For the first time since Oct. 1, 2009, the now 3-year-old colt trotter Il Villaggio stood in the winner’s circle Tuesday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Il Villaggio won a $22,000 conditioned trot in come-from-behind fashion, rallying from sixth at the half to edge Ericksarri by a nose in 1:54. Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Il Villaggio’s career-best victory was one of five on the card for Jamieson.
Il Villaggio will get a quick chance to repeat his winning effort as trainer Blair Burgess has entered the colt in the Matron at Dover Downs, which has a single elimination on Sunday night, Nov. 7. Il Villaggio drew post five in the 10-horse field that also includes Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and Breeders Crown champion Break The Bank K.
One of last year’s freshman trotting stars, Il Villaggio won six races in eight starts his rookie year, including the $478,950 William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk and an $86,300 Bluegrass division at The Red Mile. That was his last win of 2009 as two weeks later the colt made a break in his Breeders Crown elimination in what turned out to be his last appearance of the year. Due to injury, Il Villaggio's sophomore starts has been limited ot just four including Tuesday night's win.
Trained by Blair Burgess, the son of Yankee Glide didn’t make his 2010 pari-mutuel debut until Sept. 25 at Indiana Downs, making a break in the $200,000 Oliver Trotting Classic. He then made a break in a conditioned trot Oct. 11 at Mohawk, but on Oct. 23 he finished second in a $121,500 Bluegrass split at The Red Mile.
“He’s got lots of go and seems sound, I don’t know where we stand,” Burgess recently told harnessracing.com on the eve of colt’s start in the Bluegrass. “I think part of the problem is that we are trying to play catch-up and that’s very hard to do. It’s hard to make up ground on the other horses.”
Owned by Brittany Farms, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc and Il Villaggio Partners, Il Villaggio sent his career earnings past the half-million dollar mark with Tuesday’s victory.