Day At The Track

ABC Mercedes drives strong to the wire

03:48 AM 30 Jun 2011 NZST
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ABC Mercedes and Joe Putnam
ABC Mercedes and Joe Putnam - take top honors in the $24,000 Open Trot Wednesday
Photo by Linscott Photography

ABC Mercedes turned in a gutsy performance to take top harness racing honors in the $24,000 Open Trot Wednesday, June 29 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Accompanied by trainer Joe Putnam, ABC Mercedes reeled off his second straight win, pulling in his third of the year in a time of 1:55.2.

Starting from the outside post eight, ABC Mercedes left alertly for Putnam and got away on the outside in the center of the field as Surclasser and Ricky Macomber set the early fractions of :27/.4 and :57.3. ABC Mercedes was able to get in along the inside in fourth around the first turn, but his time inside was short-lived as he was flushed out heading to the halfway point and placed in a position to endure the final half of the race in first over fashion.

Around the final turn, ABC Mercedes began to power up on the outside and get ready for the stretch battle with Surclasser. Surclasser dug in at the three-quarter mile marker in a time of 1:26.4 and would not surrender his top spot without a fight.

Matching Surclasser stride for stride, ABC Mercedes fought hard with Surclasser to overcome the opponent, but it took nearly the entire length of the stretch for him to finally get the best of Surclasser, winning the race by only three-quarters of a length. Proud Yankee and Sandy Beatty closed rapidly on the outside to scoot into third.

“Actually, this was a pretty good trip for him (ABC Mercedes),” said Putnam. “He got in the four hole and it worked out about as well as it could for us. Both horses (ABC Mercedes, Surclasser) fought very game all the way to the wire.”

Owned by Larry Miller of Springport, Ind., ABC Mercedes now has 43 career wins and lifetime earnings in excess of $724,000. The six-year-old son of ABC Garland continues to prove he is still one of the top Indiana-sired trotters in the state of Indiana. His career mark still stands at 1:53.1 taken at The Red Mile as a three-year-old.

“We have the holes in his blind bridle on him again this year, like we did last year,” said Putnam. “It just helps keep him covered up but it lets him see a horse coming. With just a plain blind bridle, he gets too fiery. He’s aggressive on the track. He’s great around the barn, but even jogging at the farm, he’s a handful.”

ABC Mercedes has been well respected on the Indiana circuit since his two-year-old season when he won seven of nine starts. He has held several titles in Indiana, including Trotter of the Year. Almost all of his career earnings have been accumulated on the Indiana racing circuit.

“He (ABC Mercedes) is a horse that shows up all the time,” said Putnam. “He comes to play every week. He’s always been like that. And, he has to overcome the outside post about every week, and that makes a difference, too.”

In other top action for the evening, Get It Now got it done in the $24,000 Open Pace, defeating a strong field of six opponents. The five-year-old Western Hanover gelding turned in a gate to wire performance for Macomber to take home the top prize in a time of 1:51.0. Get It Now was a one-half length winner over Royalton Star and Andy Shetler at the wire while Robin I Scoot and leading driver Peter Wrenn finished third.

Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Panhellenic Stable, and Phillip Collura, Get It Now equaled his seasonal best time with the effort for trainer Ron Burke. He now has five wins in 2011.

Tammy KNOX

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