The Vicster Series for 2-year-old Trotters, Colts and Geldings, conceived and foaled in the state of Illinois resumed on Monday night and a new track record was recorded in the proceedings.
In the first Leg 2 of the evening, Thomas L. Graham’s & Thomas L. Graham Jr.’s Diego Gram , driven by Graham Jr. and trained by Tom Graham, started from the outside post but went right for the lead and stayed there throughout.
The fact that the four trotters to his inside, including the morning line and post-time favorite, Dancing Offtoplay, broke stride before they raced a quarter, certainly helped his chances. Of course he broke stride at the start of his Leg 1 in the Vicster Series, compromising his chances in that event.
He got the mile in 2:03.3 after fractions of :31.0, 1:02.1, and 1:34.2 and paid $7.60 as the second choice in the wagering.
On paper it appeared that the second Leg 2 of the evening, featuring the two winners of the Leg 1 races in the Series, as well as the second-place finishers, was the stronger of the two Leg 2 races and, indeed, it turned out that way.
Favored Aye Aye Matey, who had shown such good speed in winning all three of his races, never got to the front end. Instead it was Cunning, owned by Philip and Robert Rietveld who took control early. That, however, didn’t last long.
Driver Dave Magee took hold of this talented gelding, brought him back to midpack, then waited until the middle of stretch to make the winning move. At the top of the stretch he was still three and a half lengths back but he came home in a swift :28 to pass all of his rivals.
In doing so, he not only generated a new lifetime best but also broke the track record for 2-year-old Trotters, almost exactly two years to the day (July 9, 2002) after the previous record was set by Fox Valley Gatsby.
The new track record is 2:00.3. They got the first quarter in :30.4, the second in 1:02.2, and the third in 1:32.0. Cunning won by a half length and paid $6.80 for the victory.
Hawthorne Press Box