On Thursday afternoon, September 22, while much of the harness racing world had their eyes on the happenings at Delaware, Ohio, at Monticello Raceway after the fifth race on the betting card was pronounced official, fans again moved down to the rail and witnessed another good race with the horses driven by six grooms in the second division of the Caretakers Classic.
And a good battle it was with four horses on the wire only necks a part. But, Kip Banks, of the Bruce Aldrich, Jr. Stable, emulated a move used many times by his boss and that was using the passing lane to score a victory.
Banks emerged victorious with Kewl Girl when he zipped by three others in the deep stretch to score a half length triumph over Adele Prince and Lightning Madison in a time of 2:08.2. Third in the photo was Carlton Oney with Eden First and a neck behind him in fourth position was “Chico” Diaz and St. Lad’s Juicy Fruit.
Carlton Oney sent Eden First to the lead and cut fractions of :31 and 1:02.1 and before the half Adele Prince ranged alongside with Lightning Madison. The two pacers raced side by side up the backstretch and then were joined by three others as they rounded the final turn. Sitting chilly in behind the pack along the pylons was Kip Banks and Kewl Girl and when the field headed down the homestretch Banks shot up the passing lane and rallied his pacer to victory.
“I knew I was going to find room up the passing lane so I waited until there was clearance and when we saw daylight I angled Kewl Girl down along the pylons and she shot by the others and we won it,” a happy Kip Banks said after his victory.
Bruce Aldrich, Jr., Banks’ boss, was there for the trophy presentation and was smiling ear to ear and chirped; “I couldn’t have done better myself,” referring to Banks using the short route to victory.
Unlike the first split of the Caretakers Classic which had five competitors the second division had a six-horse field and again all drivers were on jog carts without the use of whips. But like the first division the second split was an exhibition race and there was no wagering permitted.
John Houghtaling finished fifth with Invincible Hall and Ashley Banks was sixth and last with Madonna.