Grand Circuit racing continues on Friday at The Red Mile with three divisions each of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and filly pacers. Those freshmen will compete for total purses well in excess of a half-million dollars and the "top of the crop" for each group are among the entrants.
The colt trotters will compete in the Walnut Hall Limited Cup, carded as races five, seven and 10, each a seven-colt field for a purse of $90,100.
Father Patrick has been nothing short of sensational this season. The Cantab Hall colt has won the Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands by 10 lengths and more recently the William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk, where he established a new Canadian record for baby trotters of 1:53.4 in a five-length romp. A winner of $436,507 this year, the only loss inFather Patrick's eight-start career was a photo out in an overnight at the Meadowlands.
Jimmy Takter trains the colt for the Father Patrick Stable and Yannick Gingras will steer him as he has in every start this season.
On the distaff side, the fillies will race for just shy of $260,000 split three ways, race eight, nine and 11. The "Belle of the Ball" thus far has been Jim Avritt's homebred Art Major filly Precocious Beauty. From his mare Precious Beauty, who produced North America Cup champ Sportswriter, Jim kept the filly he has described as "a perfect specimen" and she has lived up to his vision and then some. A winner of four straight in Ontario including the She's A Great Lady final and Eternal Camnation stakes, Precocious Beauty has amassed just shy of $360,000 on the strength of five wins and a pair of seconds from seven starts. Her 1:50.2 speed badge puts her just a fifth off the current world record for the division.
Top Canadian conditioner Gregg Mc Nair developed the filly and sends her out on Friday with her regular pilot, one of racing's brightest young stars, his son Doug. (The Red Mile)