Two-time Dan Patch Award-winning trotter Vivid Photo will be retired officially during ceremonies Saturday night (June 23) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Vivid Photo, who won the 2005 Hambletonian and captured divisional honors at ages 3 and 5, will be honored during a special winner's circle presentation following the fifth race.
Vivid Photo is owned by Todd Schadel and Roger Hammer, who also trained and drove the horse.
Now 10, the gelding is headed for life as a family pet and riding horse, says Hammer. In addition to the Hambletonian, Vivid Photo won the World Trotting Derby as a 3-year-old along with the Classic Series final twice and Titan Cup as an older horse. He won 49 of 178 starts, earned $3.27 million, and took a mark of 1:50.2.
The SJs Photo gelding will continue to live at Hammer's farm in Bedford, Pa., and get just a little bit of work to keep fit.
"We jog him every other day to get him to settle down a little bit," Hammer said. "He doesn't mind anything. We'll probably break him so we can ride him around a little bit out here. Nothing bothers him."
Hammer says Vivid Photo will likely get some saddle horse training from an old friend, his caretaker, Vicki Fair.
"Vicki will get on him -- not me," Hammer said.
He is open to the possibility of making celebrity visits to racetracks, as the horse's easygoing personality makes him a natural at meet and greets.
"They had him out at The Meadows and had kids petting him and he didn't bother with anything," Hammer said.
by Ken WINGARTNER
Vivid Photo and Roger Hammer winning the 2005 Hambletonian: