Trainer Julie Miller will send Cee Bee Yes into Thursday's International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters while giving newly minted world champion Designed To Be a breather before the upcoming Breeders Crown.
Cee Bee Yes races in the third of three International Stallion Stakes divisions at Lexington's Red Mile on Thursday afternoon. Last week, she finished second to Chivaree Hanover in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and will face the same rival in her International Stallion split.
Designed To Be gets this week off after trotting the fastest mile ever by a 2-year-old on a one-mile oval when she won her Bluegrass division by a half-length over Shake It Cerry in 1:52.2. The previous record of 1:52.4 was set by another filly, Snow White, in 2007 at the Red Mile.
"That's the first time Andy has asked her to go,” Miller said, referring to her husband, driver Andy Miller. "She really responded. I thought (Shake It Cerry) was going to get to her, but she just kept fighting. It was really a valiant effort.
"I never thought they would go that fast; it was the last race of the night and cooling off, so I thought maybe (1:) 53 and a piece. But it set up right and the track was amazing that night. It's a really good feeling when you see one of your horses have a performance like that.”
The homebred Designed To Be (Donato Hanover-Sheer Soul) has won four of seven races and finished second in her three losses for owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz. She won the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, as well as one preliminary round of the series, and has earned $286,186.
"We couldn't have mapped things out any better for her,” Miller said. "Everything has just fallen into place. She's got great manners on the track and in the barn. She's real handy and easy to drive.”
Miller credited owners Libfeld and Katz with giving her the freedom to bring Designed To Be along slowly after Dr. Patty Hogan performed surgery in December to treat an OCD in the filly's left stifle.
"They let us manage her the way we wanted,” Miller said. "Her gait was always tremendous. Now she's really come into her own. She knows her job and wants to win.”
Designed To Be will race in the Breeders Crown and then call it a season. Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old filly trotters are October 11 and the final is October 19. The division features four of the five fastest 2-year-old trotters in North America: Cooler Schooner, who trotted 1:51.3 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Designed To Be, Struck By Lindy and Shake It Cerry.
"The girls are having a better year than the boys; they go faster and race harder,” Miller said. "There are a lot of nice ones out there. A lot is going to come down to how they draw and how the races play out.”
Cee Bee Yes, owned by Jason Allen and Douglas Allen, will not go to the Breeders Crown. The New Jersey Sire Stakes champion will most likely continue in the Kindergarten series, where she has a win and a second-place finish in two starts. For the year, Cee Bee Yes (Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee) has won three of eight races and earned $168,785.
"She's a nice, honest filly,” Miller said. "She was able to make some good money in the sire stakes and stepped it up in the Kindergarten. We gave her a shot here, but the Breeders Crown is so competitive, I don't think that's a good spot for her.”
The first division of Thursday's International Stallion Stakes features Struck By Lindy, who won a Bluegrass division last week, and Merrie Annabelle runner-up Lifetime Pursuit. The second division includes three-time stakes runner-up Scream And Shout, who is a full sister to millionaire Costa Rica. (Harness Racing Communications)