He’s On A Mission wins $32,050 division of the Standardbred Stake

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He’s On A Mission and driver Tim Tetrick won Thursday’s first $32,050 division of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters. He’s On A Mission stopped the timer in 1:58.3, with Lars Perry second but placed third because of a break. Brand New Key was third-placed-second. capitalizing when Lars Perry went off stride in the stretch as he attempted to lead the race from start to finish.

Lars Perry and Brand New Key battled on the first turn for the early advantage, with Lars Perry eventually forcing Brand New Key to back off and settle into second. Lars Perry set fractions of :27.4, :58.2, and 1:28.1 before pulling away from the field heading into the stretch.

He’s On A Mission, who was third for most of the mile, was on the move in the stretch and took advantage of Lars Perry’s missteps.

A gelded son of Groton Hall out of the mare Lisas Mission, He’s On A Mission is owned by trainer Stacey Ruddick along with Denise Dennis. He has won three of six races and earned $75,375. He was the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship runner-up in August.

“Unfortunately he was not himself the night of the KYSS final,” said Ruddick. “He had a bad week, was really nervous and right up on the bit which is not like him. I was a little concerned he would get wound up here with everything that was going on or that he would have to leave from the eight-hole in a big field. But we got here on Tuesday and he has been nice and relaxed and just taking everything in.

“As far as how he drew, it could not have worked out any better. Also we have a small track back at the farm that we train on so I knew the turns would be no problem for him. Then Timmy (Tetrick) drove him perfectly. I’ve known Timmy for years when he used to drive for me when I raced at the Illinois fairs. He learned from his dad how to bring the babies along slowly.

“I bought this horse as a weanling and it’s an interesting story. I was looking at Kentucky babies because I knew there were not many mares bred there. I had a list printed out actually and Walnut Hall sold a bunch of mares in foal that year at the Delaware sale. His dam was a little older and I was looking more towards a younger mare. This Amish guy was looking at her and so I asked him if he was interested in the mare only because I was interested in the baby. He told me the mare only, so I told him I would not bid against him if I could have first shot at the baby. He agreed and when this horse was a baby we went to look at him, decided we wanted him.
“He is eligible next for some late closers at Lexington and he is a very nice colt. I think he’s a nicer colt than he may receive credit for.”

— Kim French also contributed to this report

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