Lexington, KY — Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry took control early and turned away all challengers with a swift final quarter to win the first of two divisions of the $218,000 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes — sponsored by the Bar Hopping Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms — on the Sunday (Sept. 29) program at The Red Mile.
Driver Simon Allard sent the Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove filly to the point from post six while pylon-starter Golden Tricks pushed for the pocket. When Dovescry led uncontested through a :27.1 first quarter and :55.3 half before facing first-over pressure from Fade Into You rounding the final turn.
Fade Into You, tracked by 3-5 favorite Millies Possesion, drew within a length of the lead passing three-quarters in 1:23.4 but quickly retreated entering the stretch. Golden Tricks gave chase from second while Millies Possesion attempted to recoup lost ground in third while the Rene Allard trainee floated to a 1:50.1 mile.
“You know what, she trained me,” Rene Allard said after the race. “When you get a horse like that, they’re just so special. To be able to buy one like that and have it, she makes my job so easy. Probably anybody can do what she’s doing; it’s her, not me.
“Late in the mile she drifts out a little bit but we’re going to make a little adjustment on the equipment. We’ve been playing with the Murphy blind a little bit. If you put it too close to her eyes she’ll run in and if you put it too far she runs out.”
Bred by William Weaver III and owned by Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain, When Dovescry won her ninth race from 16 career starts, earning $696,226. She paid $4.80 to win.
Beautiful Sin pulled off an 11-1 upset when getting a neck up on Asiago in a 1:50.4 mile to take the other division of the Bar Hopping.
In her first start for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, Beautiful Sin sat third throughout while Starita posted fractions of :27.4, :56 and 1:24.1 on the lead. Asiago, sitting the pocket, pulled wide passing three-quarters with Beautiful Sin following that move as they straightened for the finish. Beautiful Sin then fanned wide of Asiago through the stretch and edged past in the final strides to win while even-money favorite Evident Beauty, from third over, finished 3-1/2 lengths farther back in third.
“They didn’t tell me so much but she did hurt her front leg last year,” Svanstedt said after the race. “A little special training and nursing has made it much better. She has a very good race head; she was a winner. She was really sharp when she went behind the gate. I hope she can be a little bit faster (for the Kentucky Filly Futurity).”
Returning $24.60 to win, Beautiful Sin now races for the S R F Stable. The Muscle Hill-Sina filly — bred by Jeff Gural and Moon Goddess LLC — won her fourth race in 13 career starts, earning $237,367.
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).