Lexington, KY --- With $1.4 million on the line for eight championship contests, the Sunday (Aug. 31) Kentucky Sire Stakes finals at The Red Mile were guaranteed to significantly boost each victor’s bankroll and brought together fields with connections from the Hall of Fame to the fair circuit.
Rated muddy due to a series of showers that passed through the area shortly before the 7 p.m. call to post, the surface clearly did not seem to affect Armatrading and Jane Eyre in the $175,000 2-year-old filly trot in race one.
Off an impressive performance in the $15,000 second leg of the series on Aug. 24, Armatrading was sent off as the even money favorite with Jane Eyre right on her heels. The bettors were spot on as the two fillies slugged it out all alone through the stretch with Armatrading pulling decisively clear before the wire, stopping the clock in 2:00. Charity Hall got up to finish out the trifecta.
The daughter of Groton Hall and the Dream Vacation mare Silver Thatch, owned by Atlantic Trot Inc., had the services of Randal Jerrell in the bike and is conditioned by Kenneth Oscarsson. The victory placed her record at 5-2-0-1 and boosted her bankroll to just under $100,000.
|Cinnabar Hall was a 2:05.2 winner in the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot final.|
Purchased for $50,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Sale, Cinnabar Hall was sent off as the overwhelming 1-9 favorite in the $175,000 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, which was the second race on the card. The son of Groton Hall and the Pine Chip mare Charm’s Chip, with Hall of Fame member Mike Lachance holding the lines, easily dispatched his rivals in the first two legs of the series and made it a clean sweep with another facile victory in 2:05.2 over the wet surface. Rompaway Hustler was along for second, but made a break in the stretch and was placed third, behind Nothing But Good.
Owned by All Star Racing, Inc., Cinnabar Hall, trained by Peter Foley, improved his resume to 6-3-1-0, while his bankroll now sits at just over $100,000.
“He will race in the Kindergarten here at The Red Mile,” Foley said. “He has a lot of ability and we haven’t seen the best of him yet.”
The $175,000 3-year-old colt and gelding trot was race seven and featured a field of 10 with the Jeff Smith trained Tinder sent to the gate as the 4-5 selection. Owned by Georgetown resident Walter Fister, the homebred son of Valley Victor and the Pine Chip mare Expressive Chip, was saddled with the nine hole in a competitive field. Fister was concerned with the post prior to the race, but Tinder proved this was not an issue.
With Tyler Smith at the controls, the gelding was placed in perfect striking position early on, tussled briefly with last year’s 2-year-old champion, Sorrento Hall, and came home under no real urging in 1:58.2. His record now stands at 9-5-4-0, with purse money collected just over $110,000. Scacco Matto and Sorrento Hall were second and third, respectively.
In the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace, which was race 10, Bestbestraight was sent off as the second choice at odds of 2-1. The son of Third Straight and the Abercrombie mare Alicrombie rewarded his backers with a triumph in 1:59.1 over Straightonliberty and Teahouse Hall, by powering clear in midstretch.
Owned by Peggy Carter, Anna Coe, Robert Reid and Chuck Grubbs and bred by Thomas Cave, the gelding is conditioned by Steve Carter and was driven to victory by Dave Palone. The win improved his record to 8-4-2-0 and his lifetime earnings to about $110,000.
Race 11 had seven 3-year-old fillies line up to see who would become Kentucky’s next trotting champion. Last year's victress, Petticoat Affair, had only two second place finishes on her 2014 resume with both of these coming in sire stakes company, but the crowd still supported her as the third choice behind the impressive Dress For Success.
The daughter of Valley Victor and the Conway Hall mare Katie Hall disposed of her rivals in the stretch to repeat as a champion her sophomore year. Co-owned (along with Mystical Marker Farms) and conditioned by Bobby Brower, the filly was guided in her win by Brad Hanners. Her record now stands at 12-6-4-1 with just under $300,000 in the bank. Sister Star and KJ Brenda rounded out the top three finishers.
Next up in race 12 were the 2-year-old filly pacers. Cielle and Makeba Hall were the two main competitors in this event. The former competed on the fair circuit before transitioning to the sire stakes where she had easily defeated this rival in the prior two legs of the series and posted her lifetime mark of 1:57.2 in the second leg on Aug. 21.
The contest never really developed, as Cielle a homebred daughter of Third Straight and Caroline, racing for Walter Fister, was placed in the garden spot by her driver, Michael Pryor, and blew by the leader, Third Tan, before the turn coming for home. She was 4-1/2 lengths on top into the stretch and was geared down when she hit the wire in 2:00. Trained by Randal Jerrell, the filly’s resume now stands at 9-7-2-0 with earnings of just over $100,000. Makeba Hall was the bridesmaid once again, with the other Jerrell trainee, Mama's Home, right behind her in third.
|Nigel Soult photos|
|On Golden Ponder was won of two Sire Stake winners for driver John Campbell and trainer Bob McIntosh.|
It was the 3-year-old pacers time to shine in race 13. Heavy favorite and world record holder On Golden Ponder was seeking to redeem himself from last year’s sire stake final. The son of Ponder and In Trepid Water by Intrepid Seelster, co-owned by his conditioner Bob McIntosh, C S X Stables and Michael Kohler, was the public’s choice in 2013, but made a costly break in the early stages of that race to finish off the board.
Upon his return to Kentucky this year, the colt rolled in the first two legs of this series and turning for the finish line, this one was never in doubt. On Golden Ponder, with John Campbell in the sulky, stopped the clock in 1:59.2 over 69-1 shot Doc’s Hobo and 10-1 shot Last Best Chance. His record is now 12-7-1-1 with purse money just shy of $180,000.
Race 14 was the final championship of the evening and saw a field of seven 3-year-old pacing fillies at the gate. On Golden Ponder’s stablemate, Somethinincredible, was out to defend her crown but had finished second in both legs to Rollin Deep. This time, however, the daughter of Ponder and the Intrepid Seelster mare Breathdefying turned the tables on that filly and sat in the pocket for most of her journey around the track.
Steered by John Campbell, Somethinincredible outdueled All Charged Up to the finish line to win by one length in 1:59.2. Bred, co-owned and conditioned by Bob McIntosh, this filly knocked heads with the best in her division last year by competing in the Matron, the International Stallion Stake, the Bluegrass Stake and the Champlain. Now twice a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion, Someinincredible is also owned by C S X Stables and Dave Boyle. Her resume now is 20-5-3-1 and she has amassed just over $300,000.