In The Arsenal, Split The House stalk speed in Bluegrass wins

Lexington, KY — Trainer Kelvin Harrison’s In The Arsenal won the fastest of the two splits for the $185,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt pace, winning in 1:52.3 on Saturday night (Oct. 3) at The Red Mile.

Nigel Soult photo
In The Arsenal was a narrow winner in his Bluegrass division.

Sitting off a hot pace set by Paparazzi Hanover, including fractions of :27.4, :54.3, and 1:23, driver Brian Sears pulled the even-money choice off the pylons and around a tiring pocket sitter in National Seelster.

Catching Paparazzi Hanover at the top of the stretch, In The Arsenal progressed to the lead with Rock N’ Roll World following his move after the leader, beginning to challenge for control. However, In The Arsenal dug in to the inside of Rock N’ Roll World and held a half-length advantage in the end. Reggiano closed for third.

Getting the 13th win of his career and earning $885,973 in the process, the colt by American Ideal, out of the On The Road Again mare Ladyotra, returned $4.00 to win. He’s owned by breeder White Birch Farms and In The Arsenal Racing, trained by Harrison, and driven by Sears.

“He raced well tonight,” Harrison said. “Like you said (to interviewer Gabe Prewitt), he was good here last year. In the Messenger, he got it the way he likes it, and he got nailed. We had some sickness issues coming out of Tioga (in the Empire Breeders Classic), and still a little bit coming out of the Messenger, but I think we finally got him cleaned up.

“We’ll be here next week for the Tattersalls Pace, and then hopefully everything’s good because then we’re going to the Breeders Crown.”

Flushing cover as he began his bid past the half, Split The House rallied down the center of the course and by speed-maker Penji Hanover to take the second split of the Bluegrass in 1:53.1. Penji Hanover established fractions of :29.1, :57.1, and 1:25.3.

Dude’s The Man, flushed out by Split The House after the half, came up to challenge Penji Hanover at the top of the stretch. Penji Hanover drifted off the pylons, allowing pocket-rider Blood Brother to sprint into contention through the stretch. Off cover, Split The House managed to out sprint Blood Brother heading to the finish, doing so while besting third-place finisher Penji Hanover and fourth-place finisher Dude’s The Man.

A recent purchase by owners Crawford Farms LLC and trainer Chris Oakes, the colt by Rocknroll Hanover out of the Camluck mare Shake That Junk, claimed the eighth win of his career and pushed his earnings to $241,481. Driven to victory by Tim Tetrick, he paid $3.20 to win.

“It’s really hard for these horses to go twice in one day,” Chris Oakes said in regards to scratching Split The House from the Little Brown Jug final last week. “He drew badly, and I hadn’t had the horse that long, so not knowing him and his characteristics, I didn’t want to put his future in jeopardy; I’d only had the horse a week at that point. He was good (tonight). You could see in the last turn, he was full of pace, and I figured he’d fire home pretty well, and he did.

“I kind of had my eye on him and I mentioned it to the Crawfords,” Oakes also said in regards to purchasing Split The House. “I haven’t even been with them that long and they knew all about this horse. As soon as he became available, they jumped on it.

“He wasn’t paid in next week (to the Tattersalls), but he does have the Breeders Crown coming up and I’m pretty sure that’s what we’ll be pointing to.”