To watch a recap of the day’s major stakes races, click here.
Lexington, KY — Bettor’s Wish grabbed the lead early and refused to let it go, winning the $150,000 Odds On Racing Allerage Open Pace — sponsored by Dana Parham and Best Bet Stables — in a track-record time of 1:48 on Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile.
On the move by a :27.3 opening quarter, Bettor’s Wish took the lead from This Is The Plan moving up the backstretch while early leader Century Farroh was shuffled to third. Century Farroh then pulled and blitzed the pacesetter to a :54.4 half but could not clear the lead.
Bettor’s Wish kept Century Farroh parked to three-quarters in 1:22 and accelerated into the stretch with just This Is The Plan in contention. Into the eighth pole This Is The Plan took a shot at Bettor’s Wish, but the 4-year-old Bettor’s Delight stallion rebuffed the challenge to hit the finish first in 1:48 — a track record for 4-year-old pacing stallions. Backstreet Shadow closed for third with Brassy Hanover finishing fourth.
“The thing I liked about him most is when we show him in the paddock,” said co-owner Art Zubrod of Fair Island Farm. “Usually the first time you show them in the paddock is the best they ever are, but the great ones get better. He got better every time. He was as good today as he’s ever been. I really think this was the best he’s ever been today.”
Owned by Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor’s Wish won his fourth race from nine starts this season and his 22nd from 40 overall, earning $2,288,033. Chris Ryder trains the Brittany Farms-bred stallion while Dexter Dunn had the reins of the $5.20 winner.
Kissin In The Sand also scored in track-record time, winning the $72,000 Harness Racing Update Allerage Fillies & Mares Open Pace in 1:48.
Taking command past a :27.2 opening quarter, Kissin In The Sand held the helm to a :54.4 half and grew her advantage circling the final turn. Pocket-sitter Caviart Ally gave chase in second to three-quarters in 1:21.3 as Kissin In the Sand widened her lead into the stretch and to the finish. Treacherous Reign rallied down the center of the track for second while Caviart Ally held third and Warrawee Ubeaut settled for fourth.
“She’s probably my favorite, like ever, out of all the horses I’ve ever been associated with,” trainer Nancy Takter said after the race. “When the summer came along she kind of tailed off a little bit (because of allergies) but now with the colder weather she’s kind of more geared up and ready to go again.”
Bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine and Concord Stud Farm, Kissin In The Sand won her fifth race from nine starts this season and her 24th from 55 overall, earning $1,506,594 for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. Dexter Dunn drove the 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare who paid $2.60 to win.
Even-money second choice Atlanta downed 4-5 favorite Gimpanzee with a 1:50 performance in the Allerage Farms Open Trot — sponsored by Jeff and Paula Gural and Allerage Farms.
Atlanta pushed for positioning heading into the first turn with Gimpanzee to her outside. Gimpanzee slid to the front heading to a :27.1 opening quarter and rolled up the backside to a :54.3 half. But the favorite grew leg weary into the final turn as Atlanta popped the pocket to three-quarters in 1:23 and quickly put away her rival into the stretch.
Gimpanzee continued to falter while Crystal Fashion rallied towards the leader late but settled for second. Majestic Player A closed for third with Lindy The Great finishing fourth. Gimpanzee faded to sixth.
“I thought on paper it was a two-horse race,” said driver Yannick Gingras after the race on his decision to leave with Atlanta. “Me and Ronnie (Burke) were actually on the same page — we talked just before going onto the track. I just didn’t want Gimpanzee on a loose lead and have to come like from five or six lengths behind him. I respect the horse, I just wanted to stay close to him. I think if you can trip her out she’s incredible, but today I think she gutted it out and all credit to her.”
A 5-year-old mare by Chapter Seven, Atlanta won her fifth race from 10 starts this season and her 25th from 49 overall, earning $2,524,453 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. Order By Stable bred the Ron Burke trainee who paid $4.00 to win.