Blue Rae upsets undefeated Miss Scarlett
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Indiana Downs played host to the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes Saturday evening, September 8. The event attracted 15 freshman pacing fillies, yielding two lucrative divisions. Oldfield Farm’s Blue Rae handed Hayes Memorial and Review Stakes winner Miss Scarlett her first career defeat on the way to a 1:54.2 score in the $126,150 second division. In the $124,900 first split Edra Hanover, driven by Yannick Gingras, collected a 1:54.1 triumph over the rain-soaked oval.
Undefeated in four starts, Miss Scarlett lined up behind the gate Saturday night as the 1-9 favorite in the 8-filly contest. Her streak came to an end as Blue Rae, to her inside starting from post four, reached the wire first in a lifetime best mark. Driven by Mark O’Mara for trainer Richard Oldfield, the Browning Blue Chip filly grabbed the lead in the stretch and held on by a half length over a late-closing Pavla Hanover. Miss Scarlett, driven by Mike LaChance, was third.
“Each start she’s gotten better. She’s made tremendous leaps and bounds,” commented O’Mara, who has driven Blue Rae in each of her four career starts. “I didn’t know if she would hold on tonight, but she was game about it and did.”
The victory is the third in four starts for the filly. Her lone defeat came to Miss Scarlett at DuQuoin August 31, where she finished third in the Hayes Memorial. Blue Rae is a full sister to Thin Blue Line, a winner of more than $450,000 in his career. According to Oldfield, True To Blue, a full sister to both, is consigned to sell Sunday at the Great Lakes Standardbred Sales Company yearling sale. The filly is cataloged as hip 72.
In the first division Edra Hanover cut the mile for Gingras before crossing the wire half a length in front. A daughter of The Panderosa, the Erv Miller trained filly knocked a full second off her lifetime best, adding her second victory in five starts. Good News Lady and LaChance finished second. Lightning Treasure raced fourth but was placed third after Dragonfest was disqualified and placed fourth as a result of a late break before the wire.
“I was looking for the front,” explained the driver. “The five (Dragonfest) and Mike’s filly were the two I was worried about. We were able to get to the front pretty easy and I was happy with that. That’s a pretty good mile for her.”
After commanding the field through fractions of :28.3, :57.2 and 1:26.4, Edra Hanover looked to surrender the lead as Dragonfest and Ross Leonard pulled from the pocket and made a bid for the front. But just as the filly looked to head the favorite, she broke stride. That allowed Good News Lady to advance to second behind the winner.
“She’s got a lot of go but she’s green on the front,” Gingras said. “She was going to get beat. It’s better to be lucky than good.”
Edra Hanover reached the winner’s circle after three-straight second-place finishes. In her last two outings, the Hayes Memorial and Review Stakes, the freshman, raced second to Miss Scarlett.
Gingras returned to the winner’s circle in The Elevation, a $53,000 contest for freshman colt and gelding pacers. The reinsman piloted Mickey Burke-trained Blueridge Western to a 1:54.1 score, benefiting from a second-over trip. Brother Ray and O’Mara raced second while Art Official rounded out the trifecta.
“I was able to get away fifth,” Gingras noted. “We were still rolling pretty well at the half and I was able to follow the horse I wanted. It couldn’t have worked out any better.”
The victory was the third consecutive for Blueridge Western. The Allamerican Ingot gelding started the streak with a track record performance at Chester Downs. He paced the mile in 1:52.3 with Gingras in the bike. With six wins in 10 starts, the freshman has earned just over $94,000. (Indiana Downs)