Joe Holloway-trainee Divine Caroline put in the fastest mile of the three divisions for the $189,400 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, winning in 1:53.2 on Saturday night.
Divine Caroline, adaughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Art Major mare Loving Caroline, stalked a pace of :29.1, :57.4, and 1:26 set by Band Of Angels. Driver David Miller tipped the even-money favorite first over after the half, and applied pressure to the pacesetter nearing the top of the stretch. The two battled for control through the stretch, with Divine Caroline edging past race leader and forced to fend off the late-pacing Daut Full from off cover. She held Daut Full off, however, winning by about a length over the closer, with Band Of Angels finishing third and Storm Point fourth.
Owned by Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables, and Michael Ouriel, the $4.00 winner won the fifth race of her career, pushing her earnings to $396,633.
“She raced really well,” David Miller said. “She’s been really consistent this year and gives a good effort. The rail’s very deep, still. There’s a little bit of a wind, and I guess they’re [the track crew] working a little too hard on the inside.”
“They’re [Bettor Be Steppin and Divine Caroline] very good and they’re very consistent,” Joe Holloway said. “[Bettor Be] Steppin had been the better filly for most of the time, but [Divine] Caroline’s been consistent and she may be the fastest. The next three to four weeks may be fun.
“We go here [for the Tattersalls Filly Pace] then to Canada for the Breeders Crown,” Holloway also said.
Wicked Little Minx stalked the front for the entire mile until she had an opportunity to pace through a vacant slot in the stretch and sneak to the lead and to a 1:55.3 win in the first division.
Bettor Be Steppin set the tempo after circling by early leader Invest In Art for control. Once on the lead, she put up fractions of :28.4, :57.2, and 1:27.1. Pressure came nearing the three-quarter pole from Invest In Art, who popped out of the pocket heading into the stretch. Bettor Be Steppin held her at bay in the stretch, but drifted off the pylons in the process, which allowed for Wicked Little Minx to pace by the 3-5 favorite who attempted to retake the lead approaching the finish, but settled for second. Invest In Art finished third.
Wicked Little Minx, owned by Courant A B, paid $11.80 to win. This was the fourth win of her career, earning $193,679 to date. The daughter by Rocknroll Hanover, out of Beachy Lady by Jenna’s Beach Boy, is trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by Brett Miller.
“She’s gotten her things together from summer and onwards, and now she’s going for it again,” owner Anders Ström said. “Today’s trip by Brett was perfect. And well done by the stable, trainer, groom, and everyone because this horse has a lot to do in the future.
“It’s so fun to also be involved in the pacing business,” Ström also said. “I’m a trotting person, but a few years back I told my friend Bernie Noren that I would like to get involved in pacing a little bit, and Bernie actually helped me pick this one out [Wicked Little Minx at the 2013 Harrisburg Yearling Sale].”
“Besides the Jugette, there’s been many other races so far where I’ve gotten very bad trips with her,” Brett Miller said. “Finally things worked out and we got a good trip.
“It’s still tiring,” Miller also said talking about the track surface. “They’ve [the track crew] done a great job with this track. With all the rain we had yesterday and as bad as it was last night, they’ve done a great job, but it’s still very tiring.”
Storming from the back of the pack down the center of the track, Bedroomconfessions fulfilled her duty as the 6-5 favorite by winning the second split of the Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace in 1:54.1. Setting the pace was Devil Child, with fractions of :28.2, :56.3, and 1:26.2. Around the far turn, Triple V Hanover tipped first over, with Moremercy Bluechip and Bedroomconfessions tracking the cover. Triple V Hanover edged into second after pocket-sitter Happiness retreated at the top of the stretch, while Moremercy Bluechip fanned wide of her cover, as did Bedroomconfessions. Once rolling from the back, Bedroomconfessions soon rushed up to and by Devil Child and edged away to a two length victory.
Devil Child held on for second, Triple V Hanover finished third, and Moremercy Bluechip was fourth.
Returning $4.60 to win, Bedroomconfessions is by American Ideal, out of Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Turnoffthelights. She’s owned by Riverview Racing LLC and Alagna Racing LLC, trained by Tony Alagna, and driven by Tim Tetrick. She obtained her sixth win of her career, earning $372,893.
“My wife made me buy the dam, Turnoffthelights,” owner and breeder Myron Bell said. “She’s out of a sister to Keystone Horatio; that’s a family that goes back to Smooth Fella and Happy Lady, and I always wanted to have a filly in this family. We bred her to American Ideal and Bedroom[confessions] was the first foal, so we’re happy to have her.
“We bought her [dam Turnoffthelights] in Lexington about seven or eight years ago,” Bell also said. “We raced her as a two-year-old. She had minor ability.
“She’ll [Bedroomconfessions] be bred to the Captain[treacherous] either next year or the year after, it depends on how well she wants to race,” Bell added.
Live racing at The Red Mile continues on Wednesday, Oct. 7, with four divisions of the $268,000 International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. Wednesday also begins the week of matinee cards, with first race post set for 1 pm.–By Ray Cotolo/for The Red Mile