Vivid Photo wins first heat of the World Trotting Derby
Vivid Photo led almost from wire to wire to win the first heat of the $525,000 World Trotting Derby for three-year-old trotting colts on Saturday afternoon at he Du Quoin (Illinois) State Fair.
Driven by his trainer and co-owner, Vivid Photo went to the lead out of the gate, hitting the first quarter in :27.4 with Muscle Memory (Jimmy Takter), Diesel Don (John Campbell) and Great George Two (Jonathan Roberts) lined up behind the leader. Keaton Zet (Eric Ledford) made a break at the start and was never in contention.
Vivid Photo slowed down the pace to lead the field to the half, hitting that spot in :57. Just past the half, Great George Two came off the rail, followed by Diesel Don and those two were still on the outside as Vivid Photo tripped the teletimer in 1:24.4 at the three-quarters. As the field straightened out for home, Great George Two came up alongside Vivid Photo, who responded by trotting away, barely urged, for the win by about two lengths in 1:51.3, a new career mark for the son of SJ's Photo.
"I waited for George to come after me [in the stretch], and all I had to do was tap him once and he responded. He has a lot left in his tank," said Hammer after the race.
Vivid Photo is owned by Hammer, of Bedford, Pennsylvania along with Todd Schadel of Gratz, Pennsylvania. Great George Two came in second and Self Professed (Tyler Stillings) was third. The field will return to race in about an hour for a second heat, with post post positions assigned by finish in the first heat. If Vivid Photo wins the second heat, he will be the 2005 World Trotting Derby winner. If any other horse wins, then that horse and Vivid Photo will come back for a third heat race off and the winner of that is the Derby winner.
Vivid Photo takes and re-takes records to win World
Trotting Derby in straight heats
Saturday, September 3, 2005 - by Harness Racing Communications, a division of the USTA
Vivid Photo won the second and deciding heat of the $525,000 World Trotting Derby on Saturday afternoon at the DuQuoin (Illinois) State Fair in 1:51.2, breaking a world record for three-year-old trotting geldings that he set an hour earlier in the first heat (1:51.3).
Eric Ledford had Muscle Memory out of the gate first to get the lead, but he was soon overtaken by Vivid Photo (Roger Hammer), hitting the quarter mile in :28.1, Vivid Photo led the field down the backstretch, followed by Muscle Memory, Great George Two and Self Professed (Tyler Stllings). Driver Jonathan Roberts had Great George Two out at the :56.4 half and had the lead at the 1:23.4 three quarters. Straightening out for home, Hammer drove Vivid Photo alongside Great George Two for a few strides, but shook the whip at him a bit and Vivid Photo went on for the win in about a lenghth and a quarter.
Great George Two was next across the wire, Muscle Memory was third, Diesel Don fourth and Self Professed fifth.
Hammer was not concerned when he lost the lead temporarily to Great George Two, "I thought I'd let him (Great George Two) go on and then come back at him later," he remarked. "I didn't want to get in to a brushing duel in the turn, so I thought I'd wait and go after him in the stretch." Hammer plans to give Vivid Photo three weeks rest and then will compete next in the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, October 1.
Vivid Photo and caretaker Vicki Fair take time to stop and smell the roses shortly after winning the 2005 World Trotting Derby
at the Du Quoin (Illinois) State Fair. USTA Photo.
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