Lexington, KY — The final dashes of the International Stallion Stakes for the 2021 Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile swarm the Saturday (Oct. 9) program with seven divisions total between the freshman trotting fillies and freshman pacing colts and geldings.
Opening the stakes action on the afternoon is the first of four divisions for the $314,000 International Moni International Stallion Stake filly trot, sponsored by the International Moni Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm.
Kentucky Championship winner Selfie Queen returns to the red clay where she scorched the track on numerous occasions including a 1:51.2 mile in a Kentucky Championship prelim. This time around, the Nancy Takter trainee will try to stay flat after breaking stride around the first turn of the Mohawk Million when launching for the lead from post 10. Scott Zeron takes over the reins as Dexter Dunn opts to pilot Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee Lilbitalexis, who won a Bluegrass division in 1:52.4 last week. The field also has another strong Bluegrass performer in Raised By Lindy, who romped going away in 1:52.1 with a :26.4 final quarter. Yannick Gingras drives the Domenico Cecere trainee from post five.
Undefeated Date Night leads the second division of the International Moni off a sizzling 1:50.4 performance in the Bluegrass. The Julie Miller-trained champ of the Kentucky Commonwealth Series starts from post six in rein to Andy Miller as the 8-5 morning-line choice over Misswalner Fashion, listed at 2-1. Tim Tetrick drives that Jim Campbell pupil from the pylon post as she looks to make amends for losing stride as the 1-10 favorite in a Bluegrass division.
Marcus Melander’s next upcoming trotting prospect, Joviality S, by Chapter Seven out of the stakes-winning mare Pasithea Face S, fronts the third split of the International Moni. She enters on a four-race winning streak capped by a 1:54.1 victory in the $200,000 Kentuckiana on Sept. 24 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Brian Sears pilots the even-money morning-line choice from post two against a pair of talented fillies aiming to rebound from miscues last week — Delilah Hanover, third to Date Night in that quick mile, from post three and Mon Cheval, who made a wild break before the start in her Bluegrass division, from post five.
The last International Moni group pins a pair of Bluegrass winners in Jiggy Jog S from post five and Palermo Hanover from post eight. Jiggy Jog S jetted from a pocket trip to a 1:52.2 win as the odds-on choice with returning driver Yannick Gingras at the reins for trainer Ake Svanstedt. Palermo Hanover pulled an upset in her victory, lighting the board at 39-1 in a 1:55 win in her division, and has Dexter Dunn in the bike for trainer Noel Daley. Brickhouse Babe, runner-up in the $326,850 Jim Doherty Memorial and in her Bluegrass division to Lilbitalexis, also starts in the last dash from post three with Mark MacDonald in the sulky for trainer Ray Schnittker.
Colts and geldings get underway in their stakes action with the first of three divisions for the $289,900 Tall Dark Stranger International Stallion Stakes, sponsored by the Tall Dark Stranger Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farm, in the afternoon’s third race.
Gulf Shores returns to The Red Mile off the first loss of his career in the Bluegrass last week, settling for second as the 1-5 choice to longshot Nautical Hanover after riding a six-race win streak which included the Ohio Sires Stakes championship. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. pilots the Brian Brown trainee from post four against a field which includes Early Action, the Joe Holloway trainee who upended Pebble Beach in a 1:49.4 mile in the Bluegrass. Brian Sears has the call behind that one from post five.
Pebble Beach competes in the second split of the Tall Dark Stranger, landing the outermost post of the octet for trainer Noel Daley and driver Todd McCarthy. The colt rematches with Tony Alagna pupil Caviart Camden, who bested Pebble Beach in a world-record 1:48.3 mile in a preliminary of the Kentucky Championship Series back in August. Yannick Gingras retains the drive on Caviart Camden from post five as he makes his first start since failing as the favorite with a wide trip in the $650,960 Metro Pace final.
The final division of the Tall Dark Stranger attracts Metro Pace winner Monte Miki, who puts his unbeaten record of four races to test. Scott Zeron steers the Mark Evers trainee from post three against such competitors as the aforementioned Nautical Hanover as well as the green Loukes Perry, coincidentally landing post four as the brother to Lou’s Pearlman makes just the third start of his career. Yannick Gingras will try to keep that Ron Burke pupil flat in a contest also including Kentucky Commonwealth champ Six Feet Apart from post two and Kentucky Championship runner-up River Ness from post seven.
Saturday’s card features 12 races in all, with first-race post time slated for 1 p.m. (EDT).