Big Rigs romps in Chester qualifier
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Trainer Kelly O'Donnell qualified a pair of 4-year-old trotters Tuesday morning at Harrah's Chester, scoring a 1:56.3 victory with Big Rigs and a 1:58.4 win with Bambino Hall.
Big Rigs, whose four wins last year included the $174,940 Matron final at Dover Downs and a $113,000 Bluegrass division at The Red Mile, romped to a 13 ¾-length win with David Miller driving. The son of Andover Hall trotted an evenly-rated mile with fractions of :29.2, :58.4 and :127.3 before closing out his win with a final quarter of :29.
"He was real good today and David said he really liked him,” O'Donnell told harnessracing.com shortly after the qualifier, which may or may not be his only morning session before embarking on the pari-mutuel trail.
"He fits the non-winners of nine that they write at Chester, so I might put him in there,” O'Donnell said of Big Rigs, who brings a bankroll of $558,886 into the 2012 season for owners Ed Mullinax, DM Stables and Miller's Stable. "If he doesn't get in then I might qualify him again.”
O'Donnell said Big Rigs—whose 1:52.2 win in the Bluegrass tied as the third fastest trotting mile by a 3-year-old colt trotter in 2011—will get plenty of chances to prove himself as an aged competitor.
"He's staked to all the big aged trots,” he said. "His first one is the Cutler on May 4 at the Meadowlands, if he's ready for that.”
As for Bambino Hall, he also won his qualifier by an easy 7 ¾ lengths with Miller driving. A winner of $237,020 last year with his biggest check coming via a second-place finish in the $200,000 Colonial Trot consolation at Chester, Bambino Hall's schedule will be more conservative than his stablemate, according to his trainer.
"He was OK today but he was kind of nervous. I'll have to see if I can fix that so I'll qualify him again,” said O'Donnell. "He is staked to just a couple things but he is more a raceway horse.”
A son of Tom Ridge, Bambino Hall is owned by Kapildeo Singh and Shakoor's Racing Stable.