$2 million KYSS finals Sunday at Red Mile
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The best of harness racing in the Bluegrass will be on display Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, at The Red Mile when the historic Lexington racetrack hosts the $2 million Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) finals. The 10-race card gets underway at 3 p.m. (EDT) and is the centerpiece of the new Fayette County Fair that will run from noon until 6 p.m.
Sunday afternoon's 10-race race card features the eight divisional KYSS championship races, worth $250,000 each, as well as a pair of $50,000 consolation events. The fields were set after three preliminary legs were contested over the past three weeks at The Red Mile.
The 2-year-old filly pacer Beautyonthebeach swept her three opening rounds and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere may be tough to beat in that divisional final (Race 4) as she landed post 1. The road to division honors among the freshman male pacers (Race 6) appears to go through Captain Trevor, a son of Captaintreacherous who has been most impressive while capturing all three of his prelims.
Only two 3 year olds who won KYSS finals last year at two are back to defend their title. One of those is the filly trotter Top Expectations, who was two-for-two in this year's opening two legs. The daughter of Cantab Hall drew post 1 in this year's final (Race 7). The 3-year-old filly pacer Band Stand is the other returning champion, but this year the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance may have her work cut out for her as she finished eighth in the point standings after a second, sixth and fourth in the prelims. Band Stand starts from post 4 in this year's final (Race 8) with the role of favorite likely going to Dance Blue (Race 3), a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven who won both her opening rounds in open-lengths fashion.
Race 9 is the $250,000 KYSS final for 3-year-old male trotters. Tactical Landing, a son of Muscle Hill who last month captured his Hambletonian elimination and finished third in the $1 million final, starts from post 1 after a third and first in the KYSS preliminaries. Wolfgang, a son of My MVP and a leg-one winner who is Tactical Landing's stablemate in the barn of trainer Jimmy Takter, starts from post 4. Classichap, a son of Chapter Seven who raced and won his only KYSS appearance in leg 3 last Monday night, starts from post 3.
The sophomore male pacers close out the championship card in Race 10. American History (post 6), a son of American Ideal, is two-for-two in this year's KYSS and is one of three Tony Alagna trainees going postward (Rush To Judgement, post 1) and Legal Power (post 4). Grand Teton (post 3), a son of A Rocknroll Dance who won the first KYSS leg, is one of three Takter trainees in the race, along with Thinkbig Dreambig (post 5) and Decoy (post 8).
The eight KYSS finals encompass an "all stakes" 20-cent Pick 8 wager with a guaranteed $10,000 pool in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 8 has a low takeout rate of only 15 percent. The wager will feature a mandatory payout, so the entire net pool will be paid for the most winners if nobody selects all eight winners.
Admission is free and the Fayette County fair will include food trucks, local craft breweries, bourbon tastings and an arts and crafts market.
Several music acts will play on two stages (one inside and one outside), with rising country star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery, Avery Crabtree and Conch Republic among the performers. Montgomery is slated to perform on the outdoor stage from 4-6 p.m. The racing program gets underway with a horse parade of various breeds and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation will offer hands-on equine experience.
Saturday night's (post time 7 p.m.) 10-race card features three $50,000 KYSS consolations, including races for 3-year-old filly trotters, 2-year-old colt trotters and 2-year-old filly pacers. (KYSS)