On October 9, 1893, excitement was building among the crowd gathered at the Lexington’s Red Mile. The occasion was the inaugural of the Kentucky Futurity, which today is one of the oldest and one of the richest horse races in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ranks as the oldest classic race in the world of harness racing. That day the crowd watched a shiny black colt named Oro Wilkes score a grueling five-heat victory for driver J.A. Goldsmith. Oro Wilkes fastest Futurity heat was 2:14 ½ and the purse for the inaugural was only $11,880.
Fast forward a few years and here's how the 120th Kentucky Futurity played out:
Alagna the ‘Mvp’ of the Kentucky Futurity
In his breakout year, Tony Alagna scored another major stakes victory with his prized trotter My Mvp. He won straight heats in 1:52 and 1:53, respectively.
Money On My Mind was the tempo setter in the first elimination. Magic Tonight got away second and Solvato was in third. Guccio was caught wide in fourth heading to the quarter. Money On My Mind took the field by the quarter in :28.1. Solvato pulled the pocket and brushed by Andy Miller passing the three-eighths. Guccio inched into third and Appomattox edged to the outside, hopeful to pick up Takter’s cover. Solvato led the field by the half in :55.1 (:27).
Into the far turn, Guccio began backing up. Solvato was still on top at three-quarters in 1:23.2 (:28.1). Money On My Mind angled off the pylons and was in pursuit of Solvato at the top of the stretch. Appomattox fanned off cover and My Mvp was storming down the center of the track off the pylons. Appomattox took a short lead but My Mvp was charging next to him and Lachance got his colt in front in the nick of time, winning in 1:52 (:28.3). Appomattox was second, Money On My Mind was third, Banker Volo was fourth and Guccio faded to fifth.
Archangel took the other elimination in 1:53.1.
Archangel took the lead, with Little Brown Fox in second and Another Amaretto third. Fogelberg went off stride and Gym Tan Laundry was pacing in the back. Archangel took the field by the quarter in :27.3. There was no change in order at the half in :56.3 (:29). There was still no change in order through three-quarters in 1:25.4 (:29.1).
Little Brown Fox and Another Amaretto angled off the pylons in pursuit of Archangel turning for home. Lindys Jersey Boy went on a break. The two could not catch Archangel and he was an easy winner in 1:53.1 (:27.4). Little Brown Fox was second, Another Amaretto was third and Lindys Jersey Boy finished fourth.
Archangel was the leader at the quarter in :28.3. Money On My Mind was in second and Another Amaretto got away third. My Mvp was in fourth down the backstretch and came first over approaching the half-mile. Little Brown Fox picked up his cover and Appomattox was third over at the half in :57.1 (:28.3). My Mvp was applying pressure to Archangel into the far turn. Money On My Mind was locked in second and Little Brown Fox was carried into third. Archangel was holding onto the lead at three-quarters in 1:25.3 (:28.2).
My Mvp took the lead into the final eighth of a mile. Archangel quit and Appomattox came flying off cover with Little Brown Fox. Money On My Mind was surging late after finding racing room. My Mvp was holding on and he won the Kentucky Futurity by a length in 1:53 (:27.2). Appomattox was second, Another Amaretto was third and Little Brown Fox finished fourth.
My Mvp ($19.60 in first heat and $6.60 in the second heat) is by Cantab Hall, out of the mare Exceed Expectation by Kadabra. He is owned by Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco and Modern Family Partners, trained by Tony Alagna and Mike Lachance was in the bike to score his third Kentucky Futurity victory in 3:47.