On a night where records were breaking across the country, it was only fitting that a new all-age track record was made at Scioto Downs Racino as well. Paco Labrook and Brad Hanners broke the 1:50 track record set by Gallo Blue Chip and Dan Dube 13 years ago when they hit the wire in 1:48.4.
"He had the 9-hole last week,” said Hanners. "With the circumstances I just had to take him off last week and race him accordingly. But tonight it was time to go.”
Blasting out of the four hole, Hanners sent Paco Labrook straight to the front and parked I Found My Beach (Dan Noble) to a :25 opening quarter.
"Really, I didn't think it (the 25 opening quarter) would bother him,” Hanners continued.
Getting a :28 second quarter breather going to the half flushed the at-the-time co-track record holder Rockin Finish (Ronnie Wrenn Jr).
"He was still strong when Virgil's other horse came at him, Rockin Finish come down the backside at the five-eighths; he still felt real good,” added Hanners.
Hitting the three-quarter pole in 1:20.1 and coming home in :28.3, Paco Labrook finished two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Carol's Comet (Aaron Merriman) and Rockin Finish.
The win, and new track record, was especially meaningful to Hanners, who not only drove the 5-year-old son of Panspacificflight, but is his trainer. "You don't want to see your horse get beat up, you gotta look at 'em all week,” he said. "It's definitely more rewarding when you train one and they win, definitely.”
Paco Labrook is owned by James Baucher of Celina, Ohio. He now has just over $500,000 in lifetime earnings with 25 wins in 56 starts. This is a new lifetime record for the gelding who previously had a record of 1:50.1, taken at Indiana Downs.
The previous Scioto track record of 1:50 was set by Gallo Blue Chip when he was only 3-years-old in 2000, racing in the Jug Preview. This new track record of 1:48.4 is only one second off the all-age world record of 1:47.4. (Scioto)