LEXINGTON, KY— The annual harness racing Grand Circuit meeting at The Red Mile is set to begin on Friday (Oct. 1) with five divisions of the $356,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and two divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old pacing fillies.
Division one for the trotting colts completes the early daily double and is led by 9-5 morning-line choice World At War Deo, who starts from post 6 for trainer Dave Menary. The Chapter Seven colt ships south from Woodbine Mohawk Park following a stint on the Grand Circuit in Ontario, where he finished third in a $48,599 Champlain division and sixth in the $505,600 William Wellwood Memorial.
Tim Tetrick catches the drive on World At War Deo as he starts to the inside of Periculum, another competitor exiting the William Wellwood Memorial. Mattias Melander drives the 5-2 second choice for trainer Marcus Melander as the Wellwood elim winner aims to rebound from a break in stride in the final.
Branded By Lindy lands post 5 in the second Bluegrass division after taking the $50,000 Kentucky Commonwealth Series Final in 1:53 as the odds-on choice two weeks ago. Yannick Gingras sticks with the Domenico Cecere trainee as he moves out of state-bred company into open competition.
Among his competitors is Temporal Hanover, the Marcus Melander-trained son of Walner who enters from a fourth-place finish in the William Wellwood Memorial. Brian Sears steers the 5-2 second favorite from the pylon post in the seven-horse contest.
Ron Burke trainee Global Pandemic makes his way to Lexington for the third Muscle Hill split, shipping off a third-place effort in the $253,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) final at The Meadows. Yannick Gingras drives the Cantab Hall colt from post 5 – to the right flank of Nancy Takter trainee Keg Stand, who makes his second start off a sick scratch in the PASS final. Dexter Dunn pilots the Bar Hopping colt attempting to improve on his fifth-place finish in the $250,000 Kentucky Championship Series final two weeks ago.
Kentucky champ Double Deceiver makes his foray to the Grand Circuit in the fourth Bluegrass division but will have to overcome the outermost post in the seven-horse affair. David Miller stays with the Carter Pinske trainee following his 1:52.3 victory in the $250,000 final two weeks ago.
The field also includes Marcus Melander trainee Letsdoit S, entering from a third-place finish in the William Wellwood Memorial, and Golden Wall As, who finished second in the $50,000 Kentucky Commonwealth final.
The final Bluegrass division for rookie trotting colts is the lone dash that draws eight to the gate. Looks Like Moni fronts the octet as the 5-2 choice on the morning line off a third-place finish in the Kentucky Championship final. Prior to his series’ stint, the Nancy Takter trainee rallied to grab fifth in the $293,450 Peter Haughton Memorial on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.
Tim Tetrick drives the Muscle Hill colt from post 2 as he faces a pair of graduates from the Peter Haughton Memorial: runner-up Classic Hill from post 8 and third-place finisher Fast As The Wind from post 3. Scott Zeron pilots the former for trainer Marcus Melander while Dexter Dunn has the steer on the latter for conditioner Tony Alagna.
Sprinkled between the many Bluegrass splits for trotting colts are the two divisions for freshmen pacing fillies. Division one, carded as Race 3, pins the latest Jim King Jr. female star Lyons Serenity against five others. The 7-5 morning-line favorite has Tim Tetrick in the bike as she tries to run her win streak to seven following a 1:52 win in the $200,000 Kentuckiana at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Boudoir Hanover, a Tony Alagna pupil who stepped out of the Kentucky Championship to race on the Grand Circuit at Woodbine Mohawk Park, returns to The Red Mile as the 2-1 second choice with Dexter Dunn listed to drive. She starts from post 6 following a fourth-place finish in the $395,395 She’s A Great Lady final after having finished second in the elimination the week before and in a $142,611 Champlain division.
While Lyons Serenity protects a streak in the first division, Ron Burke trainee Sea Silk will try to protect her record as she makes her first start outside of the Ohio Sires Stakes program. The Downbytheseaside filly races as the 3-2 morning-line choice having won in all eight of her starts, including a 1:51.2 victory in the $300,000 Ohio Sires Stakes final at Northfield Park.
Chris Page keeps the drive on the unbeaten filly as she competes in a field including Dont Fence Me In, who won the $250,000 Kentucky Championship Series final in 1:50.2 under wraps for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Tony Alagna. Dunn stays with the Captaintreacherous filly who scores from post 3.
The $356,000 Bluegrass 2-Year-Old Colt Trot goes as an event under two names, with the first, third and fifth divisions named “The Muscle Hill” and the second and fourth monikered “The Walner”.
Southwind Farms sponsors the divisions of The Muscle Hill and The Walner Syndicate sponsors the divisions of The Walner. Each division of the $289,000 Bluegrass 2-Year-Old Filly Pace goes as “The McWicked” and is sponsored by The McWicked Syndicate and Winbak Farm.
Kickoff for the Grand Circuit fortnight in Lexington is 1 p.m. (EDT), with a total of 11 races slated for the Friday card.
Click here for the program
by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
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