:28.1). Heaven’s Door was second, Anonyme Hanover was third and Bikini So
Teeny closed for fourth.
Struck By Lindy ($7.80) is a two-year-old
filly by Explosive Matter, out of the mare Lindy Of My Dreams by Angus Hall.
She is owned by Melvin Hartman, R A W Equine Inc. and Adam Victor and Son
Stable, trained by Richard Norman and David Miller was the driver, guiding
Struck By Lindy to a lifetime mark of 1:53.1.
“She got away good and she got a
great trip,” driver David Miller said. “She’s been racing well and run up
against some really nice fillies. I’m glad to see her get a good mark.”
When asked about her miscue in the
Merrie Annabelle, Dave Miller replied that, “She’s very nice and it was unlike
her [to break] that day [the Merrie Annabelle]. She was a little worked up that
Chivaree Hanover pulled off the mild
upset in the second division, trotting her way to the winners’ circle in 1:56.3.
Odds-on favorite Lifetime Pursuit
broke before the start, causing a big turn of events. Deweyscheatingirl and Cee
Bee Yes left the gate with speed, while Herroyalhighness was protecting the
pylons and Chivaree Hanover in behind. Deweyscheatingirl was prepared to clear
the lead, but became anxious and went off stride. Goddess was trotting
alongside her and went on a break as well. Cee Bee Yes inherited the lead at
the quarter in :28.3.
Chivaree Hanover was racing in
fourth entering the backstretch, as Doug McNair gave her the cue and she began
a first over bid after race leader Cee Bee Yes. Mistresswithmuscle was racing
in the pocket, while Herroyalhighness was trotting in fourth. Chivaree Hanover
cleared the lead at the half-mile mark, timed in :57.1 (:28.3).
Entering the far turn,
Rockenonbroadway pulled first over from fifth and within a matter of strides
was up to the leader’s wheel. A Sundae On Sunday was tracking her move and was
forced to journey first over as Rockenonbroadway broke in her swift sweep to
the leader. Chivaree Hanover still held command at three-quarters in 1:28
Under minor encouragement, Chivaree
Hanover held command into the stretch. Though drifting off the pylons, the room
allowed Cee Bee Yes to sneak closer to the top position. A Sundae On Sunday was
stalling first over and Herroyalhighness was holding onto fourth. Chivaree
Hanover was under a confident hold and went on to cross the wire first in 1:56.3.
Cee Bee Yes was second, A Sundae On Sunday was third and Herroyalhighness
Chivaree Hanover ($10.60) is a
two-year-old filly by Muscle Hill, out of the mare Celebrity Nike by Yankee
Glide. She is owned and trained by Gregg McNair, while his son Doug McNair
drove the freshmen filly to a lifetime best of 1:56.3.
“I was a little careful with her
into the first turn and the guys in front of me were coming back a little bit,
so I just moved her to the outside, let her trot past the half and she did
everything from there,” driver Doug McNair said. “She’s generally relaxed, but
she was really revved-up the whole way. In the post parade, she was real bad. I
thought for sure a couple times in the mile she threw a few steps at me, but I
figured that if she wasn’t going to run there she wasn’t going to run.”
The world record set by Snow White
back in 2007 of 1:52.4 was crushed in the final division of the Bluegrass, as
Designed To Be watched Cooler Schooner set hot fractions and then kicked right
by her in the stretch to hold off a closing Shake It Cerry in 1:52.2.
Fastlane Anover and Highest Peak
broke before the start. Designed To Be, Cooler Schooner and Shake It Cerry all
left the gate for the top, but Cooler Schooner was quickest to the first turn
and was the pacesetter to the quarter. Designed To Be tucked into second, while
Tweet Me got away in third and Shake It Cerry was forced to back into fourth at
the quarter in :27.2.
Cooler Schooner kicked away from the
field passed the three-eighths pole, in front of Designed To Be by about 5
lengths. Tweet Me was still trotting in third and Shake It Cerry was caught
behind her in fourth as Cooler Schooner rushed to the half in :54.3 (:27.1).
Into the far turn, Shake It Cerry
began devouring ground on her way towards the top. She managed to flush out
Designed To Be heading to three-quarters. The trio on the lead were well clear
of Tweet Me left in fourth and the rest of the fillies who were playing catch
up as Cooler Schooner was holding on to the lead at three-quarters in 1:24.1 (:27.3).
Designed To Be went by Cooler
Schooner with ease through the stretch. At the eighth pole, it became a
two-horse race as Shake It Cerry was making her move from second over. Shake It
Cerry came close to taking command, but Designed To Be dug in strongly on their
flight to the wire and Designed To Be held off Shake It Cerry to stop the clock
in a world record of 1:52.2. Shake It Cerry, the post-time favorite, finished
second, Cooler Schooner was third and Game On Hanover was fourth.
Designed To Be ($5.80) is a
two-year-old filly by Donato Hanover, out of the mare Sheer Soul by Yankee
Glide. She is owned by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, trained by Julie Miller and
husband Andy Miller was the pilot of the freshman filly, sitting in the bike as
she set a lifetime best of 1:52.2.
“She’s been well-in-hand every race
she’s had and I didn’t know she’d go this fast, but the race set up for a big
mile and I hoped I was the one crossing the wire first,” driver Andy Miller
said. “I just wanted to rate my own mile, not use her up so early and save a
little for late. She’s a very versatile filly and we’ve been taking our time
with her all along and it seems to be paying off.”