by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager
Hightstown, NJ — When 3-year-old female pacers Kissin In The Sand, Youaremycandygirl, and Alexa’s Power get together, the race has the potential to be memorable. And twice already this season, they’ve fulfilled that potential.
The three fillies have met three times this year and finished 1-2-3 in each race. Their first encounter resulted in Kissin In The Sand’s gutsy parked-out victory by a neck over Youaremycandygirl in the James M. Lynch Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The next was Kissin In The Sand’s win by three lengths over Youaremycandygirl in the Mistletoe Shalee, at 1-1/8 miles, at The Meadowlands.
Most recently, on the Aug. 4 Hambletonian Day card at the Big M, they finished three across the wire separated by a neck in the Shady Daisy Stakes at The Meadowlands. Youaremycandygirl won that encounter by a nose over Kissin In The Sand in a stakes- and track-record 1:48.2.
Round four is Saturday at Lexington’s Red Mile in the second of two divisions of the Glen Garnsey Stakes.
“They’re three exceptional fillies,” said Jim Campbell, who trains Alexa’s Power. “We’re going to need our ‘A’ game. It’s a very tough division, but at this time of the year you’re going to race tough. It’s just part of the game. She’s an honest filly and she gives us a great effort every time we put her out there.”
Kissin In The Sand drew post No. 6 in the eight-horse field and is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Youaremycandygirl will start from post four and is the 2-1 second choice while Alexa’s Power will start from post seven and is 3-1.
“It’s going to be an interesting matchup with me getting the middle of the three on the gate,” said Scott Zeron, who drives Kissin In The Sand. “It’s up to me because Kissin In The Sand is definitely as good as she’s been all year. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up. We’re in Lexington with a mile track and we’re all going to get a fair shot.”
Kissin In The Sand leads all 3-year-old female pacers in purses with $673,620 thanks to nine wins and four second-place finishes in 13 starts. The Nancy Johansson-trained filly, owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, has won five of her past six races, including the Bluegrass Stakes last weekend at Red Mile and over older foes in the fillies-and-mares preferred Sept. 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“She’s gotten better every start this year,” Zeron said. “It’s pretty exciting. A few of the times she’s done it the hard way, too. It’s not like everyone lays down for us and we go slow fractions and then take off late. Even beating the open mares was impressive. Everything is pointing toward a good weekend.”
Alexa’s Power is the second-richest 3-year-old filly pacer this season, with $429,891. She has won nine of 16 races for owners Jeff Snyder and Michael Snyder and finished off the board only once. Since the Shady Daisy, she has won four of five starts, including the Jugette in her most recent outing Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Tim Tetrick will drive the filly Saturday, as he has for all but one of her races this season.
“She came out of the Jugette really good and she acts good,” Campbell said.
Youaremycandygirl, the 2017 Dan Patch Award-winner for best 2-year-old female pacer, has won six of 12 races this season and earned $367,921 for owner Bill Donovan. She won five times and finished second twice during a seven-race span from mid-June to mid-August. She heads to the Garnsey after going off stride in the Jugette.
“We just had a bad thing at the Jugette, but everything will be all right with her,” trainer Ron Burke said. “She had a little tie-up incident, that’s all it was. We knew exactly what was wrong with her. I thought I had gotten through it, but I didn’t. You try to do the best you can, but sometimes it doesn’t work out.
“She’s seems like she’s gotten herself turned around now.”
Last year at Red Mile, Youaremycandygirl became the fastest 2-year-old filly pacer in history with a 1:50 win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes.
In the first Garnsey division, New York Sire Stakes champion Wisdom Tree is the 8-5 morning-line favorite.
Saturday’s card also includes the Allerage Farms Open Pace, which features another clash between New Zealand-bred star Lazarus, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, and McWicked (5-2) as well as Dayton Pacing Derby champ Donttellmeagain (4-1); the Allerage Farms Open Trot, with International Trot-bound Will Take Charge as the 2-1 choice; and five divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers.
For Saturday’s complete entries at Red Mile, click here.
- Lazarus N headlines Saturday Grand Circuit competition at Red Mile (Thursday, October 04, 2018)
Kiwi sensation turned North American phenomenon Lazarus N will make his fifth start in the west of the Atlantic when he faces nine challengers in the $179,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Pace, sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds, on Saturday (Oct. 6) at The Red Mile.