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Freshman colt trotters in ISS action at Red Mile

October 07, 2011

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Four divisions of the $303,000 International Stallion Stake (ISS) for 2-year-old colt trotters were on top Friday night at The Red Mile, with the first $75,750 split going to Big Chocolate in 1:54.3. The second division went to Possess The Will in 1:54, a national season's mark for first-year trotters on a mile track. From Above won the third division, scoring a mild upset over favorite Uncle Peter in 1:54.4. The final division went to odds-on choice Magic Tonight, who strolled to a 1:55.4.
David Miller sat in the two hole with Big Chocolate behind the pacesetting Nagini, but down the stretch overpowered the leader to draw clear by four lengths. Lindys Jersey Boy, who sat third for Tim Tetrick, got up for second, holding off the late-rallying Mr. Chicago and Yannick Gingras.
A homebred of Richard Keys, Big Chocolate is a son of Chocolatier. Trainer Homer Hochstetler said afterward that he believed the colt had talent as soon as he first broke him. With Friday's win, Big Chocolate now has two wins in 10 starts as he heads next to Woodbine for the Breeders Crown.
"He's had some physical issues this season but he looked like he was good tonight," said Hochstetler, who raced the colt with an open bridle for the first time in the ISS..
In the second split, Tim Tetrick rallied Possess The Will off a second-over trip behind Gym Tan Laundry to get the victory. Money On My Mind and Andy Miller set the first-half fractions, and shortly past the half found himself contending with a first-over Gym Tan Laundry and Brian Sears, with Possess The Will right behind.
At the top of the stretch Tetrick tipped wide and Possess The Will began his rally, but Gym Tan Laundry stayed game. The two trotters battled side by side down the stretch with Possess The Will finally putting his head in front at the wire.
"I've got a lot of confidence in my colt; he's been all year except when he came up sick in Canada," Tetrick said afterward. "He has a lot of speed and can carry it a ways."
Possess The Will was a $135,000 yearling purchase by Fashion Farms from breeder Hanover Shoe Farms. Friday night's victory was the fourth in eight starts for the son of Donato Hanover, increasing his earnings past the $170,000 mark.
Brian Sears got away fifth with From Above and was about eight lengths back as David Miller rushed Power Play to the front down the backside before reaching the half in :56. Ray Schnittker had Delano out first-over in the final turn, followed by Uncle Peter and Jimmy Takter and From Above.
Sears moved From Above wide down the lane and the son of Donato Hanover rallied past Uncle Peter for the victory. Norway Hanover and Jody Jamieson took third.
The win was the fourth straight for From Above, who also won a Bluegrass division last Friday night at The Red Mile. Trainer Greg Peck, who shares ownership of the $165,000 yearling purchase from breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld with Pat Bolte, Jeff Snyder and Guida racing Stable, indicated afterward the From Above will next head to the Breeders Crown. The career-best effort increased From Above's earnings to more than $82,000.
Ron Pierce sent Magic Tonight to the front from post three in the last ISS division, and after the 2-5 favorite tripped the first-quarter timer in :30.2, the outcome appeared in little doubt. Picking up the tempo down the backstretch with a second quarter of :28.1 to reach the half in :58.3, Magic Tonight kept her lead over the pocket-sitting Melt In Your Mouth.
Magic Tonight reached the three quarters in 1:28 with Melt In Your Mouth still stalking in the two hole, but down the stretch easily kept his rival at bay. Andy Miller had Highland Yankee squeezing up the inside to be third, but the judges disqualified the colt to fifth for going inside the pylons. Scary Good was moved from fourth to third.
Noel Daley trains Magic Tonight for owner Adam Victor & Son Stable. A $55,000 yearling purchase, Magic Tonight was also bred by Katz and Libfeld. The time equaled his career best set last week in a Bluegrass division at The Red Mile.
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