Two-time Dan Patch Award winner Amigo Volo, who was making his Yonkers Raceway debut on Friday night (Dec. 10), lowered the world record for a four-year-old gelding trotter on a half-mile track by winning a $34,000 event for non-winners of $30,500 in their last five starts in 1:52.4.
Driven by Jason Bartlett, Amigo Volo got away in the fourth spot from post six and watched as Mostinterestingman, piloted by Jordan Stratton, posted opening-half fractions of :27.2 and :56.2. Mostinterestingman continued to lead at the 1:25 three-quarters, but Amigo Volo had been sent first-over by Bartlett and had moved up into second.
On the far turn, Amigo Volo surged by Mostinterestingman to take over the top spot and quickly opened up a gap on the field. Amigo Volo’s only foe from there was the teletimer, and he was able to get to the wire a fifth of a second quicker than the previous world record of 1:53 set by Bourbon Bay on October 11, 2015 at Saratoga.
Nifty Norman trains Amigo Volo, a gelding by Father Patrick, for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. This was his 18th career win, and he has now earned $1,729,151. He was the even-money favourite and paid $4.20 to win.
In the $43,000 Open Handicap Trot later on the card, Thankful NO, driven by trainer Trond Smedshammer, was able to get to the front from post eight after the 28 second opening quarter. Once she got to the top, Thankful NO clicked off the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:26.1, and was able to fend off a first-over try by Secret Bro and Joe Bongiorno in the third quarter.
Thankful NO put away Secret Bro for good coming off the far turn, and nobody could catch her through the stretch and to the wire in a 1:55 effort. Warrior One, with Matt Kakaley driving, was the runner-up, and Secret Bro held third.
A six-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill bred in Norway, Thankful NO is owned by American Viking Racing Stable. Thankful NO, who is out of the great race mare Peaceful Way, is now an 11-time winner in her career and she has banked $271,557. She returned $8.20 to win as the 3-1 second choice.
The 2021 meet at Yonkers Raceway concludes next week. The track will race Monday-Friday, with each program beginning at 7:15 p.m.
(With files from Yonkers Raceway)