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Lexington, KY — The Bettor’s Delight-Precocious Beauty colt Tall Dark Stranger demonstrated his dominance over the glamour boy division again, winning the first of two divisions for the $479,000 Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace in 1:47.2 over a ‘good’ track on Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile.
Cattlewash crossed to the lead from post nine before the first turn while Tall Dark Stranger pushed towards the front passing a :27.1 opening quarter. Into the backside Tall Dark Stranger strode uncontested by a :54.1 half and maintained his speed to three-quarters in 1:21.1 as Warrawee Vital ranged first over from third.
Warrawee Vital inched closer to Tall Dark Stranger in the stretch but began to bear inside while giving pursuit to the 3-5 favorite, settling for second while Catch The Fire shook loose from a pylon trip for third and Captain Kirk closed for fourth.
“It’s actually a really nice group of 3-year-olds this year so obviously nothing’s going to be given to him for free,” trainer Nancy Takter said after the race. “I think he makes us think he’s working a little bit harder than he actually is for sure. He’s just a super-nice colt. I’m actually running out of good things to say about him.”
Winning his 10th race from 11 starts this season and his 18th from 20 overall, Tall Dark Stranger has amassed $1,895,195 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. James Avritt Sr. bred the $3.20 winner and Yannick Gingras was in the sulky.
Party Girl Hill stepped up to the challenge against the boys and bested her competition to win the second division of the Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace, also in 1:47.2.
No Lou Zing led the field by the quarter in :27 with Party Girl Hill sitting in the pocket. Into the backstretch, driver Dexter Dunn pulled Party Girl Hill wide to circle to the lead and eventually cleared No Lou Zing through an accelerated pace to a :53.4 half.
From there the Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap filly gained separation from her rivals, hitting three-quarters in 1:21. No Lou Zing and Capt Midnight began to roll into the stretch and cut into Party Girl Hill’s buffer, but the Chris Ryder trainee kept the late foes at bay to win by a length. Capt Midnight finished second, with No Lou Zing third and Save Me A Dance well behind in fourth.
“Today was the day because it was a mile and we didn’t have much to lose,” Ryder said after the race on his decision to move Party Girl Hill into open company. “Now we can go against the fillies in the Breeders Crown and just stay with the fillies. It was the last chance we had — we thought she could do it. She is just what she is. She just showed us that she’s just in a class of her own, and it’s just an honor to be out with her.”
Undefeated from 13 starts, Party Girl Hill has accrued $736,620 for owner-breeder Tom Hill. Off the 2-5 favorite, she returned $2.80 to win.