Date Night still undefeated with Stallion Stakes score

Lexington, KY — The Bar Hopping-Nightsthatneverend filly Date Night chalked up another win on her unbeaten record when taking her seventh straight with a 1:52.1 win in the second of four divisions for the $314,000 International Moni International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday (Oct. 9) at The Red Mile.

Date Night chalked up another win on her unbeaten record when taking her seventh straight with a 1:52.1 win. USTA/Mark Hall photo.

Following a fiery 1:50.4 mile in the Bluegrass, driver Andy Miller positioned Date Night in sixth to a :28.2 first quarter as Misswalner Fashion brushed to the lead into the backside with Cash Infusion settling for the pocket. Misswalner Fashion continued unchallenged to a :55.2 half and slowed the tempo into the final turn as Miller pulled Date Night off the pegs and rushed first over. By three-quarters in 1:23.4, Date Night put away Misswalner Fashion and coasted to the finish to win by a length over fast-closing Adore Me. Cash Infusion finished third and Danznqueen Hanover closed from second over for fourth.

“(Breeder-owner Marvin Katz) said ‘I’ve got a filly that’s well bred. I don’t know how good she is, but she’s got a lot of pedigree behind her. Take her and see what you guys can do with her,'” Andy Miller said after the race of the Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband homebred, whom the duo bought back for $20,000 as a yearling. “She loves a target, and when she’s around the last turn she just digs in and wants to beat horses. That was kind of the game plan all along (to stay at The Red Mile). She was a little immature early and got a little sick, so we just brought her along slowly and targeted The Red Mile.”

From her seven starts, Date Night has earned $143,325. The Julie Miller trainee paid $2.80 to win.

Second-choice Raised By Lindy wore down 4-5 favorite Lilbitalexis through a stubborn stretch battle to nail a 1:51.3 victory at the beam of the first division for the International Moni.

Raised By Lindy wore down 4-5 favorite Lilbitalexis through a stubborn stretch battle to nail a 1:51.3 victory at the beam. USTA/Mark Hall photo.

Selfie Queen protected position from the pylon post to lead the field to the quarter in :28.1 before yielding command up the backside to Lilbitalexis through a :56.1 half. Driver Yannick Gingras remained patient with Raised By Lindy to the final turn, tipping his charge off the cones to march towards the top to three-quarters in 1:23.4. Off the turn, the Domenico Cecere-trained daughter of Walner-Birthright pressed Lilbitalexis until she gave way in the stretch sprint to the tune of a half-length at the beam. Selfie Queen gave pursuit from third with Shestheluckyone rallying well behind to take fourth.

A homebred for Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Raised By Lindy won her fourth race from eight starts, banking $147,743. She paid $5 to win.

Joviality S cruised first over to an easy 1:53 victory in the third division of the International Moni.

Ebbies Lady led the field by the quarter in :29 with Mon Cheval sitting second and Joviality S positioned third. Through a :57.2 half, Delilah Hanover pulled first over from fifth and flushed Joviality S, the 1-5 favorite, off the pylons into the final turn. Ranging towards Ebbies Lady through three-quarters in 1:25.4, Joviality S overtook the pacesetter through the lane and strode to a 1-1/4 length win over Delilah Hanover. Ebbies Lady held third and Mon Cheval took fourth.

Trained by Marcus Melander for owner Courant Inc., Joviality S has won seven races from nine starts and earned $363,748. The Chapter Seven-Pasithea Face S filly paid $2.60 to win.

Palermo Hanover pulled another upset after breaking her maiden at 39-1 in the Bluegrass last week, this time again firing home to land a 23-1 shock in the final division of the International Moni.

The Father Patrick-Personal Style filly raced last of the nine to a :27.3 first quarter set by Brickhouse Babe, who took the top from Eternal Lee into the backstretch. Brickhouse Babe rolled on the point to a :56.1 half with the outer tier developing and soon securing a helm from Peyton Hanover to the final turn.

Peyton Hanover made minor gains but got cover as Eternal Lee popped the pocket by three-quarters in 1:25.1. The front brigade spun for home leg weary while the covered horses came calling, with Jiggy Jog S forging to the lead from third over coming into the eighth pole. But driver Dexter Dunn had loads of trot with Palermo Hanover, who was swung widest of the charge for home and flew to the lead to score a length win in 1:53.4 over Jiggy Jog S. A Perfect Helen closed for third and Mrs Taylor weaved through horses to take fourth.

“She’s got the breeding — all her siblings have been better at 3 — and she’s been fine the whole time,” trainer Noel Daley said after the race. “We really didn’t think she was quite up to this grade, but she was marginal even bringing out, just trying to get a little bit of black tar maybe running second or third. (She’s) surprised the hell out of us two weeks in a row.”

Paying $48.80 to win, Palermo Hanover has now won two races from nine starts and earned $107,633 for co-owner Noel Daley along with partners Lenny Zelin and The Gandolfo Stables.

After the second race on Saturday, horsemen gathered into a horseshoe formation in front of the grandstand for a memorial ceremony honoring the late champion trainer Ron Gurfein, who passed away at the age of 80 in May. The memorial included a moment of silence for the Hall of Fame trainer, a winner of three Hambletonians among many other accolades through a long and colorful training career.

Racing resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday (Oct. 10) for the closing card of the Grand Circuit meeting. The 129th edition of the Kentucky Futurity headlines and caps the 12-race card, which also includes the $351,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $500,000 Tattersalls Pace, $207,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial and dashes of the Allerage Farms for each division of older Standardbreds. First-race post time is 1 p.m. (EDT).

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