Fourteen 3-year-old male trotters were entered for Sunday afternoon's 121st renewal of the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile, with Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life drawing post 4 in the first of two eliminations with driver Brian Sears. The top five finishers in each of the two $79,050 elims will return for a decisive $368,900 second heat, the winner of which will be declared Kentucky Futurity champion.
Royalty For Life comes into the Futurity off a win in the $665,400 Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. Overall, the son of RC Royalty has earned more than $1.2 million this year for owners Alfred Ross, Raymond "Chip" Campbell and Paul Fontaine.
"I'm looking forward to this," said Royalty For Life's trainer, George Ducharme. "He's coming into it fresh. He just got an extra week off and that seems to have really helped him."
Drawing into the same elimination as Royalty For Life is Creatine, winner of a Hambletonian elimination for locally-based trainer Bob Stewart. Creatine will start from post 1 with driver Mike Lachance. The son of Andover Hall is owned by Diamond Creek Racing. He has won his last three races, inclouding a 1:52.3 score in a Bluegrass division Sept. 29 at The Red Mile.
"We've had a couple horses we had good chances with (in the Kentucky Futurity) that didn't work out," said Stewart. "But Creatine is definitely in the mix. He's on a win streak and hopefully we can keep that."
In the second elimination is Your So Vain and Spider Blue Chip, both winners of Bluegrass divisions at The Red Mile last time out, including the latter's world-record effort for 3-year-old geldings of 1:51.3.
Trained by Chuck Sylvester, Spider Blue Chip will start from post 5 with driver Ron Pierce. Included among Spider Blue Chip's earlier victories this year are the Earl Beal Memorial and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship.
Your So Vain, a 1:53.3 Bluegrass winner last time out, won his Canadian Trotting Classic elimination and then was second to Royalty For Life in the rich final. Brad Maxwell trains the son of Donato Hanover.
The Kentucky Futurity eliminations are scheduled as Race 10 and 11, with the second heat carded as Race 14 on the 14-race card. Here is the draw for the two Kentucky Futurity eliminations:
3 Deadliest Catch
4 Royalty For Life
5 EL Rocket
6 Home Turf
7 Master Of Law
1 All Laid Out
3 Wheeling N Dealin
4 Lindy's Tru Grit
5 Spider Blue Chip
6 Your So Vain
7 High Bridge