Tom Cango overcomes harsh conditions to win Wellwood
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Tom Cango survived a grueling trip on the front end, under brutal weather conditions, to capture the $514,100(C) William Wellwood Memorial final for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters on Sunday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The gutsy win improved his career record to a perfect five for five.
With John Campbell in the driver\'s seat, the son of Tom Ridge-B Cor Tamgo floated off the gate from post three and was still outside in third position through the first quarter of :29.2. At that point, Tom Cango brushed up to take the lead but faced immediate pressure from longshot Illusionsndreams.
The top pair battled through a strong second quarter of :28.2 with the half flashing up in :57.4. They continued to wage war up front with the third fraction coming up in 1:26.2. As the field reached the head of the stretch, the heavily favoured Federal Flex, who came into the race undefeated in four starts, attempted to make a move out from fifth but came up empty and did not advance on the leaders.
A massive head wind greeted the colts as they turned for home and the long trip began to take its toll on the leaders. Tom Cango was just able to out leg his rivals to the finish with longshot Photoforwin gaining a ton of ground in the late stages to pick up second over Encore Encore who was also right there in the win photo.
The final time was 1:59.1 with the final quarter clocked in :32.4-a testament to the harsh weather in Campbellville on Sunday and the off track conditions caused by heavy rains throughout the day.
\"He just kept chugging away. He was tired, there\'s no question about that,\" said Campbell. \"It was a very tiring track and they were going into the wind in the stretch. The front-end horses were getting tired, but it was still difficult to close and make up any ground under the conditions. Jim (brother Jim Campbell who does the training) and I discussed it before the race and knew we wanted to be up near the front on this night.\"
With the victory, Tom Cango improved his career bankroll to just over $295,000 for owners Arlene and Jules Siegel of New Hope, Pa. (WEG)