Lexington, Kentucky’s Red Mile, all set for a rare program under the “stars” on Sunday, Sept. 2, will be featuring “stars” on the track, as well, with 26 stakes events during its Sunday through Tuesday (Sept. 2-4) work week.
Confederate (pictured above) and Special Way lead the parade of “stars” this week with all eyes on the up-and-coming stars such as Karl and Better Is Nice, as well.
Sunday night’s racing program — the first nighttime gig in more almost four years — begins at 5:50 p.m. with 14 races on tap, including two $80,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Series events with two-year-old trotting colts and geldings under the stars along with two-year-old pacing fillies.
The trotting feature for the juvenile colts and geldings features the highly regarded Karl, with the son of Tactical Landing looking to keep his perfect record in “tactical” fashion after two straight wins to kick off his career, including the fastest performance of juvenile trotters — 1:52.1 — at The Red Mile in his last start.
Trained by Nancy Takter, who co-owns with Christina Takter, Black Horse Racing, Crawford Farms Racing and Bend Sweden, Karl has drawn the outside seven post in this week’s event and will be handled by Yannick Gingras as the even-money morning line favourite.
The pace for juvenile pacing fillies has turned into a wide-open affair with a quartet of evenly-matched entrants seeking the even bigger-than-usual share of this $80,000 purse.
Asweetbeachhere has a pair of wins this season in her five starts and a mark of 1:53.1 and is listed at 7-5 in the morning line for trainer Erv MIller, who does the conditioning for owner Douglas Overhiser. Atlee Bender will handle the lines on Sunday night.
Capytreach, trained by Linda Toscano for West Wins Stable, Eric Good and Mark Dumain, already has a record of 1:51.3 and has shown ability to pace final quarters in the :25.3-:25.4 range. This filly is listed at 5-2.
Seeuontheotherside and Gifted One complete the evenly matched field, both looking for their maiden wins.
In the “better for the bettor” department, the wagering buffet is loaded for the “Send-It-In Army” members with a wide variety of options highlighted by low takeouts and a pair of Pick-4 events — beginning in races six and and 11 — both with an industry low 12 per cent takeout and the race six Pick-4 with a $10,000 guaranteed pool.
On Monday, the “stars” will be on-track in the form of Special Way and Confederate — both entered in their respective $80,000 KYSS Championship events.
Special Way is in the three-year-old filly trot and last year’s champion is looking to extend her winning streak this year to four. This is her first pari-mutuel start back after her win in the $240,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final at The Meadowlands on June 2 and comes into the action tightened up with a winning qualifier at Pocono Downs in 1:53.3.
Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt will drive for owners, Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.
Her task will not be easy as Mambacita, coming off a 1:51 win in last week’s KYSS, is looking to extend her winning streak to three for trainer Tony Alagna. Owned by Alagna Racing, Crawford Farms and Pryde Stables, she will have Scott Zeron in the bike.
Caviart Gwen, Mamamia Volo and Walner Payton complete the talented quintet.
Confederate, trained by Brett Pelling for Diamond Creek Racing, is in-to-go in the Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Series having banked $1,393,504 in his 14 career starts at two and three with $898,179 this semester to go along with a mark of 1:47.
The colt is six-for-seven this year, currently the top-ranked horse in harness racing, and looks to stretch his current winning streak to five. Tim Tetrick has the driving assignment on Monday.
On Tuesday, Better Is Nice heads a sharp field of five in the $80,000 KYSS Championship Series for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings while Allegiant looks for a repeat win in her race for juvenile trotting fillies.
Better Is Nice has ripped off four straight wins in Sire Stakes action in New Jersey and at The Red Mile with a mark of 1:50.4 taken up north on Hambletonian Day, and his latest win at The Red Mile a week ago was completed in 1:51.3, highlighted by a final panel in :25.4.
Better Is Nice is trained by Tony Alagna for his Alagna Racing, Pryde Stables and Birnam Wood Farms and will have Andrew McCarthy in the bike.
Allegiant, trained by Vernon Beachy for Ryan Smith, achieved her fourth lifetime win in her last start, holding off Volcanic Blue Chip and Ake Svanstedt by a neck, the latter’s second photo finish loss in a row.
Post time for the Monday and Tuesday card is 1 p.m. and, as usual, free program pages are available for each racing program at redmileracing.com.