Mack Lobell had something to prove at Rosecroft Saturday night in the Colonial Trot.
After Mack Lobell lost to Napoletano three times in the past two months, some suggested that the 3-year-old son of Mystic Park's best days were behind him. But, after seeing the smoothly gaited Mack Lobell roll to a easy victory in the Colonial in a world-record-equaling 1:57 2/5, no one is doubting harness racing's fastest trotter any longer.
The world record Mack Lobell equaled was for 3-year-old colts on a half-mile track. Sir Taurus also trotted a 1:57 2/5 at Yonkers in July.
The time was a second faster than the Rosecroft mark Mack Lobell set last week in a tuneup for the Colonial.
While Mack Lobell's speed made the Colonial a historic race, the trot lost some of its excitement as the expected confrontation between Mack Lobell and Napoletano fizzled early when Napoletano broke stride just past the quarter-mile pole.
Napoletano, driven by Bill O'Donnell, appeared to have trouble handling the track from the start and, after breaking, the 6-to-5 second choice had to struggle to regain stride. Napoletano finished last in the seven-horse field.
After Napoletano's misstep, the race was clearly in the control of Mack Lobell, the 2-to-5 favorite.
Driver John Campbell guided the colt to quarter-mile fractions of 28 4/5 seconds, :58 1/5 and 1:28 3/5. Long shot Beseiged took second, four lengths behind the winner. Super Speedy, driven by Tommy Haughton, was third.
The impressive victory was Mack Lobell's 12th in 15 starts this year and increased his lifetime earnings to $1,657,467.
Earlier this season, Mack Lobell won two-thirds of trotting's triple crown -- the Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot. He became the fastest trotter in racing history this summer when he won in 1:52 1/5 in Springfield, Ill.