Always A Vavoom wins Fox Stake
August 09, 2018
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In the battle against Mother Nature, the horsemen prevailed on Wednesday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
At first it looked like the 15-race card for the Grand Circuit races scheduled to start at 6 p.m. wasn't going to happen, thanks to heavy rains and a sloppy clay track. Early morning rains threatened the rescheduling of the races, but the track maintenance crew at the Indiana State Fairgrounds was able to get the track to dry; that is, until another downpour came just a couple hours prior to post time.
Stewards and officials consulted with each other, drivers tested the track at different times, but after the sun started showing, the decision was made to postpone the races one hour. The Grand Circuit was on.
The 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers vied to take home the Hoosier Stakes hardware, but the two main attractions were The Ralph Wilfong Memorial for 2-year-old trotters and the 92nd running of the Fox Stake for 2-year-old pacers at the end of the card.
John DeLong found himself in the winner's circle a lot on Wednesday night, finishing with a win in the $44,868 Fox Stake with the Indiana-sired gelding Always A Vavoom for trainer Roger Welch. The winner led through most of the race, taking a 2 1/2-length victory in 1:53.3 over A J Morelli.
This is the third Fox Stake win for Welch. Always A Vavoom (Always A Virgin–Vavoom Hanover) was bred by Cottonwood Farm and is owned by the DeLong family. The win takes his record to four wins out of six total starts for the freshman pacer. His decisive win on the historic clay mile track in Indianapolis means Welch will start aiming him for some bigger competition starting this month.
"We've been kind-of babying him," says Welch. "So, we'll probably try the Sire Stakes next week."
in the $28,032 Ralph Wilfong, it was a battle between Memo and Lite Years Away once the starting gate rolled ahead, with the LeWayne Miller-driver Lite Years Away leading the way through the first three-quarters of the race, clocking in times of :30, 1:00 and 1:28.1.
After passing the three-quarter pole, John DeLong urged Memo on the outside of Lite Years Away. The two colts battled it out for the win, with Memo pulling ahead at the wire in 1:57.2.
By Trixton and out of the Cantab Hall mare Easy Agenda, the Tony Alagna-trained Memo earned the win for Brittany Farms. It was his first win in four starts. (Megan Arszman, Ind. Horse Racing Commission)