Race Summary

Flirth: Almost Overlooked

Few geldings have ever won the Hambletonian, the first being the immortal "Grey Ghost" Greyhound, who accomplished that feat in 1935. Another came in 1973 in the form of the Florican gelding Flirth. Owned and bred by the Arden Homestead Stable and trained by Ralph Baldwin, Flirth was a rank outsider to most observers on this Hambletonian Day, with most of the interest centered on John Simpson, Jr.'s Knightly Way or Gene Riegle's Arnie Almahurst. Then there were the talented Florican fillies, Florinda and Honeysuckle Rose. Nearly everybody overlooked Flirth.

Baldwin had brought Flirth and stablemate Fetisil to DuQuoin nearly a week ahead of schedule and put some blistering workouts over the DuQuoin track, operating in near obscurity except for some local observers.

Flirth was lying in ambush on Hambletonian Day. He took over the lead in the first heat shortly after the quarter and never looked back, trotting home in 1:582 over Florinda and South Bend. In the second, he lowered the all age world mark for geldings to 1:571 with the same don't-look- back style. Noble Jade rallied for second in the final heat and South Bend was again third, but there was no menacing the winner.
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