A rich history at Red Mile

by Bob Heyden

Lexington’s rich history will be on display in week 2 at the historic Red Mile.

1. Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras both won their very first races in 1998. Not many people would have predicted then that in the final week at Red Mile in 2023, they could combine their lifetime earnings to top $490 million.

2. John Campbell, six years removed from his final year of driving, will be on hand for this year’s Kentucky Futurity. John is the last driver to win the Futurity three straight years (1991-1993).

3. Brett Pelling, in 1998, won the Jug/Jugette-and campaigned a 2YO named The Panderosa. That colt would win a million dollar race, twice. Both in sub 1:50 in 1999; the first to do so.

His Allywag Hanover is trying to become the first horse to be the fastest performer at Red Mile three straight years. He went 1:46.4 in 2021 and 1:46 flat in 2022. His Confederate has posted a world record 1:46.1 and with a convincing Tattersalls win might just follow in Bulldog’s footsteps as a unanimous HOY.


• The dynamic Kentucky Futurity winner Strong Yankee (2005), who posted the second fastest mile (1:50.4), never got to stand stud. He suffered a broken shoulder in a paddock accident at Tara Hills Stud in Ontario as he was about to begin stud service in 2007.

• The last time the richest pacer took his lifetime mark at the Red Mile? Niatross on Oct. 1, 1980 in a 1:49.1 TT. It did not happen with Rambling Willie, On The Road Again, Nihilator, Gallo Blue Chip and Foiled Again.

• Bob McClure won his very first race at Red Mile with Sylvia Hanover in 1:48.1. It was reminiscent of Randy Waples in 2000 winning with Real Desire in a track freshman record 1:50.4, in just his second time in Kentucky.


Hate to say it, because we are all well versed with the 28-straight wins that closed out Cam Fella’s career. Amazing, especially in the free for all ranks. But, if not for interference near the three-quarters for Nevele Pride, it would be him we’d be chatting about with 36 straight. Let me repeat that, 36 straight (2- and 3-year-old season). He came to Delaware in 1968 as a sophomore with 17 straight, was sufficiently impeded at the three-quarters to cause a break, and recovered to be beaten just a neck. Then he won his next 18 races in a row. For the record, Nevele Pride was 6-6 in Kentucky. Oddly, none of Cam’s final 28 came at Red Mile, the very place where he posted his two fastest 3YO times.


Tender Loving Care, the Year before Niatross time trialed in 1:49.1 in 1980 to electrify the racing world, time trailed in 1:52.4, the female world record. In 1979, on Kentucky Futurity Day (Friday), a freshman named Niatross was undefeated, 11-for-11, racing just two races after Classical Way and gang went at it in the first heat of the Futurity. The outstanding Classical Way was the only female in there.

Gimpanzee’s first crop sells this year. Oddly, the Allerage in 2000 was the only blip on his record at 4 as he tired to sixth at 4-5 odds.

Party Girl Hill came in unblemished in 2020 and took on the boys in the Tattersalls — drawing different divisions from Tall Dark Stranger — his first crop is also on display this year.
They both won in the same time and were 1-2 in the HOY balloting.


Bob McClure has posted the fastest female mile at Red Mile in week 1 at 1:48.1.

Todd McCarthy/Andy McCarthy and Luke McCarthy are all here at the sale/races. Luke and Andy both drove Muscle Hill. When Luke drove him to victory in the near half-million-dollar World Trotting Derby, it was his biggest win in the U.S. prior to that it was for $15,000.

Anthony MacDonald has already won. James MacDonald is here dipping his toes into Red Mile waters and Mark MacDonald is here, 18 years after setting not just the track record for sophs but the world standard as well with American Ideal at 1:47.4.

Remember Todd, the youngest of the aforementioned ‘Macs’ is vying to possibly become the first driver to ever have the fastest Red Mile horse three straight years!