Lexington, KY --- Freshman pacing colts were in the Grand Circuit spotlight on Saturday night (Sept. 28) at The Red Mile as four divisions were contested in the Bluegrass Stakes.
|Western Vintage powered home in 1:49.4 for Yannick Gingras.|
In the $76,750 opening division, Perry Soderberg's Western Vintage won for the fifth time in seven lifetime starts as Yannick Gingras piloted him to a lifetime best 1:49.4 tiumph. Trained by Nancy Johansson, the Western Ideal-Major Harmony colt lifted his bankroll to $316,838 with the impressive score.
Western Vintage ($3.20) raced in the back of the pack for most of the mile, came second over after the 1:22.1 three-quarter pole and fanned three wide entering the stretch. The $7,000 yearling purchase then powered to an easy victory over On Golden Ponder, who won a tight photo for place over Some Major Beach.
Western Vintage's owner offered his opinion in the winner's circle as to why this top colt was such a bargain buy.
"Western Ideal stands in New Jersey and the New Jersey Sire Stakes program hasn't been the strongest and that's probably the main reason," said Soderberg. "He did have a scar on an ankle behind that may have gotten some people off of him. That's the only two things I can think of. He had a good pedigree and is a nice looking horse."
A longshot prevailed in the $77,750 second division, as Limelight Beach ($20.00) matched the 1:49.4 clocking of the opening split. David Miller piloted the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear to his fifth win in nine season's starts. Owned by James Stambaugh, Milton Leeman and Charles Wingfield, Limelight Beach has now earned $175,817 this year for trainer Brian Brown.
Miller sent Limelight Beach to the front and he cut first half fractions of :27.1 and :55.4, before yielding to So Surreal who took the field to the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2.
|USTA/Mark Hall photos|
|Limelight Beach crossed the finish line in 1:49.4 for David Miller.|
But down the stretch, Limelight Beach found racing room to the inside, regained the lead and went on to defeat So Surreal in the 1:49.4 mile. Somestarsomewhere was third.
Smack Talk won the $77,750 third division for driver Ron Pierce in a time of 1:50.4. Co-owned by trainer John Williamson with his partner, Daniel Haist, the son of Cam's Card Shark-Chippie Gabby broke his maiden in this his sixth lifetime start. Smack Talk has now earned $54,581 in 2013.
Smack Talk ($10.80) came from off the pace to grab the lead midway down the stretch and he then held off the fast closing Sometimes Said at the wire. He's Got It was third.
The $77,750 nightcap was captured by Mark Winship and Amy Giberson's Odds On Rhodonite in a personal best clocking of 1:50.2. Corey Callahan was in the bike for trainer Nick Giberson as the son of Western Ideal-Odds On Helen won for the fourth time in six lifetime starts, with earnings of $52,500.
Odds On Rhodonite ($17.80) was another come from behind winner, as he paced to the front in deep stretch and then stopped Journeyman at the wire. Early leader Carracci Hanover came back to finish third.