Temple Of Doom (above) set a world record at Tioga Downs on Sunday. Some of the best sophomore trotters in the world were gathered at Tioga for the 36th edition of The Harry M. Zweig Memorial Trot.
Lucky Chucky was the horse collecting the headlines heading into the race, but in the first $134,965 division of the Zweig Memorial, Temple Of Doom and David Miller stole the show with a world record performance of 1:52.4 for 3-year old colt trotters on a five-eighths mile track.
The duo left from post position number five and trotted through fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:25.1 before sprinting away from the field with long powerful strides with a final panel in :27.3. The mile eclipsed the world record set exactly one week ago by Lucky Chucky and John Campbell at Harrah’s Chester of 1:53, which was shared with Explosive Matter (Ron Pierce) from 2009.
Temple Of Doom posted only the second win of the career. The 3-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Armbro Temple is trained by Jonas Czernyson for Robert Rosenheim Stable.
“He had a bad post in the final of the Hambletonian and still raced good, and last week he raced really good at Chester. We have never put him on the front end but I decided to today and he raced as good as he ever has,” said winning driver David Miller. “I was a little surprised with the world record because we didn’t go that much in the second quarter, but he was sharp today and trotted right through the wire.”
In the second Zweig division, Lucky Chucky did not disappoint and cruised to victory in 1:53.3. Campbell settled Lucky Chucky in third at the rail as the field reached the quarter mile mark in :27.3. Campbell then sent Lucky Chucky to the front past the three eighths, reaching the half-mile pole in :57.1. As the field trotted toward the three-quarter mark, Campbell still hadn’t even asked the 3-year-old for any go.
The three-quarter station was hit in 1:25.4. Then heading around the final turn, Campbell let the Hambletonian runner-up trot home a final panel of :27.4 to win by open lengths ahead of Baximum and Waldorf Hall.
The victory was the third in six seasonal starts for Lucky Chucky, a 3-year-old son of Windsong’s Legacy-Aerobics, who is trained by Chuck Sylvester for the ownership group of SGS Partners, Perretti Racing Stable, and Lindy Racing Stable.
Sylvester spoke with Bob “Hollywood” Heyden in the winner’s circle following the victory and said the next stop for Lucky Chucky would be the Canadian Trotting Classic followed by the Breeder’s Crown and Kentucky Futurity.
Temple Of Doom’s world record performance came two races after Jeff Gregory and Manningly established a new world record for 4-year old trotting stallions on a five-eighths mile track in 1:52.3. Gregory turned Manningly to go to the gate and the trotter put in a few steps before getting back on the trot and then scorched through fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:23.4 before trotting home an open-lengths winner in a career best of 1:52.3.
The mile eclipsed the previous 1:53 world record set by Majestic Son and Trevor Ritchie at Rideau Carleton back in 2008. The mile of 1:52.3 also established a new all-age track record at Tioga Downs that was set by Buck I St Pat and Tim Tetrick in 1:53.1 earlier this year.
“He put in a few steps on me there when I turned him to go to the gate so when I left with him I didn’t take hold and let him do things his way. I was surprised with the mile because I didn’t even pull the plugs on him and he felt like he could have gone more if we needed to,” said Gregory following his world record performance with Manningly.
Two divisions of the Zweig for 3-year-old trotting fillies were also held on Sunday afternoon. In the first division Impressive Kemp and Jim Morrill Jr. wore down heavy favorite Spicy Wings with a first-over grind and won by a nose in a new lifetime best of 1:55.1.
In the second division, John Campbell fronted Up Front Juansteen for trainer Kelly O’Donnell and the duo drew off to win in 1:56.2. (Tioga Downs)