Bluebird Graf and Joey Putnam scored their first win Monday, July 24 at The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky. The duo covered the one-mile event in 1:54.3.
Starting from post five, Bluebird Graf left the gate in search of the lead and was four wide heading into the first turn before crossing over to the lead. From there, the Indiana sired sophomore set all the fractions of :29.2, :58.0 and 1:26.3.
In the stretch Bluebird Graf veered out just a little, leaving room for Aniemaybombay and Terry Skinner to move up the inside to challenge while Brooklyn Blues and Randy Crisler applied pressure on the outside. However, Bluebird Graf was strong all the way to the wire, winning by two lengths with a final quarter in :28.0. Brooklyn Blues finished second over Aniemaybombay for third.
Bluebird Graf was the favorite, paying $3.90 for the win. The Always a Virgin filly is owned by Bill Beechy and Flying Manes LLC. Daryl Miller of Blue Bird Meadows bred the filly, who was making her sixth career start. She had one previous win on the fair circuit and her time of 1:54.3 established a new lifetime mark. Joe Putnam trains the filly.
Bluebird Graf is the latest foal from the 100 percent producing mare Day Lily Hanover. All six foals have taken marks under the 1:55.0 time barrier and the one that stands out the most is Rockin Serena, a Rockin Image mare with a mark of 1:51.0 and more than $400,000 in earnings.
Later in the card another Always a Virgin foal was a winner. Skyway Trooper, driven by Joey Putnam, took over at the quarter in :27.1 and never looked back, fending off a late charge by Yankee B Something and Archie Buford. Skyway Trooper was a winner by a head over Yankee B Something. Acoustic and Tyler Shehan moved up for third in the 1:51.0 mile with a final quarter in :27.4. Tim Johnson trains the gelding.
Skyway Trooper paid $5.98 for the win. The six-year-old gelding is owned by Daniel Brewer and was bred by Lyle Slabach. Skyway Trooper earned his second win of 2023 and 16 wins overall. His career best time of 1:49.4 was taken as a four-year-old at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.