By Ken Weingartner for U.S. Trotting Assn — After winning the Kentucky Championship Series final 10 days ago, Double Deceiver is preparing to try the Grand Circuit for the first time when he meets six foes in a division of Friday’s Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters at Lexington’s Red Mile.
Purchased for $17,000 at last fall’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the Carter Pinske-trained gelding is in the fourth of five Bluegrass divisions. For the season, Double Deceiver has won four of seven races, finished second twice, and earned $200,290 for owners Pinske Stables and Makenna Lynn Pinske.
“He wasn’t exactly easy to get to this point, but he’s been a treat,” Carter Pinske said. “Our work is paying off, in the barn and on the track. I think the best thing for him was being able to get him to Kentucky and get a routine and keep his routine the same. Every day, he’s got a little bit more personality, is a little more mature. He has blossomed.”
Double Deceiver’s first two starts came at Harrah’s Philadelphia, but since then he’s been in Lexington, where he raced in four preliminary rounds of the Kentucky Championship Series, posting two wins and a second. He went off stride behind the gate in his start prior to the final, a miscue Pinske attributed to an equipment change.
“That was my fault,” Pinske said. “He wears a fly screen because he’s a horse that looks around a lot. It was a minor equipment change, and it was a good time to try it. He was in the final for the Kentucky Sire Stakes, so I decided to try him without it, and it backfired.”
He added with a laugh, “It was put back on the next time he went a training mile.”
Double Deceiver is a son of Cantab Hall out of Sarcy. His half-sister Dutiful won twice last year on the Kentucky Sire Stakes circuit and last week finished third in a division of the Buckette Stakes at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. His family also includes Peace A Pie, the dam of Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce (grandam of this year’s Hambletonian Oaks winner Bella Bellini), and O’Brien Award-winner Southwind Allaire.
“We got a bit lucky there,” Pinske said about Double Deceiver’s yearling sale price. “Everybody was excited about the new sires that came through. He paddled a little bit in his video, but not to the point where I was worried about it. I think we just hit a soft spot in the sale and got lucky.”
Pinske said Double Deceiver’s best qualities are his ability to accelerate quickly and his desire.
“He’s a real small horse, but he’s got a turn of foot just as good as anything I’ve sat behind,” Pinske said. “He’s got a good attitude on the track now, so if he’s sitting in the pocket and you pull the right line and ask him to go, he’s zero to a hundred right now. As soon as you’re ready for him, he’s ready to respond.”
On Friday, Double Deceiver faces a field that includes Grand Circuit stakes winner Letsdoit S, who most recently was third in the William Wellwood Memorial, Kentucky Commonwealth Series final runner-up Golden Wall As, and Ohio Sire Stakes preliminary-round winner Up Blueberry Hill.
“I think we’ll get a good read this week where everybody stands in the Grand Circuit-type stuff,” Pinske said. “It’s always a big leap. Everybody is spread out (in the Bluegrass divisions). Some people landed in tougher spots, some landed in softer spots, but I think you’ll get a feel for the group as a whole.”
Following the Bluegrass, Double Deceiver is eligible to the International Stallion, Breeders Crown, and Matron. Pinske is in no rush to look ahead.
“We’re taking it one race at a time,” he said. “With a $17,000 horse, I guess everything is icing on the cake from here.”
In Friday’s remaining Bluegrass divisions for the trotters, the first group includes Grand Circuit winners Periculum and B A Superhero as well as Majestic J, who won two preliminary rounds of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and was third in the final.
The second division features Grand Circuit winners Temporal Hanover and Villain, plus Ohio Sire Stakes final runner-up Rose Run Xtra, Kentucky Championship Series runner-up Rebuff, and Kentucky Commonwealth Series winner Branded By Lindy.
Group three includes three winners on the Grand Circuit — Testing Testing, Global Pandemic, and Ken’s Walner as well as Ohio Next Generation champ Chulo and multiple state-bred stakes winner Keg Stand.
Three of the top-five finishers in August’s Peter Haughton Memorial are in the final division, with runner-up Classic Hill, third-place Fast As The Wind, and fifth-place Looks Like Moni.
In addition to the races for the trotters, there are two divisions of the Bluegrass for 2-year-old female pacers.
The second division features undefeated Ohio Triple Crown winner Sea Silk and Kentucky Championship Series final winner Dont Fence Me In. The other includes once-beaten Lyons Serenity, who is coming off a victory in the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes last week.