In what turned out to be one of the fastest miles ever trotted at Monticello Raceway On The Podium rambled to a 1:56.2 triumph winning the featured race on Wednesday afternoon, (Sept. 17). That mark erased the former standard of 1:57 co-owned by Cornishman N in 2011 and Rompaway Alan in 2013.
Bruce Aldrich, Jr. drove the winner for trainer Jose Godinez and strangely it was On The Podium’s first seasonal victory in 22 starts although the Donato Hanover 5-year-old gelding had five seconds and three thirds which previously earned owners Blindswitch Racing and Anthony Nicometo nearly $30,00 this year.
On The Podium’s new standard followed a 1:54.1 new track record for 4 year old pacing gelding set just the previous afternoon by Twin B Famous and driver Mike Merton .
However, On The Podium’s surprise track record was unexpected as all eyes were on Rose Run Nash (Jimmy Marohn,Jr.) who was seeking his 19th seasonal victory and was sent off as the betting favorite in the race and after finishing fourth Rose Run Nash will have to wait for another day to extend his North American leading 18 wins.
The 1:56.2 track record by On The Podium was even more amazing that it came in a six-horse field but it was set-up by the early speedy fractions (:28, :57.4, 1:26.3) driver Mike Merton set with Scottish Cross.
On The Podium started from the three hole and after settling in along the pylons he was the first to move when the field approached the halfway point.
By the third panel Aldrich’s trotter was nose-to-nose with Scottish Cross and on the final turn they opened-up daylight and had three lengths on the field. As they headed for home the margin was extended to eight lengths when they crossed the wire.
Scottish Cross was collared by I’m Fabulous (Jimmy Taggart, Jr.) who came from way back finish second a nose ahead of Scottish Cross in third
Even-money favorite, Rose Run Nash, came into the contest off two consecutive 1:57.4 victories but never got unwound and finished fourth nine lengths, behind the winner.
The victory was one of three on the card for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. who was elated after his track record triumph with On The Podium.
“Last week we fell short by a head and finished second to Rose Run Nash and with him on the rail (pole position) I figured he’d be tough to beat in here,” Aldrich acknowledged.
“I knew my horse had lots of trot when he warmed up good today but I never expected he’d set a track record. What a nice surprise.”