Vivid Photo won the second and deciding heat of the $525,000 World Trotting Derby on Saturday afternoon at the DuQuoin (Illinois) State Fair in 1:51.2, breaking a world record for three-year-old trotting geldings that he set an hour earlier in the first heat (1:51.3).
Eric Ledford had Muscle Memory out of the gate first to get the lead, but he was soon overtaken by Vivid Photo (Roger Hammer), hitting the quarter mile in :28.1, Vivid Photo led the field down the backstretch, followed by Muscle Memory,and Self Professed (Tyler Stllings).
Driver Jonathan Roberts hadout at the :56.4 half and had the lead at the 1:23.4 three quarters.
Straightening out for home, Hammer drove Vivid Photo alongsidefor a few strides, but shook the whip at him a bit and Vivid Photo went on for the win in about a lenghth and a quarter.
reat George Two was next across the wire, Muscle Memory was third, Diesel Don fourth and Self Professed fifth.
ammer was not concerned when he lost the lead temporarily to, "I thought I'd let him ( ) go on and then come back at him later," he remarked.
"I didn't want to get in to a brushing duel in the turn, so I thought I'd wait and go after him in the stretch."
Hammer plans to give Vivid Photo three weeks rest and then will compete next in the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, October 1.
by Harness Racing Communications, a division of the USTA
ourtesy of The USTA