Muscle Hillís next start will be in Breeders Crown
Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications
Freehold, NJ --- ďNo chance.Ē
Thatís how trainer Greg Peck summed up the likelihood that Muscle Hill might race again at the Red Mile this weekend in an attempt to break the current all-age world record of 1:50.1 for the trotting mile (on a mile oval). Muscle Hill co-owns the record with Lucky Jim, Donato Hanover and Giant Diablo.
His next start will be the Breeders Crown elimination (if needed) on October 17 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, with finals on October 24. Muscle Hill has won all 11 of his races this year and earned $2.1 million. He has won 19 consecutive races since finishing second in his career debut and earned $2.9 million lifetime.
Muscle Hillís wins this year include the Hambletonian, the Canadian Trotting Classic and the World Trotting Derby. Last weekend, he won the $600,000 Kentucky Futurity in straight heats at the Red Mile. He defeated Explosive Matter by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:51.1 in the decisive heat.
Peck was unaware that Muscle Hill is only $291,962 from the harness racing record for earnings in a year, $2.44 million, which was set last season by 3-year-old pacer Somebeachsomewhere. Donato Hanover holds the record of $2.33 million for a trotter.
ďNo, I didnít know that, but itís the same as the 1:50 time,Ē Peck said. ďHe could have done it in the Hambletonian, he probably could have done it the other day when he hit the half. But he slowed down in the third quarter, so it didnít set up. He would have had to come home in :25.4 (seconds) or something, so it just didnít set up that way. Everybody Iíve talked to says they think he could have beaten 1:50 no problem, but it just hasnít happened.Ē
Muscle Hill remains at the Red Mile and will ship from there directly to Dr. David Goodrowís farm in preparation for the Breeders Crown races at Woodbine.