Near sweep of Kentucky Championship opener for Dunn, Takter

Lexington, KY — Driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Nancy Takter teamed to take three of the four $40,000 divisions of the Kentucky Championship Series on Sunday (Aug. 1) at The Red Mile. Dunn totaled six victories on the 14-race card.

Dunn and Takter started the afternoon with a win by Selfie Queen, who conquered her competition in the opening division for 2-year-old trotting fillies with an open-length victory in 1:53 under wraps.

Dunn wasted no time to get Selfie Queen to the point, clearing control past a :28.1 first quarter following a first-turn skirmish for position. The Takter trainee cruised to a :57 half and gained separation on the final turn as pocket-sitter Those Blues started to falter.

Selfie Queen clicked three-quarters in 1:26.1 and maintained a wide lead through the stretch in a :26.4 sprint to the finish while More Than Ever emerged from the backfield to take second, beaten 6-1/4 lengths. She’s A Scorcher scooted up the pylons for third while Medley finished fourth.

Owned by Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson and John Fielding, Selfie Queen has won two races from four starts and earned $36,250. The Muscle Hill-Lady Lakewood filly, off as the 1-5 choice, paid $2.40 to win.

Dexter Dunn completed a sweep of the filly divisions when steering American Beauty to a 1:54.2 victory. Amanda Stephens photo.

Dunn completed a sweep of the filly divisions later in the card when steering another Takter pupil, American Beauty, to a 1:54.2 victory.

Away second to a :28.4 first quarter, Dunn circled the 6-5 favorite to the top into the backstretch, pocketing early leader Spendthemoneyhoney. She strolled to the half in :58.1 and faced minimal pressure to three-quarters in 1:27.2 all while Penelope J, sitting third, crept off the pegs at the bottom of the turn and readied for a stretch-drive blitz.

However, American Beauty responded and turned away Penelope J through the stretch to pass the beam two lengths better than Spendthemoneyhoney. Penelope J levelled off to finish third while Moni Heist grabbed fourth.

A homebred Walner filly for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld out of 2016 Hambletonian Oaks winner All The Time, American Beauty collected her second victory from five starts, banking $38,602. She paid $4.40 to win.

Takter and Dunn teamed to take the second of the two freshman colt and gelding splits with Keg Stand, a wire-to-wire winner in 1:53.3.

Keg Stand cruised to the top from post five and posted a :28.2 first quarter with 3-5 favorite Majestic J sitting second and Iwon’t Backdown As in third. He continued unpressured to a :57 half and three-quarters in 1:26.1 before striding through the straightaway to a 2-1/4 length win over Majestic J. Iwon’t Backdown As finished third with Torrone taking fourth.

Winning his third race from five starts, Keg Stand (Bar Hopping-Palm Beach Bi) has earned $86,276 for owners Black Horse Racing, Christina Takter and John Fielding.

Double Deceiver darted off the pegs to the top of the stretch to take the opening colt and gelding division in 1:55.2.

Gigondas grabbed the lead while Paymaq pushed through from the pylons to protect the pocket coming to a :28.4 first quarter. Driver David Miller placed Double Deceiver into third moving to the backstretch while Bully Boy Hill tracked him from fourth.

The field stayed single file to a :59 half and through most of the far turn until TNT Blue Chip began to move wide, prompting several to flush off the pegs. Bully Boy Hill floated off the cones coming to three-quarters, forcing Miller to angle Double Deceiver as Paymaq began to pull the pocket. Past three-quarters in 1:28.4, Double Deceiver fanned three wide and reeled in the tiring tempo setter to win going away by 1-1/2 lengths. Gigondas finished third and was placed second, with Paymaq fourth placed third. Bully Boy Hill was second placed fourth.

A gelding by Cantab Hall-Sarcy, Double Deceiver won his second race from three starts and has banked $45,290 for owners Pinske Stables and Makenna Lynn Pinske. Carter Pinske conditions the $6.20 winner.

Aggiornamento ($3.20) topped the winners of the three $20,000 divisions for the Kentucky Commonwealth 2-year-old colt and gelding trot with a 1:54.3 win. Tim Tetrick sat behind the Fred Grant trainee for owner Russell Williams.

Dunn drove the winners of the other Commonwealth colt and gelding splits with wins by Golden Wall As ($5.80), who he drove to a 1:54.4 win for trainer Anette Lorentzon and owner ACL Stuteri Ab; and Golden Glider ($5.60), who won in 1:55.4 for owners Pinske Stables and Enzed Racing Stable Inc. and trainer Carter Pinske.

Date Night ($4.20) led the winners of the three $20,000 divisions for the Kentucky Commonwealth 2-year-old filly trot with a 1:55 effort. Andy Miller piloted the Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband homebred for trainer Julie Miller.

The other filly divisions were taken by Grandeur ($5.00), a 1:57.2 winner for owner Carter Duer and trainer-driver Pat Lachance; and Blue Bayou Deo ($39.60), a 1:56.1 victor for owner Thestable Blue Bayou Deo, trainer Jason McGinnis and driver Anthony MacDonald.

Racing resumes at The Red Mile on Monday (Aug. 2) with three $40,000 divisions of the Kentucky Championship Series for freshman pacers — two for colts and geldings and one for fillies — as well as five $20,000 splits of the Kentucky Commonwealth Series. First-race post time is at 1 p.m. (EDT).

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