Lexington, KY --- Round one of the Kentucky Sires Stakes for 3-year-olds got underway Thursday night (Aug. 15) at The Red Mile.
All four divisions were divided into pairs of $15,000 splits, with speed-badge honors on the evening going to the 3-year-old colt pacer Bandolito, who cruised the one mile over the clay oval in 1:51.3. The night also gave a chance for Hambletonian sixth-place finisher Lauderdale to shine with an easy victory in the race for 3-year-old colt trotters.
Bandolito, unraced last year at two and purchased privately after a pair of qualifiers at Spring Garden Ranch this spring by trainer-driver Daryl Bier, took the lead at the opening quarter and led the rest of the distance to capture the first division for sophomore colt pacers by one length in a career best-equaling effort. Duel In The Sun was second with Galex third.
The win was Bandolito's seventh straight in eight career starts. The son of Ponder is owned by Bier, Charles Dombeck and David Bier.
Blatantly Best, who finished second by a nose in last year's KYSS final for 2-year-old colt pacers, started off on the right foot in this year's series as he scored a 1:51.4 victory with Lewayne Miller driving for trainer Erv Miller and owners Paymaq Racing and Tim Towne. Phenomenon was second with Exit Cam third behind the 1-5 favorite.
A son of Cambest, Blatantly Best won for the third time in seven starts this year.
Lauderdale had no concerns throughout the mile as he won his sophomore colt trotter division by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:54.4 with Corey Callahan driving. Here's Johnny was second with Caveat Emptor third.
A surprise third-place finisher in his Hambletonian elimination on Aug. 3 at the Meadowlands, Lauderdale finished sixth in the $1 million final after getting away last in the 10-horse field. He made easy work of his Kentucky competition on Thursday night as he won for the second time this year in nine starts, increasing his earnings to more than $122,000 for owner William J. Donovan.
The second split for 3-year-old male trotters went to Master Of Law and driver Scott Zeron, who bested Yonkers Trot winner Dewycolorintheline and Ray Schnitter by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:54.1. Mystical Dew was third.
The win was the fourth straight for Master Of Law, a gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe trained by Frank Antonacci and owned by Lindy Racing Stable, Adam Victor & Son Stable and breeder Brittany Farms. Although he was up against the Yonkers Trot winner, Master Of Law's resume of three impressive scores at Mohawk Racetrack led to honors as the 2-5 favorite.
Callahan also scored a KYSS victory with the 3-year-old filly trotter Ma Chere Hall, who was second in her Hambletonian Oaks elim and ninth placed eighth in the final after going offstride early. Ma Chere Hall crossed the wire in 1:54.4 as she bested Variety Girl by 4-3/4 lengths, with Caneel Hall third.
Owned by breeder Walnut Hall Ltd. in partnership with Aldebaran Park Inc. and Joe Sbrocco, Ma Chere Hall is a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe. Her effort Thursday was her third winning one in seven starts this year, bringing her earnings to $218,908. She is trained by Jonas Czernyson.
True Day Dream captured the second split for second-year filly trotters with a 1:55 effort for driver Tyler Smith. Rockin With Dewey was second with Little Bitty Lies third.
Dan O'Mara trains the winning daughter of Infinitif for owner Joseph Hess. The win was her fourth of the year in nine starts, increasing her career earnings to $183,207.
So Nice romped to a 10-1/2 length win in 1:52.1 in the first division for sophomore filly pacers. Peter Wrenn was in the sulky behind the daughter of Ponder for trainer Kevin Thomas and owner-breeder Andrew Demetrious as she easily bested runner-up Swinging Carol and third-place finisher Imnotasonofabeach.
The second KYSS division for 3-year-old filly pacers went to KZ Beach Girl and driver Chris Page in 1:53.4. Finishing four lengths behind in second was Ohmybelle, with Sammy's Ponder third.
Steve Carter trains the winning daughter of Jenna's Beach Boy and shares ownership with Peggy Carter, Chuck Grubbs and Robert Reid. The career-best win was her fourth of the year in 11 starts and increased her lifetime earnings to $92,225.
The second round of KYSS for 3-year-olds is scheduled for Saturday (Aug. 24) at The Red Mile. The $2 million Kentucky Super Night, with all eight finals for 2- and 3-year-olds, each carrying a purse of $250,000, is slated for Sunday night (Sept. 1).