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Adagio has been dancing to a winning tune
Thursday, September 29, 2011 - by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Kimberly French

Louisville, KY --- She was in the catalogue for the August Delaware Sale after she had performed poorly at Hoosier Park earlier this year, but with a change of scenery and a new pilot, Adagio has captured five of her last seven starts, including the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Final for 3-year-old filly trotters and will not be leaving Stacey Ruddick’s barn until it’s time for her to be a mom.

“She had been racing so bad at Hoosier Park her owner told me to get rid of her and I couldn’t find anyone that wanted her at the time so I put her in the sale,” explained Ruddick. “Then she went in something like (2:01.3) in a fair race at The Red Mile, so I thought I would race her in overnights there, but I thought I would try her in the first leg of the Sire Stakes to make her worth more money in the sale.

She made a break, one of rare ones she’s ever made, that night because they went in the mud, so I considered that a training mile. I called The Red Mile and told them I didn’t care what they had to put her in, but I needed to know if this mare could trot in 1:58 or so and that’s when I put Danny Noble up and told him to airplane her out, so we knew what we had.

Nigel Soult photo
Adagio was a head winner over Louanda Dream in the Kentucky Sire Stakes final at The Red Mile.

“She won by 12 lengths that night (in 1:58.1 in a non-winners contest on August 25) and then her owner took her out of the sale,” the Scipio, Indiana, resident continued. “After that she went on to win the last leg of the Sire Stakes and of course the final. We gave her the opportunity and she went out there and saved herself. I even told her that the first night I put her out on the track. I said, ‘It’s up to you girl. If you can trot enough, you are staying here and if not you are going in the sale.’”

The daughter of Valley Victory-Village Ballet was purchased for $15,000 at the 2009 Lexington Selected Sale by Dean Miller's DM Stables and is a half-sister to Nureyev (Striking Sahbra, 4,1:54.3s, $391,624). The filly was conditioned during her freshman campaign by Bobby Brower and in her 10 performances last year, Adagio only hit the board once, which was a third place finish in the $300,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes 2-year-old filly trot final.

She arrived in Ruddick’s barn shortly after the New Year and reached the winner’s circle for the first time in her first start for her new connections in a $5,500 non-winners event on May 26 at Hoosier Park. Adagio did not have her picture taken again until July 30 when she began racing at The Red Mile after five very dull performances at Hoosier Park. To date, she has trotted 13 miles this year with six victories, $163,200 in purse money, and a 1:57 lifetime mark.

“Her name, Adagio, is actually a ballet term and it means at ease,” Ruddick said. “I wondered what it meant so I googled it and since her mother’s name is Village Ballet, I figured that is where it came from.

“The track at The Red Mile does wonders for her,” she continued. “Hoosier Park is a seven-eighths-mile track and that last turn can be a little hard for them to get through. I think when we take her to Indiana Downs she’ll be just fine there.

Before she won the Sire Stakes Final, we took her to Indiana Downs and I have an Open pacer named AB's Beach Boy that has a mark of 1:50.2 and he couldn’t get past her in a training mile, so I knew she would be either real good in the Sire Stakes final or really tired. They came the last quarter in :27.4 and he couldn’t get to her, she kept digging. She doesn’t like to let them get past her and she doesn’t give up. She has also improved each and every week, which I’ve never had a horse go into a race quite like that. Usually they peak too early, but she just keeps getting better and better.”

After winning the Sire Stakes Final on September 11, the filly traveled to the Delaware County Fairgrounds and finished a very strong second to Lady Andover in the $96,800 Buckette on the Jugette undercard on September 21. Her next start is on Friday (September 30) in a $10,000 late closer contest at The Red Mile. She will leave from post four in the card’s third race.

“The track was off that day in Delaware and it was a very nice filly that beat her, so we were very happy with her effort,” Ruddick said. “She tried so hard and she didn’t know that other filly had went in 1:54.

“Also, Danny Noble gets along great with her because he always gives her a chance,” she continued. “He doesn’t assume she can’t go with the rest of them, like the race at Delaware, he had the six hole and left on a half-mile track with a :27.4 quarter. Everybody else would have taken her off the gate and been maybe seventh behind all that traffic. Danny had confidence in her and never said she couldn’t trot with those other horses. He drove her like she was the best and he’s done very, very well with her.”

The remainder of Adagio’s 2011 campaign is mapped out, but once the year is over, the filly may not return to the races.

“She’s a little bit high strung getting her in and out of the barn and hooked up, but other than that she’s a sweetheart to be around,” Ruddick said. “She has two late closers in Lexington and then the Circle City at Indiana Downs. Her owner has talked about breeding her and a couple people have called me about buying her as a broodmare. I would imagine someone would breed her after this year because she’s won so many pari-mutuels, she would have to step up in class, and her babies are worth more than she can make on the racetrack.”

$10,000 Red Mile Late Closer--Fillies & Mares
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer
1-Passionateprincess-Tim Tetrick-Ben Miller    
2-Dixieland Delite-Andy Miller-Julie Miller    
3-Sister Gola-Randal Jerrell-Russell Newman    
4-Adagio-Dan Noble-Stacey Ruddick    
5-Screaming Awsome-Mike Lachance-Buck Sprinkle    
6-D Lee More-David Miller-Douglas Hamilton    
7-Bristy Crinkley-Jody Jamieson-Allen Sisco


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