Speed N The Tunnel and driver Sam Widger proved that one year later has not slowed them down at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The duo picked up a win in the meet’s first $24,000 Invitational Trot of the year Tuesday, April 5, covering the one-mile event with a gate to wire performance in a time of 1:57.0
Starting from post five, Speed N The Tunnel got right to the lead to establish fractions of :27.3 and :57.2 without a challenge. Race favorite Defend The Rock, with leading driver Dave Magee at the controls, sat patiently at their back, hoping for a two-hole trip to the stretch.
After passing the three-quarter mile marker in 1:27.3, Speed N The Tunnel began to move away from the field, winning comfortably by two and three-quarter lengths. Definer and Peter Wrenn rallied up for second followed by Defend the Rock along the inside for third.
“I had a little concern about Dave Magee’s horse (Defend The Rock) on my back until we turned for home,” said Widger. “When I didn’t hear him breathing down my back anymore, I thought she was okay. Brett (Wilfong) does a great job with her. He did have an advantage in this race because she’s been racing all winter. There are some nice horses in here and when they get a few starts in, it’s going to be tough to beat them.”
The win for the one-eyed Speed N The Tunnel was her 39th career victory for owners Brett and Lynn Wilfong. The eight-year-old homebred daughter of Armbro Tunnel now has in excess of $550,000 in career earnings. She was the only female in the field of seven vying for the Invitational title.
“She (Speed N The Tunnel) is just like she was when she was four,” said Widger. “She doesn’t change from year to year. She’s still strong and tough and doesn’t know she’s racing against the boys.”
In the top pacing event of the evening, Allthatgltrsisgold and Dave Magee looked impressive in their return to the winner’s circle, posting a time of 1:52.4 in the $24,000 Invitational Pace. The race, the fastest of the season thus far, was an easy win for the Bobby Brower trained four-year-old.
Starting from post eight, Allthatgltrsisgold and Magee also opted for a gate to wire performance. They secured the top spot easily, posting fractions of :27.4 and :57.1 before scooting around the final turn to pick up the pace at the three-quarter mile marker in 1:25.1. In the stretch, it only took a small tap of the whip for Allthatgltrsisgold to kick into high gear, coasting under the wire as a one and three-quarter length winner over Park Lane Hotshot and Widger, who sat at their backs the entire way. T Red and Trace Tetrick used a late push in the center of the track for third.
“We haven’t made any changes to this horse (Allthatgltrsisgold) at all,” said Brower. “I think he is learning how to race against the higher competition classes. I’d like to see him have a few more starts on the front before he heads back out East later this summer.”
Owned by Jeff and Maria King’s Victory Hill Farm of LaGrange, Ind., Allthatgltrsisgold now has four wins in five starts for 2011. The son of Cam’s Card Shark won three previous starts in the Aquarius Series at The Meadowlands this winter. He is closing in on $600,000 in career earnings for Brower, who has had the horse his entire career.
“Deb (Brower) does a great job with this horse (Allthatgltrsisgold), and personally takes care of him,” said Brower. “He’s a great horse to take care of. He’s not rambunctious at all and when he’s here, he sleeps a lot. When he goes into detention before a race, he’ll lie down and sleep. He really takes care of himself.” (Hoosier Park)