10/06/2016 4:15PM

Red Mile: Walner trots into the record books as fastest 2-year-old colt

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Derick Giwner
Walner bested the record set by Southwind Frank with his 1:51 3/5 win.

Horses come to the Red Mile to set records and make history. Walner did just that when he stopped the timer in 1:51 3/5 to become the fastest trotting colt in harness racing history by winning one of five $56,000 divisions of the International Stallion Stakes on Thursday afternoon.

Dover Dan got the jump on the field with a 28 1/5 opening panel but soon felt the powerful strides of Walner closing in. Driver Tim Tetrick assumed command with Walner before the half in 55 1/5 and never had an anxious moment, cruising past three quarters in 1:23 3/5 and under the wire 3-3/4 lengths the best in world record time.

Fraser Ridge was second ahead of Dover Dan.

“Wait until next August,” said a visibly happy Tetrick, referring to the Hambletonian immediately after the victory. “I’ve loved him from day one. He’s the best horse I’ve sat behind as a 2-year-old. I called it after the first qualifier.

“He can do anything you want him to do. He is a really nice colt. He’s super smart. Everyone knows how good he is and now I can teach him how to be a really good racehorse.”

Trained by Linda Toscano for owner Kenneth Jacobs, Walner picked up his fourth win in five career starts. The son of Blue Chip Farms stallion Chapter Seven will aim for the Breeders Crown eliminations at The Meadowlands on October 22.

“This is why you train horses. It is just fun to buy one, develop him and have him turn into this,” said Toscano.

Walner returned $2.40 to win as the heavy favorite while besting Southwind Frank’s 1:52 2/5 record.

Going a fast mile himself but falling short of Walner’s greatness was Bill’s Man in the final of the five divisions. Bill’s Man took a tuck early through fractions of 28 1/5 and 56 before coming to call first over at the half. Staying clear of the breaking Fly On, Bill’s Man gained into contention at three quarters in 1:24 3/5 and edged away for the victory in a strong 1:52 3/5 for driver Corey Callahan.

Don Dream waited in the early going and rallied for second while Shake It Off Lindy picked up third.

“This is a really good horse. The lines where he doesn’t run, he’s been right there,” said Callahan.

Bill’s Man is trained by John Butenschoen for owners William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware LLC.  The Credit Winner colt has won twice in 11 lifetime starts and paid $16.40 for his backers on Thursday.

The International Stallion Stakes action began with what was then the fastest mile of the year by a rookie trotting colt. After leaving to the top, Southwind Cobra waited in the pocket behind a quarter-moving Soho Hanover through fractions of 28 3/5, 56 2/5 and 1:25 2/5. Money Macintosh led the outer flow that also included Signal Hill second-over.

The field spread out for the stretch, with Southwind Cobra grabbing the lead and a ground-saving 1-2 favorite New Jersey Viking swinging wide to try to sweep the field from last. Ultimately ‘Viking’ would come up short behind ‘Cobra’ in the 1:53 3/5 mile.

“I wasn’t sure,” said driver Yannick Gingras on whether he would win. “I knew there were good horses behind me, but my horse is good, too.”

Southwind Cobra ($22.60) is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Jack Piatt II, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi. The son of Muscle Hill now has two career wins in nine starts.

Continuing the trend of the day, International Moni bested the record by Southwind Cobra in the second division of the Stallion Stakes with a 1:53 1/5 clocking.

The race saw plenty of movement early, with Patton giving up the lead to International Moni before yielding into the pocket behind Snowstorm Hanover in an opening half of 56 1/5. As with the opening split, the field spread across the track and driver Scott Zeron was able to squeeze International Moni up the cones to nose-out Snowstorm Hanover and a charging Mountain Of Love on the far outside.

“I thought it was going to be really close, but I was certainly happy with the outcome,” said Zeron on whether he could make it up the pylons. “I love this horse. He just needed to pick up confidence throughout the year.”

The winner paid $7.80 as the second choice in the wagering. Frank Antonacci trains the daughter of Love You-Moni Maker for the Moni Maker Stable.

Devious Man brought a five-race winning streak to the Red Mile and extended that run to six in his division.

After leaving to the front, driver Andy Miller yielded to Simply Volo after the 28 4/5 opening quarter. Miller would find himself sitting third at the half in 56 2/5 after Long Tom brushed to the lead as well. With three-eighths to trot, Miller edged Devious Man back to the rim and he grinded up to Long Tom at the 1:25 three-quarter marker.

When the important racing began, Devious Man proved best, putting away Long Tom (third) and holding off Simply Volo (second) in a final time of 1:53 2/5.

“It was a little hectic up the backstretch but it all worked out,” said Miller, who was driving for owner Story Inc and trainer/wife Julie Miller.

New York Sire Stakes champion Devious Man ($3.40) has now won seven of 10 career races and more than $300K lifetime.