Amends for Rebuff in Kentucky Futurity upset

extra quotes by James Platz / story by Ray Cotolo for Red Mile

He disappointed as the 3-5 choice in the Hambletonian two months ago, but Lucas Wallin trainee Rebuff landed retribution in the third jewel of trotting’s Triple Crown, the $430,000 130th Kentucky Futurity, on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 9) at The Red Mile.

“It’s been a couple of tough races for him after the Hambo and he hasn’t been himself,” Wallin told HRU’s James Platz. “So, we didn’t know what to think for today’s race. We hoped for the win, but it was a wide-open race. I’m pretty sure that I have the best colt out there, but he hasn’t showed it the last couple of races, but today he did.

An overflow field of 12 made the move for the lead a scramble. By a :27.2 first quarter, Branded By Lindy cleared Temporal Hanover to take the top while Periculum pressed forward up the rim to then take over before a :54.3 half. Through the shuffle, driver Tim Tetrick secured a second-over seat to the far turn as Slay ventured forward uncovered to apply his challenge for the lead nearing three-quarters, timed in 1:22.3. Periculum clung to a diminishing advantage with the field towering behind him for home but held sway until about the eighth pole. Tetrick kicked Rebuff off his cover and slung to the lead in the final stages and post a one-length victory while finally procuring an American trotting classic. Temporal Hanover burst through horses to take second while Cool Papa Bell stormed down the center from near last for third and Periculum settled for fourth.

“Today was first time no shoes, that helped. Hambo day was just a fiasco. He didn’t show up that day, it happens,” Tim Tetrick said after the race. “He redeemed himself today. He’s been a good horse [and] fun to drive for me. Perfect trip. I landed in a good spot – by the time I turned for home I was second over. When I flipped him, I knew he was good today and he got right by them.”

Wallin praised the driver.

“It was perfect. Tetrick drove another perfect race and it probably couldn’t work out better. It was a pretty quick half, : 54.3, second or third over… it worked out perfect,” Wallin said.

Rebuff earned his ninth win from 20 starts and added to his account now worth $962,490 for owners Kjell Magne Andersen, Lucas Wallin and Pieter Delis. The Muscle Hill colt paid $23.90 to win.

“Obviously, it helps as a young trainer to have a percentage in a colt like this, but as a trainer to win a Triple Crown race, The Futurity, I think some would say that’s the second-biggest race over here. Maybe not money-wise, but with all the history around it and everything, so that’s fantastic,” Wallin said.

“I think he’s a stallion prospect for sure, but we haven’t discussed anything. We’re going to sit down at the end of the year and make a decision about what is best for him and we’ll go from there…The Breeders Crown is next. He’s shipping home tomorrow morning and then we aim for Breeders Crown.”

Golden Wall As opened the afternoon with a 1:51.2 pocket-pulling win in the $10,000 Cantab Hall, a race for Kentucky Futurity eligibles. Tony Hall steered the Anette Lorentzon-trained son of Walner to victory for owners ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. He paid $3 to win the race sponsored by

Following the races, the Red Mile recognized Dexter Dunn as the leading driver of the six-day Grand Circuit meet and Chris Ryder as the leading trainer. Dunn ended the meet having driven 48 times and entering the winner’s circle on 14 occasions.

“I obviously got to drive a lot of great horses, nice horses here,” Dunn said. “It’s always a pleasure to race here Grand Circuit time. But C.J. [Ryder] had his horses and did a great job with them, too. A lot of our winners were there. It was a lot of fun.”

That C.J., one Chris Ryder, sent horses to the track 14 times over the six days in Lexington and had their picture taken eight times.

“We started on a roll and we finished on a roll,” Ryder said. “I was really happy with the horses, so I’m thrilled.”

Racing is complete at The Red Mile until later this month when the Corbin meet begins in Lexington. Kentucky-eligible horses will compete through the Corbin meet in Kentucky Sires Stakes events beginning on Oct. 16 and concluding on Nov. 7. First-race post time at The Red Mile is always 1 p.m. (Eastern).