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Katie's Red Rose blooms at Monticello

December 03, 2009
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For the second time in as many days a horse from the Mark Ford barn has captured Monticello Raceway’s weekly feature. On Tuesday, Keystone Rideau won the Open Pace and on Wednesday afternoon, another horse trained by Ford copped the Open Handicap Trot.
 
Katie’s Red Rose, a stately 5-year-old chestnut mare, overcame her outside position to score a 2:01.2 victory against the best trotters on the grounds for driver Mike MacNeill.
 
Assigned the eight hole by the racing office MacNeil sent the daughter of Chip Chip Hooray to the front and they coasted to the lead just before the quarter-mile time flashed :29.3. They traveled unchallenged by the half in 1:00.2 and still had an easy time of it as they rounded the clubhouse turn for the second time.
 
As the field headed for the three-quarters Bruce Aldrich Jr. was the first to move with Crestwood Patriot and they rallied alongside the leader at which point MacNeill pulled the earplugs on Katie’s Red Rose. The mare then trotted away from her challengers but in the lane her stride shortened and company came but luckily for MacNeill and Katie’s Red Rose the others ran out of racetrack.
 
Buck ID and Zeke Parker were rallying in the deep stretch but the wire came too soon for them and they finished a half-length behind the winner. Danijill, the 3-year-old filly who had a good season in the New York Sire Stakes this year, was also charging at the end along the pylons and finished third.
 
MacNeil, a newcomer here from the Canadian Maritimes, was a late driver change and he drove the mare perfectly.
 
“I looked at the (racing) program and saw that she races good in front so I took her to the lead after the start,” MacNeil said as he recalled some events in the race. “But as we headed to the three-quarters she was sitting in my lap and I wanted her to go on so I had to pull the (ear) plugs earlier than I wanted to. And in the stretch I was definitely looking for (the finish) wire.”
 
Wednesday's race marked the first time that Katie’s Red Rose competed at the Mighty M. She came in from Saratoga Raceway and her victory was her third consecutive. Owned by Gates Mills Stable and Richard Paltani, it was the ninth seasonal triumph for Katie’s Red Rose who now has just shy of $100,000 in season's earnings. (Monticello)
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