Manofmanymissions held off first-heat winner Dejarmbro in a two-horse race-off to win the 119th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile on Sunday.
The race-off, won in 1:54.3, in the third jewel of trotting's Triple Crown, was the first since 2008 when Deweycheatumnhowe bested Celebrity Secret in 1:59.2.
"I wanted to get the lead and control the pace, and go as slow as I could," said winning driver David Miller. "My horse is game and got the job done."
Miller had Manofmanymissions on top through fractions of :28.2, :58 and 1:27.4, and it was at the three-quarters that Brian Sears took aim at the leader with Dejarmbro. In midstretch Dejarmbro put his head in front of Manofmanymissions, but that trotter fought back to get the victory with a final quarter of :27.2.
"He's got a lot of heart and is a very fast horse," said winning trainer Erv Miller.
A world champion at 2 with his 1:53.2 victory over the five-eighths-mile oval at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the Breeders Crown final, Manofmanymissions won for the eighth time in 12 starts this year. However, he had two disappointments when he broke in both the $1.5 million Hambletonian and the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic.
Kentucky Filly Futurity
Cedar Dove was a straight-heat winner in the $291,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity. After posting a wire-to-wire 1:53.2 career-best victory in the first heat, Cedar Dove came back to score a 1:53.4 win in the decisive second heat, both with Ron Pierce driving.
Hugadragon drew clear to victory in 1:50 in the first division of the $202,000 Bluegrass for 3-year-old colt pacers. The second division went to Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John in 1:50.1, defeating North America Cup winner Up The Credit.