Lexington, KY — Odds-on choice Test Of Faith towed into a perfect striking spot from second over and delivered a strong stretch kick to take the $150,000 Papi Rob Hanover Bluegrass 3-Year-Old Filly Pace, becoming racing’s newest millionaire on Sunday (Oct. 3) at The Red Mile.
Driver David Miller settled the Brett Pelling trainee into third to a :28.3 first quarter set by Blue Diamond Eyes and stayed put at the pegs up the backside while Fire Start Hanover got underway uncovered out of fifth. Stalled to a :56.3 half, Fire Start Hanover remained at Blue Diamond Eyes’ side around the turn as Miller grabbed cover for Test Of Faith circling the final turn.
Blue Diamond Eyes held a narrow advantage by three-quarters in 1:24.1 and fought for the lead through the stretch with a trio of challengers surrounding. Grace Hill slid through an opening to the pylons while Fire Start Hanover kept plugging to the outside, but Test Of Faith rolled with the most momentum off a helmet to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Grace Hill. Fire Start Hanover held third from Blue Diamond Eyes in fourth.
“Brett and Jack [Pelling] have done a great job with the filly throughout her career and obviously did a great job getting her ready for this week, so it was an exciting day for us,” said Ken Jackson, head of Kentuckiana Farms and co-owner of Test Of Faith. “Because [of] where she’s staked in New York, she doesn’t get on the big track often. So we’re excited to be on it and obviously we get to finish out the year that way.”
The victory propelled Test Of Faith to $1,051,739 in earnings for owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran. Brett Pelling conditions the daughter of Art Major who won her 10th race from 12 starts this season and her 18th from 21 overall. She paid $3.20 to win.