The Kentucky Futurity is the third jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Royalty For Life captured the second piece, the Hambletonian, after Dewycolorintheline won the first, the Yonkers Trot.
Royalty For Life was among 14 trotters entered in the 121st Futurity, so the field was divided into two seven-horse eliminations. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the same-day final. Unlike previous years when a horse had to win twice to be declared the champion, the winner of the final will receive the trophy regardless of his finish position in his elimination.
In addition to the Kentucky Futurity, Sunday’s card includes the Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters and the finals of the Allerage Farms Stakes for older male and female trotters and pacers.
|Royalty For Life has won $1.21 million this year.|
Royalty For Life, who has won six of 11 races and $1.21 million this year, drew post four in the first Futurity elimination and will be driven by Brian Sears. The rest of the division will line up with Creatine, Punxsutawney and Deadliest Catch inside of Royalty For Life and E L Rocket, Home Turf and Master Of Law to his outside.
The second elim features in post position order All Laid Out, Lauderdale, Wheeling N Dealin, Lindy’s Tru Grit, Spider Blue Chip, Your So Vain and High Bridge.
“To win the Futurity would be huge,” Ducharme said. “When you’re a kid getting into the sport, that’s one of the races you dream about. This would be right behind the Hambletonian.”
Royalty For Life, a son of stallion RC Royalty out of the mare Bourbon ‘N Grits, heads to the Futurity off a win in the $665,420 Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. His other victories include the $360,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial and the $294,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial.
“It’s been quite the enjoyable ride,” said Ducharme, who trains Royalty For Life for owners Al Ross, Ray Campbell, Jr. and Paul Fontaine. “The colt acts good right now and I think the extra week of rest helped him. He trained really well.”
Ducharme was not concerned about Royalty For Life racing twice on the same day because the Futurity format is the same as the Hambletonian.
“He’s already proved he can handle it and I expect him to be good with it again,” Ducharme said.
Creatine, Spider Blue Chip and Your So Vain all won Bluegrass Stakes divisions last weekend at The Red Mile in preparation for the Futurity.
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Your So Vain won his Bluegrass division in a time of 1:53.3.|
Your So Vain has won four of nine races this year, including a division of the Simcoe Stakes, and finished second on three occasions, most recently in the Canadian Trotting Classic to Royalty For Life. The son of stallion Donato Hanover out of the mare Tennis Lover has earned $303,830 for owners Paul and Glenn Van Camp of Ontario. The colt will be driven by Tim Tetrick.
The Van Camps are no strangers to successful trotters; Paul’s father, Glenn, bred and co-owns 2011 Horse of the Year San Pail (who returned to action Sept. 30 after a 17-month layoff because of injury).
“He’s a wonderful horse to race,” trainer Brad Maxwell said about Your So Vain. “He gives you a full effort every time he races and that’s all you can ask of a horse.
“It would be great for Mr. Van Camp to win this race, a real feather in the cap. This horse kind of filled in for San Pail while he was out. That would mean more to me than anything.”
Below are the fields for the Kentucky Futurity:
Kentucky Futurity Elimination 1
1. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart; 2. Punxsutawney, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen; 3. Deadliest Catch, Ron Pierce, John Duer; 4. Royalty For Life, Brian Sears, George Ducharme; 5. E L Rocket, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Home Turf, Pierce, Noel Daley; 7. Master Of Law, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci.
Kentucky Futurity Elimination 2
1. All Laid Out, Yannick Gingras, Noel Daley; 2. Lauderdale, Dave Palone, Jonas Czernyson; 3. Wheeling N Dealin, Sylvain Filion, Dustin Jones; 4. Lindy’s Tru Grit, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci; 5. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 6. Your So Vain, Tim Tetrick, Brad Maxwell; 7. High Bridge, Gingras, Jimmy Takter.
World champion Frau Blucher and Bluegrass division winners Handover Belle and Ma Chere Hall lead the list of nine trotters in the Kentucky Filly Futurity.
Like the race for the colts, the Filly Futurity features a first round followed by same-day final. Since only nine horses entered the race, the first race will determine post positions for the final. The field for the opening round in post position order is Handover Belle, Frau Blucher, To Dream On, Perfect Alliance, Mistery Woman, Classic Martine, Ma Chere Hall, Time To Kill and Shared Past.
In the $175,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace, 4-year-old Pet Rock will try for his third world record in as many starts. Pet Rock, who drew post six, paced the fastest mile ever on a five-eighths-mile track (1:47.2) at Scioto Downs on Sept. 7 and the fastest ever on a half-mile track (1:48.1) at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio on Sept. 19. A Rocknroll Dance, who finished second in both those races, starts the Allerage from post three.
The $172,200 Allerage Farms Open Trot features Arch Madness, who gave a world-record-equaling performance to win the Allerage elimination last weekend, as well as stakes winners Sevruga, My MVP, Mister Herbie, Market Share, Guccio and Wishing Stone. My MVP won last year’s Kentucky Futurity.
Rocklamation, coming off her win in the Milton Stakes, leads the field for the $81,000 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Pace. Stakes winners Camille and Drop The Ball also are in the eight-horse group.
Maven, who won the Miss Versatility Stakes with a world-record 1:51.4 mile at the Delaware County Fair on Sept. 19, headlines the $76,000 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Trot. Cedar Dove, who won the 2011 Kentucky Filly Futurity, also is in the eight-horse field, along with Muscle Hill winner D’Orsay and Check Me Out, who was voted the sport’s best filly trotter at ages 2 and 3.