Hes Spooky Prevails In First-Division Win Photo
Driver Mike Lachance bided
his time into the third quarter of
Thursday's first division of the
International Stallion Stakes with Hes
Spooky. When all was said and done,
Lachance's patience with the Cantab Hall
colt produced a very tight victory in a win
After having started from the rail, Lachance opted to lay off the early tempo and nestle Hes Spooky into fifth. The veteran reinsman watched Caviar De Vie (driven by Gunnel Fredriksson) Cant Lose (David Miller) and Kashs Caviar (Chip Noble) each take brief turns on the lead through the opening splits, which were recorded in :29.3 and :57.1.
The opening half passed before Lachance began his first-over journey with He's Spooky, who is conditioned by Frank Antonacci. The duo weas advancing on the tempo-setting Kashs Caviar by the time the 1:26.2 three quarters came to life.
Kashs Caviar was game in the lane -- and the pocket-riding Cant Lose also made a bid late -- but it was Hes Spooky who sustained his drive and got the better of the leader when it mattered most, tripping the timer in a brisk 1:56.
Kashs Caviar settled for second and the Brian Sears-driven Olla Podriga came on late to grab a hold of third place.
"He's been threatening all year -- I don't think he's ever been out of the money," Antonacci said about his colt which broke his maiden with the victory. "We've been teaching him little bit by little bit. Today Mike and I felt pretty confident about him and he drove him that way."
When the question was asked whether the colt will be headed to the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Antonacci re-affirmed why most yearling buyers are in the game. "Yeah, why not?" he said in reference to an upcoming trip north of the border. "We do this to get to those races -- the Breeders Crown, the Hambletonian; those types of races, those classics -- so when you have one that you think is going to be competitive, why not."
Wishing Stone Tops Second Division For Campbell, Minor
Similar to the successful
tactics which were employed in the opening
division, driver John Campbell stayed in as
long as he could in the second International
Stallion Stakes split with the DeWayne
Minor-trained Wishing Stone. The result
proved to be a dream come true for those
that backed the Conway Hall colt.
Campbell and Wishing Stone started from Post 2 and sat a gapped third through the opening fractions, which were carved out in :29.1 and :57.3.
With backfield horses tipping wide and readying for advances, Campbell scooted his mount out first-over and led the overland advance along the final turn. The pair was up to third as Hard Livin and driver Ron Pierce sliced the next call in 1:26.4. Wishing Stone sustained his drive in the lane and got up to take to prize in 1:55.3.
Pierce and Hard Livin finished second. The Tim Tetrick-driven Sailaway Dream rallied from the backfield to lock up third-place money.
"He's not the biggest colt, but we call him 'The Little Napoleon,'" said victorious trainer Minor, who stated that Wishing Stone has the 'Little Man' syndrome. "It just goes to show his ability, [which we saw] right through training. He's peaking right at the right time, and hopefully he can carry it right on to the Breeders Crown."
If Minor felt any nervous moments due his colt's position at the half and the way the fractions were setting up, the trainer didn't let on whatsoever. "Not at all," Minor explained, "he's starting to learn how to wait until he's called on. When he's relaxed like that, I know he's got a lot left to finish."
Explosive When Started Up In Third Division
The punters that hammered Winning Fireworks down to 2-5 at post time may have been holding their collective breaths after the opening half of Thursday's third International Stallion Stakes divisions at the Red Mile. But when Ron Pierce unleashed the half brother to Explosive Matter, it was lights out for the rest of the field.
Working with his outside Post 8 starting spot, Pierce did not fire out with the son of Credit Winner. The pair sat right near the back of the pack as the opening quarter was cut in :29.4 and the half in :58.4.
A train of outer flow started to develop along the final turn, and Pierce had Winning Fireworks ready to launch out from the third-over position.
After the three quarters ignited in 1:28.3, Pierce began to tip his mount out four-wide. Racing widest of all through the lane, Winning Fireworks came home with a bang, yet didn't blow up the toteboard due to his short price.
The win time was 1:56.4.
Keystone (driven by Brian Sears) finished second after having worked out a pocket ride. Scent Of Oil and pilot John Campbell secured third.
"I think today was his last start (of the year)," Pierce said in a trackside interview afterward."
Commenting on whether there are any similarities between Winning Fireworks and Explosive Matter, Pierce said, "They can both go pretty good. He (Winning Fireworks) has a lot of high step."
Bombs Away As Baximum Provides Maximum Value
The fourth division of the day for the Bluegrass Series provided the first major upset with 32-1 bomb Baximum delivering to the delight of the longshot players.
With the rain
intensifying, Andy Miller hustled Classic
Son out from a gapped-off gate spot in Post
6 to the position of command before the
:28.3 quarter-mile station. As the field
settled and rolled into the backstretch,
Trond Smedshammer hustled Priority Photo
from third out to the lead and hit the half
uncontested in :58.1. Jetblue Volo (Peter
Wallinder) committed first to the outside
providing cover to favoured Senor Glide (Dan
Dube) with longshot Baximum on his back
third over through the 1:28 third panel.
The field then fanned out turning for home with Senor Glide out four-wide and Baximum out in the five path trying to wear down the leaders. Senor Glide fizzled in the stretch but Baximum was full of trot and swept by the early leaders en route to a one-length 1:56.2 maiden-breaking win paying $66.80, $16.20, and $7.20 across the board.
Classic Son found room and managed to finish second with Priority Photo edging out Jetblue Volo for third.
"He felt good the whole way and felt real strong," said driver David Miller after the race. "It looks like he may have needed a start or two to get used to the track"
Miller was unsure as to whether or not the Cantab Hall - Bax Machine colt, owned by Robert Rosenheim StbS Ltd, Sharon, CT and trained by Jonas Cernzyson, would be headed for next week's Breeders Crown eliminations.
Captures Final Division
When the opening quarter of the fifth and final International Stallion Stakes division flashed in :30.4 Thursday afternoon, driver John Campbell knew that he had to get up into the action -- and quick. Although, Campbell probably didn't have to sweat all that much, as he was aboard Lucky Chucky, whose resume spoke for itself heading into the dash.
When all was said and done, Lucky Chucky had upped his record to seven wins and a lone third-place finish from eight career starts. The colt by the late Windsongs Legacy had employed an early move and was on top the rest of the way for a 1:56.2 victory.
Campbell and Lucky Chucky left from Post 2 and got away fourth before the opening fraction relayed the rather pedestrian tempo. Campbell and Lucky Chucky sprung first over to the lead and cleared well before the :59.3 opening half.
Campbell and the Chuck Sylvester-trained colt clicked off the third call in 1:29 and fended off both Muscle Massive (driven by Ron Pierce) and Temple Of Doom (David Miller), who would go on to finish second and third, respectively.
Lucky Chucky's only loss this year came in the Peter Haughton Memorial. In addition to Thursday's International Stallion Stakes division, the colt has recorded wins in the Harriman, Valley Victory and Bluegrass.