Day At The Track


06:30 AM 30 Aug 2007 NZST
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After reaching driver Ron Pierce for comment, Trot Insider spoke with trainer Steve Elliott today in regard to Donato Hanover taking a shot at the trotting World Record this Saturday in the $600,000 World Trotting Derby at the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois.

"He's drawn the right spot on the gate," Elliott said. "Three, four or five on a mile track is where you want to be if you want speed. If he's going to get it [the record] he's either got to go the fractions himself or make someone go them. If he wants to get the record he'll have to be on the lead or close to the lead by the quarter pole."

The current 1:50.2 World Record is co-owned by Vivid Photo and Tom Ridge, who both triumphed in past editions of the World Trotting Derby. Tom Ridge went his record mile in his World Trotting Derby victory, while Vivid Photo trotted in 1:50.2 at Colonial Downs in Virginia.

"Records are there to be broken, but it's hard for me to fathom the speeds these horses are going," said Elliott. "I've been in this game 30 years and I remember when I had a two-minute pacer and I thought I was somebody.

"Also, though, we've got to remember that they'll be going for $600,000 in there, so it's not like the field is just going to let him have it."

If his recent 1:51.3 qualifier at the Red Mile in Lexington is any barometer, the three-year-old Hambletonian winning son of Andover Hall is in good shape to go for the record on Saturday.

"I knew he liked the clay from racing at the Red Mile last year, and [heading into the qualifier] I had changed his shoes to make him go faster," Elliott explained. "We weren't looking to go a mile that fast, maybe just in [1]:53 or so, be he did it handy enough. I didn't think he was going all that much, but when people saw that he qualified in [1]:51.3 they just went nuts."

Elliott also told Trot Insider that after Saturday, Donato Hanover will ship back down to Lexington for a couple of days before shipping up to Ontario to contest the eliminations for the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic.

Courtesy of Standardbred Canada

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