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Donato trots 1:50.1, equals world record

October 06, 2007

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Donato Hanover made easy work of the 115th edition of the Kentucky Futurity, trotting to an open-lengths victory in a world-record equaling 1:50.1 in the second and deciding heat. With regular driver Ron Pierce aboard, Donato left from the rail, yielded to John Campbell and Flirtin Man in the first turn, and then took control midway down the backstretch.
Fractions for the mile were :27, :54.3 and 1:22.3.
Before the race, owner David Scharf had consulted with trainer Steve Elliott and they both agreed that Pierce should push Donato for a world record if the race seemed to be playing to that possibility. After Campbell pushed the pace to the first quarter in :27, then made Donato work before he broke the beam at the half in :54.4--a few ticks of a second faster than the half time in Giant Diablo\'s 1:50.1 mile earlier in the day--the record definitely seemed possible. The time was a new world record for 3-year-old trotters, besting the previous mark of 1:50.2 set by Tom Ridge in the 2004 World Trotting Derby.
After accepting the Futurity trophy, Scharf, whose partners include Paul Bordogna, Steve Arnold and the Donato Hanover Syndicate, focused on what it\'s been like to race a great horse.
\"It\'s been a great ride all year, and to be here in Lexington, with the sales...at this historic track...it\'s just a great thrill,\" he said. \"This isn\'t going to happen again. It\'s very special.\"
Donato Hanover paid $2.10 in winning his 10th race this year for trainer Steve Elliott.
Arch Madness, trained by Trond Smedshammer, finished second while supplemental entry Green Day took third. Pampered Princess, the filly, was scratched after finishing third to Donato in her elimination.
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