The Panhellenic Stable Corporation’s Dink Adoo showed that perseverance and talent will eventually win the day when in his fourth attempt at the $90,000 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Trot, the nine-year-old gelding took top prize. He rallied from last to first to put a head in front of favored Before He Cheats and win Hawthorne’s most prestigious trotting event.
L T’s Best finished third, beaten only a quarter-length for all the money.
“He’s a closer and he does his best work closing,” said Oosting. “He’s handy enough to drive around traffic and tonight he got the job done.”
For a long time in the mile, it didn’t look as if Dink Adoo would be any sort of threat. When the wings folded, it was Hoosier Cadillac teamed with Hall of Famer Dave Magee who left sharply from his inside perch. His speed forced Self Righteous and previous Dygert champion Dunkster into early tucks. Hoosier Cadillac trotted the opening quarter in 28.1.
It was Before He Cheats and pilot Brandon Simpson who came out just past the quarter and moved sharply at the leader as they reached the half in :56 flat. By the time they reached the three-quarters in 1:24.2, Before He Cheats assumed command with a host of pursuers on his tail.
L T’s Best was following the favorite and tried to cut into the lead, but Before He Cheats dug in gamely with urging from a left handed stick, and nearly managed to hang on, only to get caught in the final strides by Dink Adoo.
Remarkably, Dink Adoo found racing room among the myriad of horse flesh to somehow make the last-to-first move in a slow final quarter of 31.0.
“I didn’t think I was gonna get there about a quarter through the lane,” explained Oosting. “But then he started passing horses and at the wire he was trotting faster than he ever was. That’s his game. He likes to beat up on them when they’re tired.”
Paul Stafford trains Dink Adoo who, with the win, pushed his lifetime earnings to $772,942.
“He raced so good. Oh he was so tough,” said Brandon Simpson, describing the performance of the runner-up, Before He Cheats. “He just wasn’t as sharp as he had been, maybe he was only 85 percent, but he raced big and I was very happy.”
Sent off the second choice in the wagering, Dink Adoo returned $10.00 to win.
My Boy David Sharp in Invitational Score
My Boy David, deviating from usual front-running strategy, came third-over and motored by both pacesetter I Can Only Imagine and odds-on favorite Load The Dice to win the $20,000 Invitational Handicap by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:50.2.
Trained by Homer Hochstetler and driven to victory by Brent Holland, the Illinois-bred son of Cole Muffler pushed his lifetime earnings to a whopping $1,157,772.
“He paced home awesome tonight,” said Holland. “I didn’t even expect that big an effort from that position, but he was truly unbelievable.”
Load the Dice withstood an inquiry and finished second. I Can Only Imagine gamely held the third spot.
The winner paid $19.60 as the fourth choice in the wagering