Spider Blue Chip (pictured) set a new Red Mile track record for 3-year-old gelding trotters with a 1:51.3 effort in the third $87,900 division of the $261,700 Bluegrass on Sunday afternoon at The Red Mile. Creatine notched a 1:52.3 victory in the first $86,900 division, while Your So Vain rallied from last to first to win the second $86,900 split in 1:53.3.
In the first Bluegrass division, Mike Lachance left from post five with Creatine and easily made his way to the top, reaching the quarter in :28.2 as Ron Pierce settled Deadliest Catch in second, followed by Corey Callahan and Punxsutawney. After a half in :56.2, Callahan began to get antsy with Punxsutawney so he pulled his charge to the outside heading around the far turn. Creatine remained steady on top through three-quarters in 1:25 and held game through the lane for the victory. Punxsutawney was able to finish second, just edging Deadliest Catch, who tried to come up the pylons.
Bob Stewart trains the winning son of Andover Hall for Diamond Creek Racing. The win was Creatine's third in a row and fifth in his past six starts, a streak that includes his Hambletonian elimination (he was eighth in the final after being parked the mile) and consolations of the Colonial and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. Creatine's career earnings now stand at $339,997.
Despite slow fractions and getting away last--which prompted winning driver Tim Tetrick to later say in the winner's circle that "at the quarter I was really cussing myself for being as far back as I was"--Your So Vain's furious stretch rally was the key to the victory in the second division.
Tetrick and Your So Vain sat last in the seven-horse field as Bluto and Andy Miller led to a :29.2 quarter. Down the backstretch Yannick Gingras tried to take the lead with Vibe Blue Chip after getting away third, but the bid was rebuffed and Gingras had to retreat back into third on the pylons. The half was :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.3, and it was there that Tetrick began his late assault with Your So Vain.
Your So Vain rushed to the front nearing the wire to post his fourth win in nine starts. Lindy's Tru Grit, who had sat second for Scott Zeron, was second, with Vibe Blue Chip holding on for third.
Brad Maxwell trains the winning son of Donato Hanover for owner PG Van Camp Stables. Your So Vain's career earnings now top $350,000.
Spider Blue Chip avoided early trouble when Master Of Law made a break in the third division. Ron Pierce was able to finally gain the lead with Spider Blue Chip past the opening quarter of :28, leading the rest of the way for the 1:51.3 victory, missing the world record for sophomore gelding trotters on a mile track by just one-fifth of a second but lowering Vivid Photo's track record of 1:52.1 set in 2005.
Pine Credit and Corey Callahan finished second, with All Laid Out and Yannick Gingras third.
Trained by Chuck Sylvester, Spider Blue Chip, like Creatine, won his Hambletonian elimination, but then finished fifth in the final. The Bluegrass victory was Spider Blue Chip's eighth in 14 starts this year, a number that includes the recent Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship. The son of Andover Hall is owned by David McDuffee and Melvin Hartman. Spider Blue Chip's earnings now top $775,000.