The most difficult assignment at The Red Mile on Saturday may well be selecting the best race of the 12 carded.
The evening's stakes begin with the $145,000 Allerage Open Trot, which mark's harness racing's current Horse of the Year poll topper San Pail's Lexington debut. A winner of both the Nat Ray and Credit Winner in two state-side appearances this year, San Pail arrives on a hot streak for the Rod Hughes/Glen Van Camp/Randy Waples team and faces the usual, formidible opponents in the fourth race today.
The Western Ideal 2YO colt pace Bluegrass Stakes encompasses race 5, 8, 10 & 11, each for a purse of $96,500. PA Sires Stakes champ Sweet Lou leads the first division for owners Burke, Weaver/Bruscemi, Karr & Collura and will be driven, as he has been in all of his starts, by Hall of Famer Dave Palone. "Lou" has big shoes to fill, being a half-brother to top FFA pacer Bettor Sweet (competing in today's Allerage FFA pace in race 9), and has done the family proud with 7 wins in 8 starts, $283,000 and the PASS trophy under his belt already.
The wickedly fast A Rocknroll Dance has the favorite's role in race 8 for trainer Jim Mulinix, who owns the champion colt in partnership with Denny Miller and the Silvas. A Rocknroll Dance equalled the world record of 1:49.1 in his third career start, winning a Metro elimination, then was a tight second in that $1million final. He comes into this one, like Sweet Lou, off a convincing win in the Elevation stakes at Indy Downs.
My Brother George in an anomaly, having raced and defeated a field of older horses in the FFA pace at The Red Mile last weekend. He returns to face those of his own age as the oddsmaker's choice in race 10. After a third place finish in the Woodrow Wilson final, the colt was rested in anticipation of the fall stakes by trainer Bruce Saunders. Saunders trains the colt for Frank Bellino, the same connections that campaigned 2010 HOTY Rock N Roll Heaven.
Simply Business cost his owners $350,000 at auction last fall and it was money well spent. The dividend is already over $600,000 after just a handful of starts and the Metro title under his belt for his Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. He will most certainly capture the attention of Red Mile punters in the eleventh race.
The Bluegrass 3YO filly pace drew a flat ten and contains the best fillies currently in action. Jugette winner Idyllic is here, as is Mistletoe Shalee winner Drop The Ball, Miss New Jersey winner Krispy Apple and Juggette heat winner Swinging Beauty line up behind the Greg Coon starting gate for a purse of $153,000.
The $183,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace comes around in race 9 and offers another great match-up by a bumper crop of tough-as-nails pacing horses and geldings. We Will See has made a strong case for the four-year-old graduating class by winning over $1 million this year and capturing top events like the Ben Franklin and Canadian Pacing Derby. Foiled Again is tenacity personified. One of the grittiest performers in memory, "Foiled" has eclipsed $1 million on the campaign as well. Chances are, Bettor Sweet and St Elmo Hero will be heard from as well.
First post is 7:00 PM for Saturday. The 119th Kentucky Futurity will headline Sunday afternoon's race card which begins at 1:00. Visit http://www.theredmile.com/ for all the news and notes.