Vintage Master came out on the winning end of a thrilling stretch battle to get the blanket of orchids in the $677,655 Delvin Miller Adios on Saturday afternoon at The Meadows. The time of the mile was 1:49.2, which just missed the track record by two-fifths of a second.
Post eight starter Straight Shooting (Brett Miller) blasted out fastest of the nine three-year old colt and gelding pacers, and he would put up an opening quarter in 26.2 with Mr Wiggles (Corey Callahan) parked out and Well Said (Ron Pierce) tracking the cover.
Mr Wiggles would clear to the top as the field raced in front of the grandstands for the first time, but then he would allow Well Said to make his way to the lead right before the half, which was put up in 53.3. When Well Said made front, that left If I Can Dream (George Brennan) first-over with Ideal Danny (Tim Tetrick) second-over and Vintage Master (Dan Dube) third-over.
Well Said paced strong up the backstretch to reach three-quarters in 1:21 flat, but he was unable to shake Mr Wiggles off his back, and Vintage Master made a three-wide move on the far turn to get into contention for the stretch drive as well.
In the stretch, Callahan tipped Mr Wiggles to the outside to come after Well Said, and he would get by the North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace champion inside the final sixteenth, but Vintage Master, who was out widest of all, surged by Mr Wiggles in the final couple of strides to get the victory by a half a length in 1:49.2.
Mr Wiggles was a game second and Well Said faded to third, about another length behind Mr Wiggles. If I Can Dream came up the passing lane to get fourth and Chasin Racin (Dave Miller) got the final cheque by finishing fifth.
Vintage Master - Chris Gooden Photo
“I said a month ago that one of these days, he was going to win one of these big ones, and I’m glad it was in the Adios,” said an exuberant trainer Jimmy Takter, who was making his Adios debut. “The caliber of races he’s been in, those are tough to win. I thought we’d get a good chunk of this at least.”
“Jimmy has been working hard with this colt, week after week, to make him better,” said Dube, who likewise was winning his first Adios final. “I was locked in, but when I finally got in the flow three-wide, I knew he’d give me a good kick. Down by the wire, he gave me another surge. He didn’t win by accident. He won because he’s good.”
Takter trains Vintage Master, a Western Ideal-Arts Vintage colt, for owners-breeder Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky and Brian P Monieson Revtrust of Northbrook, Illinois. Vintage Master, who has now earned $816,807 in 2009 and $915,049 lifetime, amazingly won only his second race this year, which is also his career victory total.