Lexington, KY — Surpassing $1 million in career earnings, Greenshoe coasted to a 1:49.4 victory in the first of two divisions of the $192,200 International Moni Bluegrass Stakes — sponsored by the International Moni Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm — as trainer Marcus Melander swept the pair of sophomore trotting events Sunday (Sept. 29) at The Red Mile.
Greenshoe raced third to a :26.3 first quarter set by Chin Chin Hall with Union Forces sitting in the pocket. Driver Brian Sears kept Greenshoe in third through a :55.2 half before pulling wide and cruising to the top rounding the final turn. The Father Patrick-Designed To Be colt — sent off the 1-9 favorite — trotted past three-quarters in 1:23 and sprinted to the finish in :26.4 under pursuit from stablemate Gimpanzee in second. Chin Chin Hall settled for third.
“He’s been behaving the whole year,” Melander said after the race. “He’s been here almost for three weeks now and he’s very relaxed on this track. I’m always a little bit nervous when he goes out on the track to see how he behaves. But he’s been behaving every start so I cannot complain.
“I think he can go (1):48, if he gets a faster half or faster three-quarters. But he’s so fast that he can do that for sure.”
Winning his 11th race from 15 lifetime starts, Greenshoe has $1,016,273 banked for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli. Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz bred the $2.10 winner.
Melander’s other star pupil, millionaire Green Manalishi S, delivered as the 4-5 favorite in the second International Moni division.
Marseille moved for the top heading to a :27.1 first quarter while Osterc protected the pocket. Driver Tim Tetrick angled Green Manalishi S first over nearing a :55.4 half and ranged towards the pacesetter with Pilot Discretion in tow approaching three-quarters in 1:23. Green Manalishi S took command entering the stretch as Marseille battled towards the pylons and Pilot Discretion kicked off cover to give chase. The Melander-trained Muscle Hill-Naga Morich S colt stopped the clock in 1:50.4 and finished one length better than Pilot Discretion with Marseille holding third.
“(Greenshoe’s) probably a little better at the end of the day but (Green Manalishi S) keeps showing up and has put a lot of dollars on that right column,” Tetrick said after the race. “My horse likes sitting on the outside there and grinding it out. He’s never winning by four or five; he makes it close, but he will fight them.”
Bred by Ab Svensk Reklamfinans and owned by Courant Inc., Green Manalishi S won his 11th race from 20 career starts, amassing $1,149,395. He paid $3.60 to win.
Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Thursday (Oct. 3) with the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1 p.m. (EDT).