By John Manzi
MONTICELLO In an era where youth seems to be the name of the game, one should be cautioned not to discount those veterans who have literally “been around the track” over and over again.
Case in point: John Gilmour and Imallottocatch in the weekly winners-over trotting feature on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 17 at Monticello Raceway.
In a field full of younger horses and younger drivers, it was the “old men” who brought home the bacon when 73-year-old Gilmour reined 10-year-old trotting gelding Imallottocatch to a 1:59.4 drilling of six others aspirants. And for the record, it was the second consecutive time that horse and driver combination reached the winner’s circle, although the previous triumph was in a class a notch below the one that Imallottocatch prevailed in on Aug. 17.
The trotter, a homebred altered son of Allot owned by Gilmour’s daughter Janet Messenger, earned a new lifetime mark with his victory, which was the trotter’s third in eight seasonal starts.
“We just got lucky, Sep,” a reticent John Gilmour offered after his conquest.
And that may in fact be correct since Imallottocatch had started from the two-hole with the track odds-maker, John Flynn, rating the trotter 10-1 on the morning line. But when the dust had settled, Flynn’s prognostication was, in fact, accurate to the penny when the Gilmour-driven trotter paid an even $22 for win.
“We got a two-hole journey and when I asked him for more down the stretch, he had some trot left in him and we beat a couple of pretty nice horses,” Gilmour said.
Indeed Gilmour and Imallottocatch did. Imallottocatch overtook the pace-setter Samsawinner, a seasonal winner of over $45,000 with a 1:58.4 record this year, and Distinct Victory, who has a $52,000 seasonal bankroll. The former was driven by Jimmy Taggart Jr. and the latter was in rein to Bruce Aldrich Jr.
While 73-year-old Gilmour can claim only four driving victories this year (in 32 starts) he is, and has been, no stranger to the winner’s circle. In an illustrious career that includes seven driving titles at Monticello Raceway, the veteran driver from the famous Gilmour family has thus far visited the winner’s circle 4,481 times.