Lexington, KY — Chris Ryder trainee Bettor’s Wish — off five days rest — paced a meeting’s best at The Red Mile when winning the third of three $30,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) opening preliminary divisions for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:47.4 on Thursday (Aug. 15).
Driver Dexter Dunn darted Bettor’s Wish to the lead while Captain Trevor floated towards the top nearing a :27 opening quarter and eventually crossed over to control the field into the backside. Dunn soon angled the son of Bettor’s Delight from the pocket and retook the lead prior to a :54.2 half. From there, Bettor’s Wish paced to three-quarters in 1:21.4 and finished the mile under minimal encouragement with a :26 final quarter. Captain Trevor cut into the leader’s margin late when finishing second, while Backlight rode the pylons for the mile and finished several lengths behind in third.
Co-owned by Ryder with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor’s Wish won his seventh race from 10 starts this season and his 12th from 22 overall, surpassing $1.1 million in earnings. The Brittany Farms-bred colt paid $2.10 to win.
Can’t Beach That pounced on pacesetter Dancin Lou to take the opening KYSS division in 1:50.
Driver David Miller placed the Brett Pelling-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt in the pocket moving to a :27.1 opening quarter and stayed put at the pylons to a :55.3 half. Doc’s Hooligan pulled first-over from fifth moving to the far turn, and progressed to apply pressure to Dancin Lou passing three-quarters in 1:23.4, but retreated through the stretch. Can’t Beach That angled outside of Dancin Lou into the final eighth and powered past to win by three-quarters of a length. Dancin Lou held second from Skip To My Lou, who rode the pylons for third.
Owned by breeder Melvin Segal with partners Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran, Can’t Beach That — out of the Kentucky-based broodmare Cannae Cammie — won his fourth race from nine starts this season and his fifth from 18 overall, earning $84,104. David Miller steered the $4.00 winner.
Trainer-driver Dan Noble swooped the field with odds-on favorite Native’s Sweetlou to take the middle KYSS split in 1:49.2.
Egomania left for the front while Pyro sat the pocket through an early clip of :26.3 and :54.2. Noble had Native’s Sweetlou positioned seventh approaching the final turn and tipped the Allamerican Native gelding to race third-over, gapping cover, as Western Exposure led the two-wide tier to three-quarters. Western Exposure pressed Egomania through the third station in 1:22and took a narrow lead through the stretch. Noble fanned to the center of the course with Native’s Sweetlou and brushed by tiring horses in progress to a length victory. Pocket sitter Pyro snuck through a seam inside for second while Western Exposure, rough-gaited at the end, settled for third.
Leased by Chuck Grubbs, Native’s Sweetlou won his fourth race from 11 starts this season and his sixth from 22 overall, crossing $100,000 in earnings. The Thomas Cave-bred gelding paid $3.40 to win.
Race favorite and defending KYSS champ Beautyonthebeach managed slow fractions on the front while battling a far-turn blitz from Blue Ivy to take the sole split of KYSS for 3-year-old pacing fillies.
Summer Charm charged for the front from the outside, while Margret Hill tucked into the pocket and driver Doug McNair protected position from the pylon post circling the first turn in third. McNair then moved the Somebeachsomewhere filly off the pegs past a :28 first quarter and cleared control entering the backside. Blue Ivy sat fifth and pulled wide to venture uncovered through a :56 half, with Alii Nui and Salutation in tow.
Blue Ivy accelerated towards the pacesetter and took a slim lead as the pace quickened towards three-quarters, timed in 1:23.3. Beautyonthebeach drifted from the pylons exiting the turn, but quickly angled towards the cones straightening into the stretch. Blue Ivy backed through a wall of horses while Summer Charm attempted to pull pocket, but threw several bad steps. Beautyonthebeach faced little challenge in the final strides to win in a lifetime-best 1:50.4, with Alii Nui rallying from off cover to take second and Salutation pacing widest of all to finish third.
A homebred filly out of Precocious Beauty for James Avritt Sr., Beautyonthebeach won her second race from nine starts this season and her seventh from 22 overall, earning $319,873. Gregg McNair conditions the $2.80 winner.
Kentucky Sires Stakes action resumes Sunday (Aug. 18) at The Red Mile, with trotting freshmen contesting in the second preliminary of their events — three divisions for the colts and three for the fillies. The 15-race program starts at 7 p.m. (EDT).