By John Manzi
MONTICELLO January 6, 2003 Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
At the New Years Eve race card at Monticello Raceway, Al For President, who had won seven-in-a-row in the $2,500 claiming ranks, saw his win streak end but it took a spite job to get him beat.
As the gate sprung both Sun Glare, with Ken Devaux aboard from the rail, and Al For President, in rein to Gary Messenger from post five, charged to gain command. As Al For President tried to clear from his outside position, Devaux played hardball and kept Messenger on the limb.
Heading to the quarter pole, both drivers were physically urging their charges. Devaux tried to keep the 1-5 favorite on the outside and Messenger attempted to take the lead as they passed the quarter pole in a swift 28.2 seconds.
Messenger couldnt clear enough to get to the pylons and the two raced side by side until Sun Glare ran out of gas. Al For President then took command as the half-mile flashed a time of 58.2.
However, being parked out through the quick early fractions took its toll on Al For President. Although he opened up a two-length lead heading to the three-quarter pole, Do Run Mike, driven by Mike Merton, stayed clear of the early action and was fresh, collared Al For President in the final turn. Despite being tired Al For President fought gamely, but as the two horses neared the wire Do Run Mike drew off to a length decision.
Sun Glare, who did the early damage, finished last in the mile race, which was clocked at 2:03.3
For now, Don Torpids nine consecutive wins remains the Mighty M track record.