The Red Mile played host to an action packed 18-race card on Monday night, filled with 12 divisions of the John Simpson Memorial Stakes for freshman trotters and pacers. Some of the best 2 year olds in the country were in town in preparation for the Grand Circuit meet that begins Tuesday, Sept. 23, and continues through closing day Saturday, Oct. 4.
One of those 2 year olds was Annieswesterncard, a gelded son of Western Hanover-Annie Your A Card, and the co-fastest freshman in the country sporting a lifetime mark of 1:50.3.
Annieswesterncard did not disappoint as the 1-5 favorite in a $17,818 division of the Simpson Memorial, cruising to victory by over two lengths in 1:52.4. The gelding is trained by Joe Seekman, and was driven by his son Travis Seekman for the Sawgrass Farms LLC.
Seekman moved Annieswesterncard to the lead shortly after the field straightened out up the backstretch and never looked back in recording his fifth win in only his ninth career start and pushing his career earnings to $195,238. Annieswesterncard was actually the post-time favorite in last month’s $1 million(C) Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack and finished third.
The top two filly pacers from the $300,000 KYSS final were also back in action for the first time since the final, and went very similar miles as two overwhelming favorites, both from post three, in two separate $12,050 Simpson divisions.
The KYSS champion and daughter of Jenna’s Beach Boy-Wonderbolt, Shanghai Lil, used a first-over journey from driver Dan Shetler after being tucked away fourth in the early going. Shetler slowly worked the filly up near the lead as they turned for home and she battled Perfectionist and driver Ron Pierce throughout the stretch, finally getting up for a nose victory in 1:53.3 as the 1-5 favorite.
The win was her fourth in only seven career starts, pushing her career earnings to $204,864. Shanghai Lil is trained by Pete Foley for the All Star Racing Inc.
Warrawee Kay, a daughter of Real Desire-Armbro Wisdom and KYSS runner-up, used a very similar journey to score the victory as the 1-9 favorite. However, she was not just any 1-9 favorite, as she drew over $207,000 in the show pool. According to The Red Mile's mutuel department, the money came from New Jersey only minutes before the start of the race.
Pierce tucked the filly away fifth in the early going and moved first over as they wheeled around the final turn en route to a half-length victory over Major Harmony and driver Andrew McCarthy in 1:53.2.
Warrawee Kay is trained by Steve Elliott for Alan Keith.
Speaking of Pierce, he definitely had the hot hands on Monday night, tallying seven wins on the card, including six divisions of the John Simpson Memorial Stakes.
Also in action during the freshman stakes filled card was Peter Haughton champion Muscle Hill, a son of Muscle Yankee-Yankee Blondie. Driver McCarthy used a backside rush to make the lead with Muscle Hill, and coasted home to easily defeat his other five rivals by over seven lengths in 1:56.1.
The winner’s share of the $12,329 purse increased his career earnings to $363,601 as he notched his fourth win in his fifth career start. Muscle Hill is trained by Greg Peck for Jerry Silva and the TLP Stable. (Red Mile)