Admiral Hill Repeats in Kentucky Sire Stakes at Oak Grove

Admiral Hill toured the Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel track again to collect his second straight win with a 1:50.3 wrapped-up effort in the second preliminary of Kentucky Sire Stakes (KYSS) on Tuesday (June 4). 

Driver Yannick Gingras pushed Admiral Hill for the front from the pylon post and clicked by a :27.1 first quarter as El Rey (driven by David Miller) settled into the pocket. Admiral Hill then cruised to a :56 half and rolled up the backside under minimal pressure to three-quarters in 1:23.2. El Rey grew antsy from the pocket ride, but sat locked at the cones through the final turn as Tip Top Cat (Todd McCarthy) progressed evenly on the rim uncovered. Though Gingras kept a tight grip on Admiral Hill and let him loose in the stretch, where he strode in a 1-1/2-length winner while chased by El Rey back in second. Tip Top Cat settled for third and For Once Inmy Life (Andy McCarthy) came from second over for fourth. 

A 4-year-old gelding by Sweet Lou, Admiral Hill has now won 14 races from 32 starts and has banked $409,008. Per Engblom trains the $2.58 winner for owner Morrison Racing Stables. 

The trotting males sparred in three divisions of KYSS to start the card. The Hazelton (Yannick Gingras) opened the day with a far-turn blitz to win division one in 1:53.3.  

French Wine (Andy Miller) floated forward through a :28 first quarter to grab the lead from Cecil Hanover (Peter Wrenn) while The Hazelton settled into third. The field then stayed single file through a :57.3 half and to three-quarters in 1:25.3 until Gingras made his move outside into the last turn. The Hazelton blitzed French Wine and stuck a head in front spinning for home and stayed firm on the lead to the end to grab the gold by three-quarter lengths at the beam. Cecil Hanover gave chase in third and Drink Up Drink Up (Marvin Luna) finished fourth. 

Ron Burke trains The Hazelton, a gelding by Muscle Mass, for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. He has now won 15 races from 33 starts, earned $253,656 and paid $5.82 to win. 

Ari Ferrari J (Dexter Dunn) went pillar to post in the second division with a 1:53 effort to wade off pocket-pouncer Once In A Lifetime (Todd McCarthy). 

Starting from the pylon post, Dunn slid to the top with Ari Ferrari J before a :28 first quarter and coasted to a :57.2 half. Ari Ferrari J then began the sprint for home while Once In A Lifetime stayed close in his trail. The two peeled clear of the field moving to three-quarters in 1:25.1 and continued speeding through the final turn as Once In A Lifetime tipped out and engaged for the stretch battle. Ari Ferrari J held his ground to the inside all through the lane and kept a head up on Once In A Lifetime at the beam while Deadline Hall (Andy McCarthy) took third, beaten nine lengths, with Morning Edition (Atlee Bender) fourth. 

Tony Alagna trains Ari Ferrari J, a stallion by Walner, for owner Kenneth Jacobs. He won his eighth race from 34 starts, has now earned $848,681 and paid $4.58 to win. 

Bestfriend Volo (Dexter Dunn) then rolled in the last division for trotting males to a measured victory in 1:53 as the 1-5 favorite. 

Dunn planted Bestfriend Volo on the lead to a :28.1 first quarter and strolled along to a :57 half before hitting the thruster for the backside. In his sprint to three-quarters, timed in 1:24.2, Bestfriend Volo slipped six lengths clear of his competition with just Prince Of Honor (Todd McCarthy) making inroads through the last half mile. Dunn then kept Bestfriend Volo to task through the lane as Prince Of Honor continued plugging forward on the outside to register the win by a diminishing length. Sparks Fly (Atlee Bender) finished third, another four lengths behind, and Yo Tater (Verlin Yoder) settled for fourth. 

Nancy Takter trains and co-owns Bestfriend Volo, a gelding by Walner, with Christina Takter, 3 Brothers Stables and Deja Blu. He paid $2.78 to win. 

Mambacita stayed unbeaten against her peers in the lone split for trotting mares, this time grabbing the win off a pocket ride to capture the 1:52.3 mile. 

Railee Something (Andy McCarthy) powered off the wings to the top, forcing Mambacita to settle into the pocket past a :27 first quarter. McCarthy then rated Railee Something to a :56.1 half, but faced a prompt challenge midway up the backside from Dunn pulling pocket with Mambacita. Mambacita upped the pressure on Railee Something through three-quarters in 1:24 and hit the ropes through the final turn. Mambacita swung for home and edged away from her rivals to win by 2-1/4 lengths while Railee Something clung to second from fast-closing Vintage (David Miller). Cessna Pride (Todd McCarthy) took fourth. 

Winning her 16th race from 36 starts, Mambacita has now earned $945,418 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Alagna Racing LLC and Pryde Stables Inc. Tony Alagna trains the mare by Tactical Landing who paid $2.90 to win. 

The pacing mares competed in a non-wagering division of the KYSS prior to the betting card won by Zanatta (Andy Miller) in 1:51. Perched in the pocket behind Hungry For Love (David Miller) as she carved a clip of :27, :56.2 and 1:23.4, Zanatta swelled and responded once Miller fed her racetrack into the stretch. Zanatta scooted away from Hungry For Love with ease to win by a length while Keep My Secret (Tony Hall) took third and To All A Goodnight (Dexter Dunn) settled for fourth. 

Jennifer Bongiorno trains Zanatta, a 4-year-old mare by Stay Hungry, for owner One Legend Stable Inc. 

Live racing resumes at Oak Grove on Monday (June 10) at 3 p.m. (CDT) and features a carryover in the last-race Super High 5 of $714.18. Free program pages for every race day, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available on the Oak Grove Racing website (https://www.oakgrovegaming.com/racing/handicapping-resources/).

Admiral Hill and Yannick Gingras winning the lone $50,000 KYSS division for 4-year-old pacing horses & geldings