Manchego motors to World Record in Allerage
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Driver Dexter Dunn refused to seat Manchego in the pocket and circled the Nancy Johansson trainee to the front, speeding around The Red Mile to take the $69,500 What The Hill Allerage Farms Mare Trot—sponsored by the What The Hill Syndicate and Hickory Lane Horse Farm—in a 1:49 mile, eclipsing the all-age world record for trotting females, on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile.
Hannelore Hanover hustled for the front moving to the first turn before Manchego moved to command past a :26.3 opening quarter. Manchego maintained her speed to a :53.3 half as Plunge Blue Chip floated first over from third moving to the final turn. Passing three-quarters in 1:21, Plunge Blue Chip ducked behind Manchego and tipped back outside straightening for the finish but gave chase in second as stablemate Ice Attraction finished farther behind in third.
"Looks like it's time to put away the summer suit and get the wet gear on," Dunn said after the race as overcast skies in Lexington began to turn to drizzle following an evening of showers. "[I have to give] absolute credit to the track staff—I was actually out this morning having a cup of coffee at the bottom turn [and saw them] scraping the track and it was pretty bad. The condition they got it in right now is a credit to them.
"She had been racing great all year [and in] tough company but she's just a great mare and a pleasure to sit behind," Dunn also said. "I was trying to slow it down as much as I could going to the half and it still popped up fast. I heard Ake get on my back around the turn before we straightened up but [Manchego] was never letting a horse pass her today; she was swelled up."
Besting the previous world record for trotting mares of 1:49.1 set earlier this year by Atlanta at the Meadowlands, Manchego—a four-year-old mare by Muscle Hill—won over a fast track before rains downgraded the surface to "good". Black Horse Racing owns the Brittany Farms LLC-bred mare who has collected 24 victories from 39 starts and earned $1,847,980. She paid $4.00 to win.