LEXINGTON, Ky.— Driver Tim Tetrick worked steady early fractions for Lyons Legend (Stay Hungry) to force her main competitor, 1-5 favorite Blue Pacific, to claw forward in a final-quarter sprint, and the tactics paid off to give the 5-2 second choice a 1:52.1 harness racing victory in the third of three divisions for the $290,100 Bluegrass 2-Year-Old Filly Pace on Thursday (Sept. 28) at The Red Mile.
Tetrick swept to the lead with Lyons Legend out of post 7 to clock a :27.4 first quarter with Flawless sitting second. Blue Pacific landed third and stayed put at the pegs while the backfield itched for cover to follow. With no challengers laying aim, Lyons Legend strolled to a :57.2 and readied for the impending charge from Blue Pacific to the final turn.
Lyons Legend upped the ante to three-quarters in 1:25.3 and built solid cushion as Blue Pacific attempted to cut the deficit in the lane. Blue Pacific accelerated and pushed to within a length of Lyons Legend in the final eighth, but Lyons Legend held firm and repelled her rival in the closing strides to take the victory by a head. Flawless held third from Behest in fourth.
“How do you go to the sale and come home with something for $30,000 and have them do what she’s done?” said JoAnn Looney-King of the Jim King Jr. trainee who has now won seven races from nine starts and banked $285,286 for owner Threelyonsracing. She paid $7.46 to win.
The second division, the only named “The American Ideal”, went to a perfectly timed rally by driver Scott Zeron with Sarasota Hanover (Stay Hungry) as she gathered her momentum and then held off a late charge to win narrowly in 1:52.
Sea Shanty Hanover hustled to the top from post 6 to lead Gifted One by a :27.4 first quarter, but only briefly. Gifted One angled outside up the backside and crept forward to circle back to the lead before a :56 half all while Sarasota Hanover sat behind in third.
Gifted One continued to roll around the final turn while Zeron got underway with Sarasota Hanover and reeled in the leader to three-quarters in 1:24.2. Sarasota Hanover kept plugging forward through the stretch to eventually down Gifted One but hung a tad through the lane while Sea Shanty Hanover shook free from the pocket. Once that challenger came charging, Sarasota Hanover reengaged and kept her nose in front to the finish while Reigning Jade, the 8-5 favorite, ran out of racetrack and settled for third. Gifted One took fourth.
“I loved her from day one,” trainer Linda Toscano said. “She’s had a couple of hiccups along the way. We think we have them figured out, which is why she’s here and I was tickled with her today. She’s been a very sound filly all along. As long as she comes out of this good, she’s eligible for everything.”
Sarasota Hanover has now won three races from seven starts and earned $71,695 for owners Jablonsky Held Stable, Camelot Stable, John Fodera and South Mountain Stables. She paid $9.78 to win.
The one division of The American Ideal was sponsored by Brittany Farms. The other two Bluegrass 2-Year-Old Filly Pace divisions were named “The McWicked” and were sponsored by the McWicked Syndicate and Winbak Farm.
PHOTO: Amanda Stephens Photo