Day At The Track


06:42 PM 15 Aug 2005 NZST
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Beaten favorite Classic Photo will soon get a second chance at Hambletonian champion Vivid Photo.

And the two sophomore trotting stars are on a collision course for a third encounter in the Prairie State early in September.

Vivid Photo and Classic Photo are committed for the $250,000 American National Three-Year-old Trot on Saturday, August 27 at Balmoral Park and the $500,000 World Trotting Derby a week later on Saturday, September 3 at the DuQuoin State Fair reports Don Natrosky, racing secretary at both Illinois racing venues.

Vivid Photo, guided by his driver-trainer Roger Hammer, surprised the 1-2 favorite Classic Photo in the $1.5 million Hambletonian Final before a crowd Saturday (August 6) afternoon crowd of 31,245 at The Meadowlands, the New Jersey track’s highest since 1990. The Pennsylvania based winner proved to be two and three-quarters lengths the best when he trotted a new lifetime mark of 1:52.3.

Classic Photo wasn’t as sharp in the Hambletonian Final as he had been,” said trainer Erv Miller. “He didn’t seem to care for the track that day as well. They added more water to the track and it wasn’t to his liking. He came out of race in good shape and the plans are to race him in at the American National (August 27) and then the World Trotting Derby (Sept. 3). We’ve also decided to race him in The Review (Monday, Aug. 15) at Springfield (State Fair).

Erv’s brother Andy will guide Classic Photo in The Review, where the colt is the overwhelming 1-9 favorite in Monday’s five-horse field. Andy is also expected to handle the colt in the American National showdown.

Classic Photo and Vivid Photo will receive byes for the upcoming Saturday, August 20 American National eliminations. To remain sharp Vivid Photo will start in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake, the $92,000 Hickory Smoke Thursday (August 18) at The Meadows.

Vivid Photo will bring a ten-race victory streak into the Saturday, August 27 American National Championship if he’s victorious in Thursday’s PASS stake. The gelded son of S J’s Photo has earned $846,574 in his second season for Hammer, who shares ownership of the trotter with follow Pennsylvanian Todd Schadel.

Classic Photo’s runner-up Hambletonian finish snapped his five race winning streak that saw the Erv Miller trained trotter capture the $277,1001 Goodtimes championship in mid-June at Woodbine and a sweep of last month’s Stanley Dancer at The Meadowlands, including the $350,000 Final on July 15.

Another S J’s Photo offspring, Classic Photo will head into Monday’s $50,000 Springfield Review with 6 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third in 10 season starts. The Springfield, IL based colt has banked $786,801 this far this season for owners Bill Wright (Morton, IL), Mystical Marker Farms (Dennis and Kevin Lakomy, Chicago Heights, IL) and Jack and Peggy Hood (Valparaiso, IN).

Balmoral Park Publicity Department

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