Lexington, KY — The Red Mile’s 2022 race meet gets underway on July 31 but on Saturday (July 23) the historic racetrack in Lexington, Ky. will host eight $50,000 Kentucky Proud Series fair finals for 2- and 3-year-olds of both gaits and sexes.
The scheduled afternoon post has been moved up to 11 a.m. because of the extreme heat predicted for the Bluegrass on Saturday, with the eight races conducted as non-wagering events.
Trainer Anette Lorentzon will be the busiest conditioner participating on the program as she has 13 entries, with at least one in each event. On the flip side, Bob Stewart, former president of the Kentucky Harness Horsemen’s Association and winner of the 2013 Kentucky Futurity with Creatine, will send out one lone soldier: his homebred Admire in the fair final for 3-year-old male trotters.
“First horse we ever raced at the fairs and we drew the 10 hole,” lamented Stewart, who will again have Christian Lind in the sulky behind Admire in the contest that is slated as race six on the card.
Stewart and his wife, Lynda, bred and own Admire, a son of Creatine out of the Muscle Hill mare Herroyalhighness, who won the 2013 American-National at Balmoral Park. Admire’s year-older Cantab Hall half-sister, Princessa, earned nearly $100,000 in 2020-21 for Stewart racing primarily in the Kentucky Sires Stakes Commonwealth Series. Included among Herroyalhighness’ siblings are the $307,056 winner Stonebridge Gamble and the $183,844 winner Consus Victory.
At two last year, Admire won once in five starts, that being a Buckeye Stallion Stake at Delaware, Ohio, in late September.
“He was kind of a nut last year and we gelded him and he became a decent horse,” said Stewart. “After he won the Buckeye Stallion on Jugette day last year we quit with him, and he’s come back this year and raced very well. He just has some front feet problems that are going to hinder him.”
Admire won at first asking this year when he scored a career-best 1:56.4 victory in a Kentucky Proud leg on June 12 at Oak Grove. He followed that up with a 39-1/4 length romp in 1:59.2 in a June 23 leg at the Lebanon fairgrounds.
“That was an odd race. The track was very dusty and he was the only one that was trotting out of the first turn out of a big cloud of dust,” Stewart said with a laugh. “That was a good feeling when we saw that.”
Two weeks later Admire made it three straight at Lebanon when he won by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:59.3 after starting from the trailing six post. In his last Kentucky Proud Series start on July 13 at The Red Mile — which qualified him for the final as a horse had to race in at least four of the seven preliminary legs — Admire finished third.
Stewart pointed toward Admire’s foot problems and a shoeing change that likely played a role in the sophomore trotter’s win streak getting snapped.
“He has quarter cracks in both front feet so we put some shoes on him to protect them in his last start at The Red Mile, but they weren’t conducive to make a lot of speed,” explained Stewart. “We put some bar shoes on to protect his feet but it was too much weight for him. So we’re going back to the lighter shoes that don’t protect his feet as much.
“So he’s going to have to suck it up and race in the shoes that he’s raced with prior to that. I think he’ll race better but he drew the 10 hole. Hopefully we can get by this race and get good results and live to fight afterwards.”
Stewart said plans call for Admire to head north to Ohio following Saturday’s rich final.
“He has the State Fair race in a couple of weeks but it will probably be the Buckeye Series after that if I have to guess,” said Stewart.
Complete entries for Saturday’s card at The Red Mile are available here.