Tom Ridge set an all-age record of 1 minute 50.2 seconds in winning the $530,000 World Trotting Derby at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fair yesterday.
Cantab Hall was second and Coventry third, the same order as the opening heat.
"I've had a lot of big wins, but this is definitely up there," trainer Jimmy Takter said.
Driver Ron Pierce, who was named to Harness Racing's Living Hall of Fame Tuesday, guided Tom Ridge to the front off the gate. They never looked back in the race for 3-year-old trotting colts.
"I had to go a little more to get the front and get ahead of [Cantab Hall]," Pierce said. "I'm taking none of the credit, Jimmy did all the work. I never took the whip off my shoulder. I was just a passenger."
Tom Ridge won the first heat in 1:51, which was the fastest trotting mile ever for a 3-year-old. In the second heat, his time eclipsed the all-age mark of 1:50.4, set in 2002 by Victory Tilly.
Final Prophecy awarded victory
D. & J. Howes's Final Prophecy finished second behind 4-5 favorite Milky Way Guy in the $40,000 B.G. Smith Memorial stakes at Suffolk Downs but was placed first by the stewards when they ruled Milky Way Guy interfered with Final Prophecy in deep stretch.
Ridden by Vernon Bush, the 5-year-old son of World Stage was making his first appearance in Boston after facing much better at Saratoga and Monmouth Park. Final Prophecy slipped through along the rail just inside the pacesetting Milky Way Guy at the top of the stretch and was making a late bid when he was forced to steady as the odds-on choice came over on him nearing the wire.
Final Prophecy paid $8.60, $3, and $2.20 as the second choice. Milky Way Guy returned $2.40 and $2.20 after covering the mile and a sixteenth in 1:46 3/5 over the firm grass course. Jini's Jet made a late run to get up for the show and returned $2.20.