The sport’s top ranked horse demonstrated why he deserves that ranking as Confederate stopped the clock in 1:46.1 in the $80,000 fourth round of the Kentucky Championship Series to become the swiftest three-year-old pacer in harness racing history on Monday (Sept. 4) at Red Mile.
The 13-race card also included three $30,000 Kentucky Commonwealth Series divisions and three $15,000 Kentucky Golden Rod Series divisions as the fourth leg of each series.
Heavily favoured Confederate (Tim Tetrick) made his world record appear like just a jog around the red clay oval. The colt and his reinsman left from post position three in the field of five and settled in third for the first fraction of the mile. For Once Inmy Life (Andrew McCarthy) established the first split of :27 but Command (Todd McCarthy), Confederate’s stablemate, did exactly that and set hot fractions of :53.2 and 1:19.2.
Despite pacing his final quarter panel in :26.3, Command could not stave off Confederate, who moved into second by a head at the top of the stretch and simply glided home with a :26 final quarter-mile. A Cool Moment (Joey Putnam) crossed the line a full second behind Confederate with Command in third.
Trained by Brett Pelling, Confederate bested the previous world standard on a mile track for his age, gender and gait of 1:46.4 shared by Somebeachsomewhere (2008), Hes Watching (2014), Cattlewash (2020) and Its My Show (2023).
The Meadowlands Pace victor improved his seasonal record to 7-1-0 from eight starts. He is now 12-2-1 from 15 lifetime starts with the only blemish this year a second-place finish in the North America Cup behind Its My Show.
Confederate, a son of Sweet Lou-Geothermal, has also captured the Cane Pace and the Max C. Hempt Memorial. The win was his fifth in a row since the loss in the North America Cup. He was also the two-year-old champion in this series last year.
The colt competes as a homebred for Diamond Creek Farm and he is the first foal out of his dam who is a half-sibling to champion Pure Country (sired by Somebeachsomewhere, $2.63 million in career earnings).
Confederate boosted his bankroll to $1.43 million.
He paid $2.10 to win.
Champion Special Way took the other division for sophomore filly trotters in 1:51.2 to remain undefeated in 2023.
Defending Dan Patch Award winner Special Way returned after a brief layoff due to a bone infection to capture her $80,000 division by a neck. Steered by her trainer, Ake Svanstedt, the filly allowed New Jersey champion Walner Payton (Dexter Dunn) to lead the field of field through a first quarter-mile in :28.2. That’s when Svanstedt shook the lines and Special Way took control.
She set fractions of :56 and 1:25.1 before fending off a hard-charging Mommamia Volo (T. McCarthy) to score by a neck. Walner Payton was third.
Special Way used a :26.1 final panel to collect her fourth win of the season from four starts and achieve a new lifetime mark. The daughter of Walner-Special Hill is also the defending Kentucky champion and has won 11 consecutive races dating back to this series last year.
Like Confederate, Special Way competes as a homebred, for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The filly, a granddaughter of champion Honorable Daughter, has earned $996,850 and possesses a resume of 11-1-0 in 13 starts.
Special Way paid $2.64 to win as the public’s choice.
Cannibal Crushes in Commonwealth Series
Favoured Cannibal (Yannick Gingras, $2.10) destroyed his rivals in one of two $30,000 Kentucky Commonwealth Series contests for sophomore male pacers in 1:48.4. The Adios victor returned to the winner’s circle after finishing second to Its My Show in a world record-equalling mile (1:46.4) in the Championship Series on Aug. 14.
The son of Sweet Lou-No More Losses is trained by Nancy Takter and captured the final for the Commonwealth Series as a freshman.
Cannibal races as a homebred for Diamond Creek Farm. He has a career record of 10-3-1 and has earned $444,978 from 17 starts.
He paid $2.10 to win.
El Rey (Scott Zeron, $5.28) collected his second win of 2023 in the other division of this series for three-year-old male pacers in 1:48.3. The son of Captaintreacherous-Mystery Game is trained by Alagna.
He was bred by Riverview Racing and is owned by Brittany Farms and El Rey Racing.
Believe U Me (Yannick Gingras, $9.68) collected her second straight victory in the sole $30,000 fourth leg of the Kentucky Commonwealth Series for sophomore filly trotters in 1:53.4.
Trained by Ron Burke, the daughter of Muscle Mass-I Believe is owned by William Donovan and was bred by Wiesman Farms LLC.
Kentucky Proud winner Cessna Pride leads the way in Golden Rod Series
Cessna Pride (Dunn, $23.62) won one of two $15,000 fourth round divisions of the Kentucky Golden Rod Series for three-year-old filly trotters in 1:54.3. The daughter of Muscle Mass won the $50,000 Kentucky Proud Series final over this same oval on July 23 for owner/trainer Bill Cottongim.
Picaboo Lady (Gingras, $7.48) won the other division in by a nose in 1:53. She is trained by Chris Beaver and is co-owned by her trainer with Donald Robinson, William Rufenacht and Gilbert Short.
Hungry To Succeed (Andrew McCarthy, $39.72) won the only division for sophomore male pacers by a head in 1:50.2 for trainer Alagna. The son of Stay Hungry was bred and is owned by Brad Grant.
Red Mile offers a rich buffet of wagering items including a 20-cent Pick-6 with 15 per cent takeout, a 50-cent Pick-5 with an industry low 12 per cent takeout, a Super Hi-5 15 per cent takeout, and Pick-4 events, with a $10,000 guaranteed pool in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program.
Red Mile races on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday schedule with a 1 p.m. EDT post time through Oct. 8. Free program pages are available at the Red Mile website in addition to race replays and a daily livestream of each card.
(With files from Red Mile)