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Mr. Muscleman Wins Kentucky Futurity

September 27, 2003

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Mr. Muscleman beat Power to Charm by six lengths Saturday to win the $526,000 Kentucky Futurity, the final part of trotting’s Triple Crown.

Incredible Hulk was third, and Amigo Hall fourth in the field of nine.

Mr. Muscleman won the first heat by a length in 1:53.4 and returned 90 minutes later to capture the second heat in 1:53.3. The victory gave driver Ron Pierce back-to-back wins in the Kentucky Futurity; he won the race last year aboard Like a Prayer.

Amigo Hall, the Hambletonian winner who finished second as the favorite in the first division of the first heat, set the early pace through an opening quarter of 0:28.2 and an opening half of 0:57 in the second heat. At the three-eighths pole, Pierce pulled off the rail and made a charge to the front with Power to Charm trotting behind him on the outside.

Amigo Hall kept the lead through three quarters in 1:26.1, but Mr. Muscleman drew clear.

``It does not matter if he wants to be on the lead or close down the stretch,″ Pierce said. ``He just loves to run. He is a very classy colt.″

Noel Daley trained Mr. Muscleman for Adam H. Victor of New York. Spar J Stables bred the Muscles Yankee gelding in New York. Mr. Muscleman is out of the Meadow Road mare Meadowbranch Irene.

He has won 11 of 24 starts, and the Futurity victory leaves him within $50,000 of $1 million in earnings.

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