Lexington, KY --- My MVP lived up to his name in the $508,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old colt trotters, the featured event on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 7) at The Red Mile.
USTA/Mark Hall photo My MVP captured the second heat in 1:53 to to win the Kentucky Futurity for driver Mike Lachance and trainer Tony Alagna on Sunday at The Red Mile.
First heat elimination winner Archangel grabbed the lead in the deciding race from Money On My Mind as the field hit the opening quarter in :28.3. Driver Tim Tetrick then rated a :57.1 half-mile clocking with Money On My Mind in second, Another Amaretto third and My MVP moving off the rail in fourth.
Heading to the 1:25.3 three-quarter pole, Archangel was still on the engine, but he was now being seriously challenged by the first over My MVP in second.
Turning for home, My MVP got to the leader and trotted right on by and was in total command on his way to the 1:53 triumph. Appomattox rallied to finish second with Another Amaretto third. Little Brown Fox (fourth) and Banker Volo (fifth) picked up the final pay envelopes. Archangel faded to seventh.
"He's been knocking on the door all year and if any horse deserved to win a major stakes it's this horse," said trainer Tony Alagna. "He was second in the Pa Sire Stakes final, scoped sick that night and had some bad post positions. He was due. I had Mike Lachance to drive him and he showed a lot of patience today.
"The shoe change (I made for today) definitely helped him. I knew he would be that much better for the Futurity. I was confident the shoe change would help. I was confident he would be better this week and everything worked out like it was supposed to.
"The horse has enough grit to come first over. Mike knew he was game today and he said he was just as good as he was on Hambo Day (when he finished third) so he was very confident to come first over. He thought he had enough horse to get the job done and he did.
"I knew the horse would have a big kick today. He was definitely on his game and I knew everyone was going to take a shot from the outside; it was just a matter of where he landed. I knew when he came first up Mike was confident because he never would have came first up (otherwise)."
"When he feels good he can come first up as long as I don't have to work too hard to get there," said Lachance. "In the last turn Tetrick (on Archangel) came back at me so I didn't have to work hard. In the stretch when I called on him he went right away.
"The horse had an exceptional day today. In the first heat when I went out on the track with him he had his ears straight up and he was right on the bit. He likes a loose line but he had a good day today. It was his day."
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Archangel was a wire-to-wire 1:53.1 winner in the first heat elim of the Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old colt trotters.|
In the opening $114,300 first heat elimination, Tetrick sent Archangel to the front from post five and they were wire-to-wire winners in a time of 1:53.1, equaling the colt's lifetime mark.
The win was the 11th of the year for the Peter Arrigenna trainee who is co-owned by Arrigenna, along with Alan Hainsworth and Clare Semer. The winner ($6.80) is a son of Credit Winner-Michelle's Angel.
Archangel cut fractions of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:25.4, then put in a final panel of :27.2 to hit the wire comfortably in front. Little Brown Fox sat the pocket the entire mile and finished second, with Another Amaretto third. Lindy's Jersey Boy (fourth) and Fogelberg (fifth) also advanced to the second heat, but Lindy's Jersey Boy was scratched.
"He's super to drive," said Tetrick. "He doesn't pull and he drives real good. He's just a professional.
"I moved him to the front. I didn't care if I was on the front or in the two hole. It worked out. Yannick (Gingras on Little Brown Fox) elected to let me cut it and we went around there. My horse held the lead and trotted home really strong so I was very happy with him."
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|My MVP got up in the final strides to win the second first heat elim in 1:52 for driver Mike Lachance.|
In the second $114,300 first heat elimination, My MVP rallied in the final strides to post an upset victory ($19.60) in a personal best 1:52.Money On My Mind was on the front end at the :28.1 opening quarter, before yielding to Solvato who posted middle splits of :55.1 and 1:23.2.
Down the stretch, Money On My Mind regained the lead but it was short lived as first Appomattox, then My MVP came calling. At the wire it was My MVP winning the photo over Appomattox. Money On My Mind was third, Banker Volo was fourth and Guccio fifth. Solvato faded to sixth. Guccio qualified for the second heat but was scratched.
"He loves this track," said Alagna. "Even though he raced limited starts last year with his gait he always seemed like a horse that preferred this surface. That's why he was always at his best at Pocono as well. It's a similar surface to here.
"That's why we made some adjustments to his shoeing after we raced him in the late closers last week and we felt he would be on his game today and he was.
"We took his back shoes off today to race him here. I knew I couldn't take the shoes off in the late closer and race him here today. I just hoped I could slide by last week and it affected his gait over the track so today we were able to take them off and if he got to that second heat he would have enough hoof to take him through."
-- Kimberly French also contributed to this report