Lexington, KY --- The opening week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile continued on Sunday (Sept. 29) with a pair of $86,600 divisions in the Bluegrass Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters.
The opening division saw Ma Chere Hall prevail on the front end for driver Corey Callahan in a time of 1:52.3, which equaled her lifetime mark set earlier this month in capturing the Kentucky Sire Stakes final.
|Ma Chere Hall was a 1:52.3 winner for Corey Callahan.|
Owned by Walnut Hall Limited, Aldebaran Park and Joe Sbrocco, the Jonas Czernyson trainee won her fourth straight and sixth in 10 season's starts. The daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Margarita Hall has now earned $232,644 in 2013.
Starting from post position seven, Callhan put Ma Chere Hall on the lead just past the opening quarter of :27.1 and she cut subsequent panels of :55.1 and 1:25.1 with Shared Past on her back in second.
Driver Yannick Gingras tipped Shared Past out of the pocket in the lane and she engaged Ma Chere Hall but could not pass her. Ma Chere Hall ($4.40) hung on for a neck victory in that 1:52.3 clocking. Royal Assets was third for Ray Schnittker.
"It was kind of robbery, getting a :30 second quarter there," said Callahan. "The only horse I thought I had to beat was the one on my back, so I took advantage of it if I could.
"She was good here for the Kentucky Sire Stakes, so I felt really good with her getting over this surface."
|USTA/Mark Hall photos|
|Handover Belle (#4) was a half-length winner over To Dream On.|
The second division was captured by John Carver and Howard Taylor's Handover Belle in a lifetime best 1:52.2 clocking. Tim Tetrick was in the bike for trainer Tony Alagna as the daughter of Andover Hall-Harbour Belle posted her fourth win in 12 season's starts. Her 2013 earnings now stand at $132,699.
Heavily favored Frau Blucher (Ron Pierce) took the field to the opening quarter in :27.3 before yielding to Mistery Woman (David Miller), who put up middle panels of :55.4 and 1:24.3.
Handover Belle came from off the pace in the stretch and powered past the leaders, getting to the wire first in 1:52.2. To Dream On also rallied to finish second for Jimmy Takter, a half-length behind the winner, while Mistery Woman was third and Frau Blucher fourth.
"She's always been a filly that's really good tracking horses and always showed a big late kick early at the Meadowlands," said Alagna. "Last year we were very high on her, she finished up the year well and looked like she was going to give To Dream On a run for her money one day here at Lexington and she stepped on a flip flop and made a break.
"She's always shown the ability and she got an opportunity to get a nice mark today."