Admiral Hill Wins KYSS Final in Fastest Mile Ever at Oak Grove

After finishing third in the first Kentucky Sire Stakes (KYSS) final at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel, Admiral Hill not only scored retribution when winning the $150,000 series final for 4-year-old pacing horses and geldings but did so with the fastest mile ever recorded in the short history of the track: a 1:48 front-stepping effort. 

Launching for the lead from post 6, Admiral Hill (driven by Yannick Gingras) seized the point past a :26.2 first quarter and maintained his speed through a :54.4 half and to three-quarters in 1:21, where he faced a first-over assault from El Rey (Dexter Dunn). El Rey stayed persistent at Admiral Hill’s throat all through the final turn while Gingras called on his charge to fight spinning for home. Admiral Hill held his ground all through the stretch and held El Rey at bay to the beam by a neck with For Once Inmy Life (Andy McCarthy) giving chase off a pocket trip in third and Blue Lou (David Miller) taking fourth. 

Per Engblom trains Admiral Hill, a gelding by Sweet Lou, for owner Morrison Racing Stables. He won his 16th race from 34 starts, has now earned $509,008 and paid $3.20 to win. His 1:48 mile bests the track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings of 1:48.3 that he set just a week ago and also beats the all-time record of 1:48.2 set by All Or Nothing last year. 

Once In A Lifetime (Todd McCarthy) also exacted revenge in the $150,000 KYSS final for 4-year-old trotting horses and geldings when going down the road in 1:52 after he finished runner-up in the $100,000 series final just a month ago. McCarthy hustled the Jim Campbell trainee for the top from the pylon post and refused to relinquish control past a :26.3 first quarter. The Hazelton (Yannick Gingras), left with nowhere to sit at the pylons, committed to race first over but made little inroads past a :55.2 half. Once In A Lifetime then stole a big breather as The Hazelton sat parked and much of his competition raced locked at the pylons to three-quarters in 1:24.2. From there, McCarthy hit the accelerator and Once In A Lifetime jetted away to a 2-1/2-length win over pocket-sitting Djimon (David Miller). French Wine (Andy Miller), the 4-5 favorite, emerged third after a bottled trip and Brodeur (Atlee Bender) rallied up the pylons for fourth. 

Sad Frog Farms owns Once In A Lifetime, a gelded son of Father Patrick who now has 12 wins from 30 starts and $604,197 earned. He paid $11.14 to win. 

Vindication continued later in the card when Railee Something (Andy McCarthy) finally turned the tables on 1-9 favorite Mambacita (Dexter Dunn) with a 1:52.1 win in the $150,000 KYSS final for 4-year-old trotting mares off five straight runner-up finishes to her main rival. McCarthy landed on the point with Railee Something after a :27.1 first quarter out of post 5 while Dunn floated forward out of post 6 with Mambacita looking for a seat. Mambacita could only find a seat behind Railee Something, who freewheeled to a :55.3 half and three-quarters in 1:23.4 with steam still in reserve through the final turn. Dunn pulled pocket, ducked back into the pocket and made any move he can to implore Mambacita turning for home but Railee Something chugged down the track to grab victory by 2-1/4 lengths. Mambacita settled for second, having her unbeaten season snapped, with Picaboo Lady (Yannick Gingras) closing for third from Cessna Pride (Todd McCarthy) in fourth. 

Roger Cullipher conditions Railee Something, a daughter of International Moni, for owner-breeder Ronald Mersky. She paid $8.80 to win in collecting her 13th win from 36 starts and adding to her account now worth $785,686. 

Strong Poison (Yannick Gingras) was the only horse to sweep both series for 4-year-olds when she won the $150,000 KYSS final for 4-year-old pacing mares in 1:49.4. Gingras looped Strong Poison to the lead past a :26 first quarter and maintained her speed through hot middle fractions of :54.3 and 1:21.4. Spinning for home, Gingras called upon Strong Poison and she hit her top gear come midstretch to fend off the late surge of Hungry For Love (David Miller) and win by a length. Zanatta (Andy Miller) gave chase off a pocket trip for third and Prosecco Princess (Todd McCarthy) took fourth. 

Virgil Morgan Jr. trains Strong Poison, a daughter of Always B Miki who has now won 13 races from 33 starts and banked $999,475, for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Odds On Racing. She paid $3.12 to win. 

Tuesday’s card also featured three $40,000 opening-preliminary divisions of the KYSS for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Defining Moment (David Miller) took top honors with a second-over charge to win by a half length in 1:50.3 over pocket-popper Real Deal Lindy (Atlee Bender). Ron Burke trains the daughter of JK Endofanera for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and Lawrence Karr. She won her fourth race from 13 starts, has now earned $62,009 and paid $4.48 to win. 

Viki Hill (Dexter Dunn, 1:51 winning mile; $5.54 to win) popped pocket to the final turn and held late to win the second KYSS division for sophomore pacing fillies by three-quarter lengths over fast-closing Shezahungrygigi (Atlee Bender) and Seeuontheotherside (Marvin Luna). Chris Ryder trains the Always B Miki filly for owner Tom Hill. Direction (Todd McCarthy, 1:51.2; $2.36) later maintained her unbeaten record this season with a down-the-road win by 2-1/2 lengths over Capytreach (David Miller). Brett Pelling trains the daughter of Always B Miki for owner Diamond Creek Racing. 

A pair of Open events also went postward on the Tuesday card. Dougs Babe A (Dexter Dunn, 1:50.3; $5.46) cruised first over to a two-length win over pocket-sitter Yankee B Something (Andy Miller) to win in the $41,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace while Pioneer As (Marvin Luna, 1:52.1; $21.24) later skimmed the pylons and snatched victory from Oh Look Magic (David Miller) by a neck to take the $40,000 Open Trot. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Dougs Babe A, a 7-year-old daughter of Western Terror, for owners Tom Vassiliou, Nicholas Tallarico and Enzed Racing Stable Inc. while Anette Lorentzon trains Pioneer As, a 5-year-old daughter of Devious Man, for owner-breeder ACL Stuteri AB. 

Live racing resumes at Oak Grove on Monday (July 1) with first-race post time at 3 p.m. (CDT). Monday’s card will feature a $147.75 Pick-3 carryover, starting in Race 4, and an $825.81 Late Pick-4 carryover, which covers the last four races on the card. Free program pages for every race day, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available on the Oak Grove Racing website (

Admiral Hill with Yannick Gingras pacing the all-time fastest mile at Oak Grove in winning the $150,000 KYSS final for 4-year-old pacing horses & geldings