On Golden Ponder rolled to a four-length win in 1:54.3 in Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) action Sunday night at The Red Mile, the second of two preliminaries before Super Night on Sunday, Aug. 31, at the famed clay oval. The 2 year olds wrapped up their two legs last Thursday night and on Sunday it was the 3 year olds who were in action.
Sent off the odds-on 1-9 favorite in the $15,000 division for 3-year-old male pacers, Golden Ponder had no problems as he drew clear from his rivals to score his second consecutive KYSS victory. John Campbell was in the sulky for trainer Bob McIntosh. Mike Lachance and Last Best Chance finished second, with Sir Barton and Dan Noble third.
A son of Ponder, On Golden Ponder is owned by the Robert McIntosh Stables, CSX Stables and Michael Kohler. The KYSS starts were the first of the year for On Golden Ponder after not having been on the track since last fall's Grand Circuit at The Red Mile. On Golden Ponder's winning effort Sunday brought his career earnings to $89,965.
Campbell and Lachance reversed order in the $15,000 KYSS division for 3-year-old filly pacers with the overwhelming two favorites. Campbell, driving even-money second-choice Somethinincredible, and Lachance, behind the 3-5 favorite Rollin Deep, traded the lead back and forth early but down the stretch Lachance directed his charge out and around to the one-length win in 1:54.4. All Charged Up and Jess Nisonger were third.
A daughter of Ponder, Rollin Deep also captured the first KYSS preliminary. Owned and trained by Lucy Raymond, Sunday's win was Rollin Deep's sixth of the year in 18 starts, bringing her career earnings to $44,891.
Tinder was the 4-5 favorite in the $15,000 KYSS division for 3-year-old male trotters but he had to work for his victory as he was able to fend off the stretch bid by Scacco Matto to win by a head in 1:55.4. Samburu was third for Trace Tetrick.
Driven by Tyler Smith, Tinder looked to have the race won until the late bid by the Randy Jerrell-driven Scacco Matto. But Tinder dug in late when it appeared he would be passed by his rival to also repeat in KYSS action. Trained by Jeff Smith for owner Walter Fister, Tinder now has four wins and four seconds in eight starts this year after not racing last year at two. Sunday's win was a career best and brought his earnings to $28,725,
The lone KYSS upset of the night--albeit just a slight one--came in the $15,000 contest for 3-year-old filly trotters. Dress For Success, at odds of 5-1 with driver Dan Noble, was able to rally late to edge Twice Too Nice and Brett Crawford by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Defending KYSS champion Petticoat Affair, sent off the even-money favorite, settled for third with Brad Hanners.
A daughter of Infinitif, Dress For Success is trained by Stacey Ruddick, who shares ownership with Denise Dennis and Dolne Farm Services. Dress For Success's lone prior win in 18 career starts was a 2:07 effort at the fairgrounds at Lebanon, Ky., so she lowered her mark by more than 10 seconds on Sunday. Dress For Success now has career earnings of $55,196.
Kentucky Super Night, with each of the eight $175,000 finals for 2 and 3 year olds of both gaits, is Sunday night, Aug. 31, with a first-race post time of 7 p.m.