If you can't be the best be as good as you can be with what you have, could certainly pertain to the "gentle (equine) giant” Talldarknhandsome, who on Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway extended his winning streak to four with a 1:58.1 wire-to-wire triumph.
No, Talldarknhandsome is not a world-class pacer nor is he a champion of sorts. He is however a decent sort of a pacer who currently is at the top of his game.
True to his name the pacer is a tall dark and handsome and towers over most of the horses on the grounds here at the Mighty M and lately he's been on a tear for trainer Danny Gill.
On Thursday afternoon Bruce Aldrich Jr. was at the controls behind Talldarknhandsome for the first time because the pacer's regular driver Jimmy Marohn Jr. was out of town. But it didn't seem to make any difference since the pacer responded well for him and delivered trainer Gill another win.
"He's a big giant horse whose power steering fluid is real low, "Aldrich joked after the race meaning that Talldarknhandsome was hard to steer.
"He bears in on the turns and bears out on the straightaways but I guess that's what he needs to do to get over the half-mile track. And yes, I was glad to be on the front end because he's hard to see around.”
After starting from the three hole, Aldrich and Talldarknhandsome didn't make the front until Zeke Parker (with Gone Baby Gone) grabbed leather as the field headed to the quarter which was paced in :28.2. From there, without any noticeable zigging in on the turns and zigging out of the straightaways Talldarkandhandsome seemed to be in control despite Parker tight on Aldrich's back with his pacer.
They raced one-two up the backside and around the final turn where Talldarknhandsome actually opened up a two length lead. But in the lane with the combination of the leader tiring and the challenger rallying, the two headed for paydirt and at the wire the ‘big guy' prevailed by a head.
Owned by brothers Ed and James Hall, Talldarknhandsome paid $3 for win, his fifth in nine seasonal starts. (Monticello)