Allywag Hanover made history Thursday evening (Nov. 10) when he paced the fastest mile ever on a five-eighths-mile track when winning the $125,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft in 1:46.4.
Owned by Allywag Stable, trained by Brett Pelling and driven by Todd McCarthy, Allywag Hanover followed favoured Tattoo Artist past fractions of :25.4, :53.1 and 1:20. The two separated themselves from the rest of the field before Allywag Hanover cruised by Tattoo Artist midway down the stretch on his way to the world-record performance.
This Is The Plan was third and 2020 winner Leonidas A was fourth.
Allywag Hanover, the beaten favourite in last year’s Potomac Pace, has now won six of 13 starts this year and has not finished worse than third. He eclipsed the previous track record at Rosecroft of 1:47.3 set by Keystone Velocity in 2017. Allywag Hanover came into the Potomac off a third-place finish in the $810,000 Breeders Crown behind likely Horse of the Year Bulldog Hanover and runner-up Tattoo Artist.
“I thought Tattoo was going to be pretty hard to beat tonight. Last year we got beat so it was pretty nice to get a victory here tonight,” McCarthy said.
Allywag Hanover’s trip was similar to his trip when beating Bulldog Hanover in the Allerage Farms Open on Oct. 9 at The Red Mile in a record 1:46.
“He loves that kind of trip,” McCarthy said. “He [Tattoo Artist] was the perfect horse to follow there. I just had to hope the speed was going to be solid enough early that we were going to have a little shot at the end, so it worked out tonight.
“It’s pretty cool… he’s had such a phenomenal season for what he got to race in. It’s probably worked out perfect for him. Brett has done a good job managing him. He’s a fun horse to drive and hopefully next year we got him in some main events.”
Tattoo Artist’s stakes victories earlier this year included two legs of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series at Yonkers, the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial at Saratoga, and the #SendItIn Invitational at Scioto. He had also finished second to likely Horse of the Year Bulldog Hanover in the Canadian Pacing Derby.
This Is The Plan was pacing in his third Potomac Pace. The seven-year-old gelding was seventh last year, fifth in 2020 and was a late scratch in 2019.
NOTES: Wild Wild Western, with Yannick Gingras in the bike, won the $25,000 Maryland Preferred Invitational. The six-year-old returned $3.20.
The evening began with driver Frank Milby winning the first three races of the 14-race program. Milby won Race 1 with Dancing on a Star ($12), Race 2 with Always B Magic ($2.40) and Race 3 with Jericho Hanover ($3).