Day At The Track

ABC Mercedes Back & Allthatgltrsisgold win

07:01 AM 19 May 2011 NZST
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Allthatgltrsisgold and Dave Magee ABC Mercedes and trainer
Allthatgltrsisgold and Dave Magee - are too smart wining the the $24,000 Invitational Pace.
Photo by Linscott Photography
ABC Mercedes and trainer - driver Joe Putnum winning in 1:55.2.
Photo by Linscott Photography

Bringing back a champion can have its challenges. Expectations are high and age sometimes slows the stride of a great racehorse. However, ABC Mercedes proved that he has overcome the odds, winning the $24,000 Invitational Trot Wednesday, May 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

The graceful performance by ABC Mercedes Wednesday was not a smooth journey. After a five-month layoff, ABC Mercedes returned to the track for his 2011 debut, only to turn in a disappointing eighth place finish. Trainer-driver Joe Putnam immediately detected that a major problem had occurred during the race.

"He (ABC Mercedes) had an atrial fibrillation," said Putnam.

"We took him in immediately to the vet clinic and he reconverted on his own in the first 48 hours after the race. They continued to check him out and he had returned to normal."

ABC Mercedes slowly came back into training and was appearing to be back to his old self. However, Putnam didn't really know what to expect until he demolished his opponents in a recent qualifier, winning by nearly 20 lengths. Outward appearances seemed to point to the old ABC Mercedes.

Guided by Putnam, ABC Mercedes had his first test back on the track Wednesday, May 18. The six-year-old son of ABC Garland trotted out well from the center of the pack and moved to the lead just past the quarter mile marker in :27.4.

That was the last time any other horse's name would be called as the leader. The two-time Indiana Trotter of the Year continued on through fractions of :58.0 and 1:27.0 before finding even a faster stride in the stretch, pulling away from the field for a win in a time of 1:55.2.

Hardwood Chips and Trace Tetrick finished three and three-quarter lengths back in second over Mo Muscles and Dan Shetler for third.

Owned by Larry Miller of Springport, Ind., ABC Mercedes earned his 41st career win and is closing in on $700,000 in career earnings. His quickest mile to date continues to be his 1:53.1 win at The Red Mile as a three-year-old for Putnam, who has trained the horse his entire career.

"I was cautiously optimistic coming into tonight," said Putnam of ABC Mercedes.

"He has been training well and we were pretty confident he was back to normal. I thought he'd race well tonight because he qualified well, but the other horses in this race are tighter so I didn't know how well he'd finish. He showed us tonight he's back to his old self."

ABC Mercedes surprised bettors, paying $10.40, $6.20, and $4.60 across the board. He is eligible for the upcoming Indiana Sires Stakes for older trotting horses and geldings, which will conclude on the final night of racing Saturday, July 16 with a $100,000 final.

The race will be part of a special Hoosier Champions Night with purses in excess of $1 million. The evening will also mark the second annual national Back to the Track promotion, which will add additional promotions and activities to the evening.

ALLTHATGLTRSISGOLD SHINES IN PREP FOR DAN PATCH

Allthatgltrsisgold needed one more prep race before he heads to the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational set for Saturday, May 28. He got the opportunity to shine one last time Wednesday, May 18, winning the $24,000 Invitational Pace and putting one more win on his card for the 2011 season.

Guided by regular driver Dave Magee, Allthatgltrsisgold did not get the first call out of the gate as Robin I Scoot and Leading Driver Peter Wrenn got to the top first pressing by the quarter in a time of :26.2.

Allthatgltrsisgold continued his quest for the front and had that position secured heading down the backstretch, leading the field to the halfway mark in a time of :55.0. Freddyscooter and Trace Tetrick were the first to move from the back of the compact seven-horse field, flushing Get It Now and Ricky Macomber Jr. around the final turn and moving closer to Allthatgltrsisgold for the stretch drive.In the stretch,

Allthatgltrsisgold scooted away from the field and had a several length advantage. It was game time for Freddyscooter, who slipped into high gear for a :26.2 final quarter with his usual closing style, but he could not reach Allthatgltrsisgold, finishing one and one-half lengths back at the wire. Get It Now rallied up for third.

"He (Allthatgltrsisgold) went a good race tonight," said Magee.

"That's the first time I've popped the earplugs on him. I think he probably missed racing last week, but he was still pretty good. That race should catapult him into the Dan Patch coming up."

Owned by Dr. Jeff and Dr. Maria King's Victory Hill Farm of LaGrange, Ind., Allthatgltrsisgold is now six for seven in 2011. The four-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark shoved his earnings over the $620,000 mark.

He is now a perfect four for four over Hoosier Park's racetrack this year and is currently on a five-race winning streak. Bill Dailey trains Allthatgltrsisgold.Allthatgltrsisgold will join a stellar cast of entrants for the 18th edition of the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational.

The evening will also include several divisions of the Indiana Sires Stakes, pushing purse money well over the $500,000 mark for the evening. Last year's winner, Shark Gesture, established a new track record in the event of 1:48.1, eclipsing the old mark set by Pacific Fella in the 1998 version of the Dan Patch.

In addition to fast action on the track, guests during Dan Patch Night, which is tagged as Thrillyard 200, will enjoy various extreme challenges and interactive games, including a seven element obstacle course and a bungee trampoline. Also, members of Club Centaur can register to win a $10,000 Cash drawing following the races.The Indiana Standardbred Association will also offer numerous activities during the night.

Guests age 18 and older arriving after 4:30 p.m. can register for a pair of $5 wagering vouchers. The entrants will also be eligible for a special "Own a Racehorse" contest, where 10 names will be drawn and will be linked to a horse in the 10th race of the night.

The entrant holding the winning number of that race will receive a cash prize of $2,000 while all entrants in the contest will go home with some cash.Following the Dan Patch race, which is slated for the 12th race on the card with an estimated post time of 9:30 p.m.

EST, the winning driver of the Dan Patch will draw out one name for a 2011 Toro Zero-Turn Lawn Mower, also courtesy of the Indiana Standardbred Association. All prizes will be awarded on a "must be present to win" basis. For more information and a list a rules for all Indiana Standardbred Association giveaways, log onto www.indianaharness.com.

Tammy KNOX

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