By Perry Lefko
LEXINGTON, KY – You needed to be at the Red Mile early on Saturday night to catch the brilliant Mission Brief in action.
The champion daughter of Muscle Hill opened the slate of Bluegrass Series stakes on a chilly evening that did not produce fast times.
Mission Brief cruised to an easy 4¾ length victory in the $72,000 first division of the Bluegrass Series for three-year-old trotting fillies. She won her fourth in a row since placing second when facing male horses in the Hambletonian. In her current streak, she has bested the competition by 28½ lengths and has only lost twice in 10 starts this season. She accomplished her last tally in a rather tepid time (for her anyway) of 1:55 4/5, closing out the final quarter mile in 28 1/5. Yannick Gingras, her regular driver, really didn’t have to do much.
She is certainly a different horse now from earlier in the season when she was winning but not nearly as smooth gaited.
“In here (at the Red Mile), she’s a lot different,” trainer Ronnie Burke said. “There’s not as much noise and there’s not as much action, so she’s obviously going to calm down a little bit more. Basically all we want to do is get around there without hurting her, just get a mile in her, mission accomplished.”
Burke, who owns Mission Brief with Our Horse Cents Stable, Jerry and Theresa Silva and Weaver Bruscemi, is expected to race again next Saturday in the $300,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity at the Red Mile before heading to Canada for the Breeders Crown eliminations.
Mission Brief went postward as the 1-20 favorite and paid $2.10 across the board. Classical Annie, 57-1, paid $11.60 to place and Speak To Me $4.40 to show. The exacta paid $16.60, the trifecta $31.20.
She collected $36,000 to raise her earnings this season to $764,992.She surpassed $1.1 million in lifetime earnings.
In the second division, Hambletonian Oaks winner Wild Honey, the 1-10 favorite, won by three lengths in a similar time of 1:55 4/5, her final quarter in 28 2/5.
John Campbell, driving the Cantab Hall filly for the second consecutive race, shot out quickly from furthest out in the seven hole, then tucked into fourth, holding that position for the opening quarter mile in 29 2/5 and a half in 57 4/5 by pacesetter I’m So Fancy. Campbell tipped out Wild Honey, who moved up to I’m So Fancy and was close to her flank after three-quarters in 1:27 1/5. Turning into the stretch, Wild Honey gained full control and drew away.
She paid $2.40, $2.10, $2.10. Lilu Hanover placed second and paid $20.00 to place and $5.40 to show. Lady Winona finished third and paid $4.00.
The exacta paid $28.80 and the trifecta $38.40.
The daily double paid a mere $2.20.
Wild Honey, trained by Jimmy Takter, collected $36,000 to raise her season earnings past $635,000. She has banked more than $1.1 million in her career.
She is owned by Christina Takter, Jim and John Fielding and Herb Liverman.
“She’s been just a terrific filly all along for us at two and now at three,” John Fielding said. “She’s not that big, but she’s very, very gutsy and it’s just a thrill to be associated with her.”
She may be headed to the Kentucky Filly Futurity, too, in her final start before the Breeders Crown eliminations.
Wicked Little Minx, Bedroomconfessions, Divine Caroline Win Divisions For Three-Year-old Filly Pacers
The Bluegrass Series for three-year-old filly pacers featured considerably more drama than the three-year-old filly trotters, at least that was the case in the first of three divisions.
Wicked Little Minx, driven by Brett Miller for trainer Nancy Johansson, pulled off an upset in the first $62,800 division. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, sent postward at just under 5-1, won by a neck over 3-5 favorite Bettor Be Steppin in 1:55 3/5. Bettor Be Steppin had the lead going into the stretch but just couldn’t hold on at the end.
Invest In Art finished third.
Wicked Little Minx, a Rocknroll Hanover daughter owned by Courant A B of Stockholm, paid $11.80, $4.80, $2.10. Bettor Be Steppin paid $2.10, $2.10. Invest In Art paid $2.40 to show.
The exacta paid $27.20, the trifecta $48.70.
In winning her third race in 14 starts this year, Wicked Little Minx won $31,400 to surpass $145,000 on the year. She is close to $200,000 in career earnings.
Bedroomconfessions, the 13-10 favorite, won with ease in the second division, also going for $62,800.
The daughter of American Ideal prevailed by 2½ lengths in 1:54 1/5.
Driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Tony Alagna, Bedroomconfessions trailed the six-horse field early from and then started to make a move on Devil Child, who grabbed the lead after the opening quarter from Happiness and led through three-quarters in 1:26.
Bedroomconfessions paid $4.60, $3.00 and $2.40. Devil Child paid $3.20 to place and $3.00 to show. Triple V. Vancouver paid $2.80 to show. The exacta paid $16.60 and the trifecta $26.40.
Bedroomconfessions passed the $164,000 mark in earnings this year and close to $375,000 in her career.
Divine Caroline, the even-money favorite in the final $63,800 division, won by 1¾ lengths for driver David Miller in a time of 1:53 2/5. Daut Full placed second, followed by pacesetter Band Of Angels.
Divine Caroline paid $4.00, $2.80 and $2.20. Daut Full paid $8.60 and $3.60. Band Of Angels paid $2.60. The exacta paid $31.40 and the trifecta $63.20.
Divine Caroline, a daughter of Rock N Roll Hanover, is owned by Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables and Michael Ouriel.
She has won four of 17 starts this season and almost $260,000 and about $400,000 in career earnings.
Crazy Wow, Muscle Diamond Prevail In Three-Year-Old Male Trot
Crazy Wow won his seventh race in 14 starts this year in the $109,500 Bluegrass Series for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters by 3¼ lengths in 1:55 4/5.
The colt by Crazed, driven by Tetrick for Burke, prevailed over The Bank, who claimed the lead after the opening and led through three-quarters in 1:27.
Crescent Fashion finished third.
Crazy Wow paid $4.00, $2.10 and $2.10. The Bank paid $2.10, $2.10. Crescent Fashion paid $3.20.
The exacta paid $4.60, the trifecta $6.30.
Crazy Wow has won more than $740,000 this season – a good chunk of that with his stunning victory in the $500,000 Colonial – and is less than $23,000 away from the $1 million mark in career earnings.
In the $110,500 second division, Muscle Diamond, who has done well at the Red Mile, scored a 2½-length upset win over 1-5 favorite Uncle Lasse in 1:56.
Uncle Lasse started out from the rail, made a move first over up the backstretch and had the lead going into the stretch but was overtaken by Muscle Diamond late in the drive to the wire.
Muscle Diamond, who placed second to Pinkman in last year’s Breeders Crown, was racing for the first time with the diuretic Lasix. He has been lightly raced this year because of a filling in the leg, making only his eighth start and has won four of them. He has earned more than $200,000 and eclipsed $500,000 in career earnings.
Muscle Diamond paid $8.80, $3.00 and $2.80. Uncle Lasse paid $2.10, $2.10. Honor And Serve, a 49-1 longshot, paid $10.80 to place. The exacta paid $17.40, the trifecta $95.10.
The Muscle Hill colt is trained by Brett Bittle, who owns the horse with his uncle Dan Bittle, Charles Keller III and Charles Keller IV.
In The Arsenal, Split The House Best In Sophomore Male Pace Races
In The Arsenal, the even-money favorite who has been knocking heads with the best three-year-old male pacers, won his $93,000 division by a half length over Rock N’ Roll World. It was a crazy kind of race because Paparazzi Hanover, driven by Gingras, blasted out and set a wicked pace, carving out fractions of 27 4/5, 54 3/5 and 1:23. But he was leg weary heading into the stretch and In The Arsenal, driven by Brian Sears, reeled him in and won by a half length in 1:52 3/5.
He paid $4.00 to win, $2.80 and $2.10. Rock N’ Roll World paid $4.60 and $3.00. Reggiano, a 95-1 outsider, paid $6.40 to show.
The exacta paid $14.80 and the trifecta $278.10.
In The Arsenal, a son of American Ideal, is nearing $500,000 in earnings this year and has won more than $900,000 in his career. He is owned by White Birch Farm and In The Arsenal Racing.
Split The House, who was purchased privately by Crawford Farms heading into the Little Brown Jug but was scratched from the final when he drew poorly, won the other $92,000 division. Driven by Tim Tetrick, Split The House had to work hard down the stretch coming from behind and drew away once he claimed the lead to prevail by 1½ lengths in 1:53 1/5.
Split The House was the 3-5 favorite in the field of seven and paid $3.20 to win, $2.40 and $2.10. Blood Brother, 34-1, placed second and paid $14.00 and $5.20. Penji Hanover, who set the pace through three quarters with fractions of 29 1/5, 57 1/5 and 1:25 3/5, finished third and paid $2.80.
The exacta paid $35.20 and the trifecta $47.40.
Split The House has won more than $230,000 this year with eight wins in 14 starts. He did not race as a two-year-old.