Lexington, KY — Ake Svanstedt pupil Warrawee Michelle and Dustin Jones trainee Draw The Line recorded the fastest miles of the five divisions for the $429,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes, for 2-year-old trotting fillies, with 1:53.2 clockings in their respective divisions on Friday (Sept. 29) at The Red Mile.
Warrawee Michelle delivered as the 4-5 favorite in the second of five divisions for the Norman Woolworth. Svanstedt sent the daughter of Walner-Sound Check for the top from post six to a :29.1 first quarter with The Moment settling into second and Pisco Sour in third. Warrawee Michelle was left alone to the half, clocked in :58.1, and easily handled the far-turn push from first-over Cool Ma Belle.
Past three-quarters in 1:26.3, Warrawee Michelle slipped away from her peers in the lane in progress to a 2-1/2 length win over fast-closing Pizelle with Pisco Sour grabbing third.
Trainer Svanstedt co-owns Warrawee Michelle with Santandrea Inc. and Young Guns. She’s now won two races from six starts and earned $93,750. She paid $3.70 to win.
Draw The Line punched off a pocket trip and strolled to the finish to win the fifth and final division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial. Special Talent pushed forward to take the lead from Draw The Line past a :29.1 first quarter and coasted uncontested to a :57.3 half.
Draw The Line began looming out of the pocket through the final turn and made her move after three-quarters in 1:25.3. Draw The Line then powered to the line going away by four lengths while Paulina Hanover closed to take second from Special Talent.
“Right from the day we broke her, she was a natural trotter,” said trainer Dustin Jones, who also bred and co-owns Draw The Line with Dean Lockhart. “We always had hope for her, but you don’t know until you get them in to race. After today, I think she’s (Breeders Crown material). The last start, she just finished a treatment of antibiotics so I figured she’d be a lot better today.”
A daughter of Cantab Hall-Ridge Speed, Draw The Line has now won twice from eight starts and earned $83,563. Scott Zeron drove the $9.46 winner.
One World opened the afternoon from post one in race one and finished No. 1 at odds of 9-2 in a near coast-to-coast effort timed in 1:53.4. Unhurried off the wings, driver Dexter Dunn made his move for the lead with One World after a :29 first quarter, following Cocktailwithakick’s brush for the front into the backstretch. Dunn landed One World on the helm before a :57.1 half and plodded to the final turn with few challengers looming.
By three-quarters in 1:26.2, One World accelerated upon straightening and stayed strong through the finish to win by 2-1/2 lengths over Cocktailwithakick. Chaparmbro, the 2-5 favorite, got rolling from off the speed too late but charged home for third.
“She’s been very nice since day one,” trainer Lucas Wallin said. “Maybe this is a little (of a) surprise, actually. I didn’t think she was capable to do a mile like this right now. I think she showed (she’s Breeders Crown material) today; that’s absolutely a race we have to aim for. We’ll see how she comes out of this race — if we race next week, or if we skip that then we’ll focus on the Breeders Crown.”
Al Libfeld owns One World, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Selfie Hanover with two wins from seven starts and $87,500 banked. She paid $11.90 to win.
Driver Andy McCarthy perched 3-5 favorite Buy A Round on cover to the top of the stretch and soared home to a 1:53.3 victory going away in the third division of the Norman Woolworth. Sadbirdstillsing zipped to the lead to a :29 first quarter before yielding command to Sierra Girl in the backstretch, all while McCarthy tucked Buy A Round into fifth. Sierra Girl stormed up the backside to a :56.4 half and slowed through the final turn as The Roxbury pounced out of fourth and marched uncovered with Buy A Round in tow.
The Roxbury slid to the lead after three-quarters in 1:25.4 but was no match for Buy A Round when McCarthy fed her racetrack in the lane. Buy A Round scooted 2-3/4 lengths clear of The Roxbury to the line while Sierra Girl clung to third.
“This filly’s great, really fast,” McCarthy said. “She’s a Walner, so we have to be a little careful about her not going too fast early. But I think she’s kind of calming down. She got kind of hot on me last start there before the New Jersey Classic final, but today she was quite good.”
Buy A Round has now won four times from six starts — while never missing the board — and earned $224,250 for owner Fred Hertrich III. Noel Daley trains the daughter of Walner-On Your Tab who paid $3.32 to win.
A maiden going into Friday, Miss I La hatched the goose egg with an 8-1 upset in the fourth division of the Norman Woolworth, timed in 1:53.4. Graceful Design grabbed control to a :28 first quarter with Miss I La securing the pocket. She remained on top through a :57.3 half as undefeated French Champagne mounted a first-over bid to the final turn. And with Tactical Strike losing stride from fifth, the backfield scattered leaving the top four well clear to three-quarters in 1:26.3.
French Champagne levelled off coming into the lane, giving room for Miss I La to angle from the pocket. Graceful Design fought to hold command to the inside and kept Miss I La at bay up until the final strides, where Miss I La pushed a head in front. French Champagne held third.
“She raced great, but she’s raced well her entire year so far,” driver Zeron said of Miss I La. “Last (race) when she was sixth (in the New Jersey Classic), I just had no room; she was very full of herself. She can be a little aggressive like some of (the Walners), but at the end of the day the speed’s there.”
Off the mark on her sixth attempt, Miss I La has now earned $59,250 for owner Kenneth Jacobs. The win by the Walner-Southwind Venus filly gave Noel Daley, to that point, his second win of three in Bluegrass action. She paid $18.96 to win.
Each division of the Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes was sponsored by Arden Homestead Stable, ET Gerry and Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor Inc., Menhammer Stuteri AB, Jorgen Jahre Jr., LST Stables, Lawrence DeVan and William DeVan.