Yonkers Trot Goes To Archangel; Googoo Gaagaa Breaks Jul 7
Archangel (Jim Morrill Jr.) may have lost the draw Tuesday night, but he won everything that mattered Saturday night, wiring Yonkers Raceway's 58th Yonkers Trot for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters in a world-record performance.
The mile of 1:54.1 was, in no particular order, a world record for a three-year-old colt trotter on a half-mile track, a track record for that same weight class, the fastest Yonkers Trot ever conducted at Yonkers, and an equalizer (Blacktuxwhitesocks) to the all-age trotting track record.
The $445,594 first jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown was supposed to go through world champion Googoo Gaagaa (Corey Callahan), he of the pacing sire, the early-vocabulary-name, the humble upbringing and the freak speed. However, after breaking in the second turn both times around, it was not going to be his evening.
Archangel, in play early from outside his four rivals, made the lead around 1-4 wagering choice Googoo Gaagaa well before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. Then, entering the second turn, the Googoo Gaagaa galloped.
That moved up Stormin Normand (John Campbell) and Market Share (Jeff Gregory) one place each, while allowing Archangel to rate a soft, 29-second next interval (:56.4 half).
From there, a :28.2 third quarter (1:25.1) maintained the lead, with Googoo Gaagaa making up lengths to get back within shouting distance. He then copied his clumsiness, in just about the exact same place, as Archangel owned a length and a half lead entering the lane.
No one was making any inroads, as Archangel hit the wire a length and three-quarters to the good. Stormin Normand held off Market Share for second, with Googoo Gaagaa fourth, beaten 15 lengths. Muscolo (Ray Schnittker), another misbehaver, was distanced.
Archangel - Mike Lizzi Photo
For Archangel, a New York-bred son of Credit Winner co-owned by trainer Peter Arrigenna, Alan Hainsworth and Clare Semer, he returned $11.80 (third choice) for his sixth (consecutive) win in seven seasonal starts. The $222,797 winner's share more than doubled his previous season's earnings to date, which now stand at $411,909.
There was win wagering only on this race.
"He's just a big, strong colt who has really impressed me," Morrill said after winning his first Trot. "I actually think he's better racing from behind, but Peter and I discussed it and I took a shot with him out of the gate.
"I had no idea what was going on (with Googaa Gaagaa), but I knew we were moving right along. I thought (Archangel) was a top horse, and he proved it tonight. Peter has done a terrific job. I'm very happy to win a race like this.”
"I can't say enough about him," the western New York (Piffard)-based Arrigenna said of the former $120,000 yearling who's been a New York standout for both of his racing seasons. “I said I didn’t know how fast he was, but he showed it tonight.
"When we planned out his schedule, this race was always on the radar. I took the trotting hobbles off (entering this season), because I wanted to lengthen his stride. He's staked to everything. He deserved a chance to race against the best, and I'm just ecstatic."
As for Googoo Gaagaa, his driver was searching for answers.
"I used him hard in the first turn because I didn't want to get away worse than second," Callahan said. "My plan was to retake after the second turn, but when he entered the turn, he didn't feel right.
"He's usually such a solid-gaited horse. When he came back trotting, he made up a lot of ground but once hit that turn again, he lost it.