Lexington, KY --- The 2013 Grand Circuit meet opened at The Red Mile on Thursday (Sept. 26) with three divisions in the $287,600 Bluegrass for 2-year-old trotting fillies.
|Nigel Soult photo|
|Designed To Be won her Bluegrass division in a world record time of 1:52.2.|
Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Designed To Be was the star of the night as she won the $96,200 final division in a world record clocking of 1:52.2, breaking the previous mark of 1:52.4 for a freshman trotting filly on a mile track set by Snow White in 2007 at The Red Mile.
Bred and owned by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Sheer Soul is trained by Julie Miller and was driven to victory by Andy Miller. The win was the fourth in seven lifetime starts for Designed To Be, who has now earned $286,186.
Cooler Schooner, who set the world record of 1:51.3 for a 2-year-old filly on a five-eighths-mile track earlier this year at Pocono Downs, charged right to the top from post seven for driver John Campbell and opened up several lengths on the field as she hit the opening quarter in :27.2 and the half in :54.3. Designed To Be sat in a loose pocket and began to cut into the lead as Cooler Schooner hit the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1.
Heading down the stretch, Designed To Be powered to the lead and then held off a late rush by Shake It Cerry (Ron Pierce) to post a narrow victory in the 1:52.2 clocking. Cooler Schooner faded to third.
"She's been well in hand every race she's had," said driver Andy Miller. "I didn't know if she'd go this fast, but I knew it was going to set up for a big mile and I just hoped I was the one crossing the wire first. I just wanted to rate my own mile and not use her up too much early and save a little for late.
"She is very versatile. We've been taking our time with her all along and it seems to be paying off."
In the $95,200 opening split, Melvin Hartman, R A W Equine and Adam Victor & Son Stable's Struck By Lindy took advantage of a pocket trip to score in a lifetime best 1:53.1. David Miller was in the bike for trainer Nifty Norman as the daughter of Explosive Matter-Lindy Of My Dreams won for the fourth time in eight lifetime starts, improving her bankroll to $161,427.
Struck By Lindy ($7.80) sat in the two hole as Heaven's Door and John Campbell cut fractions of :28.3, :56.1 and 1:25. Miller popped Struck By Lindy out of the pocket in the lane and she cleared to the front and won under wraps. Heaven's Door held for second while Anonyme Hanover (Brett Miller) finished third.
"She got away good and got a great trip there," said driver David Miller. "She's been racing well. She's run up against a couple of real nice fiillies. I'm glad to see her get a good mark."
Struck By Lindy spent most of the summer on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit and finished third in the $260,000 final on Sept. 15.
In the $96,200 second division, Chivaree Hanover brushed to the lead at the half-mile marker and held off Cee Bee Yes at the wire to post a lifetime best 1:56.3 score. Doug McNair steered the filly for his father, owner/trainer Gregg McNair, as the daughter of Muscle Hill-Celebrity Nike posted her third win in six lifetime starts. Chivaree Hanover has now earned $92,113 this year.
Cee Bee Yes and Andy Miller grabbed the early lead in this contest, taking the field to the opening quarter in :28.3. Chivaree Hanover got away third, but came first-over on the backstretch and was in front at the midway point in :57.1.
The new leader was challenged past the 1:28 three-quarter pole by A Sundae On Sunday (Sylvain Filion), but held off that one as the trotters straightened out into the lane.
Chivaree Hanover ($10.60) rebuffed one final challenge from Cee Bee Yes near the wire to hold that one at bay in the 1:56.3 clocking. A Sundae On Sunday held third. Favored Lifetime Pursuit went off stride before the start and wound up sixth.
"I was just a little careful with her on the first turn and the guys in front of me came back to me a little bit," said driver Doug McNair. "I just didn't want to double her up, so I moved her to the outside and let her trot past the half and she was everything from there.
McNair added that it is always special to win a race for his father.
"Yeah, for sure. He owns a hundred percent of her.
"I was there when they broke her down in Florida and she was nasty, they couldn't catch her in the stall. He's done a great job to get her where she is today."