Lexington, KY — After two weeks of stakes competition, The Red Mile will close the annual Grand Circuit fortnight on Sunday (Oct. 6) with the 127th edition of the Kentucky Futurity capping the program.
Marcus Melander’s trotting three-horse entry leads the field for the $450,000 Kentucky Futurity, which drew 12 horses and will go as a single dash. The Father Patrick colt Greenshoe — whose brother sold for a record $1.1 million on night one of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale — will start from post four, inside of stablemates Gimpanzee and Green Manalishi S. The millionaire colt, with 11 wins from 15 lifetime starts, competes for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli, and will have Brian Sears in the bike.
Gimpanzee, starting from post six, enters from a second-place finish to Greenshoe in a 1:49.4 mile last week at Lexington. The Chapter Seven colt — with $1.2 million earned for owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable — will have David Miller driving.
Green Manalishi S — a Muscle Hill colt also with nearly $1.2 million earned — competes for Courant Inc. and will have Tim Tetrick in the bike from post eight off a 1:50.4 victory in a $96,100 division of the Bluegrass.
The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single $267,000 dash. Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry leaves from post four off a 1:50.1 victory in a $108,500 division of the Bluegrass. The Rene Allard-trained Muscle Hill filly approaches $700,000 in earnings for owners Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain and will have Simon Allard steering.
Millies Possesion starts directly inside of When Dovescry, who has handed the Jim Campbell trainee her only two losses of 2019. Unraced as a 2-year-old and racing 12 times this year, the Possess The Will filly has earned nearly $500,000 for owner-breeder Fashion Farms and will have regular pilot Dexter Dunn at the reins.
Sophomore pacing colts also compete in a pair of $270,000 divisions for the $540,000 Tattersalls. Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi paid the $45,000 supplement and draws post three in the first division. The Bill MacKenzie-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt has won nine races from 11 starts this season and banked $771,263 in his career for owners Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice and will have Brian Sears in the bike.
Bettor’s Wish and Captain Crunch compete against each other for the first time since the Cane Pace in the second Tattersalls division. Captain Crunch — a Nancy Johansson-trained son of Captaintreacherous — bested Bettor’s Wish in the $285,362 Cane Pace by a neck in 1:48 but has not won a race since. The winner of $1.3 million will have Scott Zeron in the sulky from post five for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms.
Bettor’s Wish has only lost one race since the Cane Pace, finishing second in the $500,000 Messenger Pace to American Mercury (who starts from post two). The Chris Ryder-trained Bettor’s Delight colt — co-owned by Ryder with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners — has earned more than $1.1 million from 14 starts this season (finishing no worse than second in all) and has $1.4 million earned in his career. Dexter Dunn sits in the bike from post six.
Shartin N fronts the $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Open Pace. Winning 33 races from 39 North American starts, the 6-year-old Tintin In America mare nears $2 million in earnings and rides a 13-race win streak for trainer Jim King Jr. Tim Tetrick co-owns Shartin N and will drive her from post four for partners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King.
Older trotting mares also race on the closing-day card with the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Trot starting the Sunday stakes action. The 4-year-old Muscle Hill mare Manchego leads the eight-mare charge off a nine-length blowout against the boys in the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby last week. Nancy Johansson conditions the winner of $1.8 million for owner Black Horse Racing.
Ake Svanstedt sends a speedy pair with Plunge Blue Chip, who equaled her 1:49.4 world record in last year in the Filly Futurity, and Darling Mearas S, who trotted a 1:49.4 mile at the Meadowlands earlier this season. Plunge Blue Chip, recently surpassing $1 million in earnings for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and Tomas Andersson, will have trainer Svanstedt in the sulky from post five. Darling Mearas S, a six-year-old mare by Cantab Hall, approaches $1 million in lifetime earnings for owner Snogarps Gard and will have Andy Miller driving from post eight.
The closing-day program gets underway with first-race post at 1 p.m. (EDT).