On Tuesday evening, trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. received a special proclamation and the key to the city from mayor Richard "Ike" Stage of Grove City, Ohio.
The presentation was made to recognize Morgan's achievement as the first trainer, since the U.S. Trotting Association has kept records, to reach 5,000 lifetime training wins (as of Tuesday evening, he had 5,051).
The 48-year-old lifelong Grove City resident was accompanied by his mother, Constance; children, Tre and Kiara; Scioto Downs' general manager of racing, Stacy Cahill; Scioto's race secretary, Jason Roth; and other family and friends.
Morgan got his 5,000th lifetime win at Hoosier Park on Sept. 7, just 15 days shy of the 21st anniversary of his first training win (Sept. 22, 1992). That evening, on Ohio Super Night, a special presentation was made to Morgan in the Scioto winner's circle, in which he was also crowned the track's leading trainer.
Later that night, his standout pacer Pet Rock set the world record for any horse on a five-eighths-mile track when he and driver Dan Noble hit the wire in 1:47.2. Just 12 days later, the 4-year-old set the all-age world record on a half-mile track when David Miller piloted him to a 1:48.1 score in the Winbak Pace at Delaware. (USTA)