True, Florlis was coming on awfully fast in the last hundred yards. But surely Baldwin would get a little bit more out of Speedy Scot and win comfortably. No, sir. Florlis kept coming. As Pownall in his orange and blue silks and Baldwin in his maroon and gray ones flailed their whips, it was Florlis by an unbelievable neck.
Under the intense sun Baldwin's normally ruddy complexion turned a worried magenta. "He just outtrotted me there," Ralph said.
Pownall, Brooklyn-born and still possessed of the pell-mell speech of his native Williamsburg neighborhood, was as surprised as anyone, but for the moment he was not letting on. "Give him an alcohol rubdown," he instructed a groom. Wiping his streaming forehead, he slumped down upon a bench. "I had to go outta there. That's the only chance we've got to get a position. When you get to the top you take back, and then the other guy has to go. From the half on I've got a nice journey. I used him at the start, but I know I've got horse left. When I tapped him at the head of the stretch he dug in, and at the end he was going all he could."
Pownall, who is famous for his patience with young horses and his ability to get them going with little or no extra equipment—toe weights, boots, etc.—then made a small revelation. Florlis, he said, could not get around the turns on half-mile tracks very deftly. Since he had been mostly on the small tracks so far this year, he had not looked the trotter he really was. Now at Du Quoin, on a mile track....
In the deciding heats Pownall again left swiftly, and in each case Baldwin tucked Speedy Scot in behind Florlis; in each case Speedy Scot moved out from the rail nearing the homestretch and went ahead. When Pownall failed to catch up in the second heat and Florlis was beaten by three-quarters of a length, Baldwin probably felt the third and race-winning heat would be his. But he was not smiling until he took the last—by a widening length. By racing eighth, third and fifth, Simpson's filly, Elma, was third in the final ranking.
When did Baldwin believe he had the last dash won? "At the head of the stretch," said Baldwin. "But I thought that in the first heat, too."
The Arden Homestead's Ebby Gerry was equally flabbergasted. "I thought Florlis would be doing well to do 1:59," he said afterward.
Because of that first sensational mile, The Hambletonian really had two winners. They can't take that 1:57 3/5 away from Florlis; he is a world champion. But even so, Speedy Scot is the better trotter. He is one of the great ones. Baldwin believes he may someday have a crack at Greyhound's absolute record (set in a time trial) of 1:55� for the mile. Until then, the Triple Crown will do. The third leg is raced at Lexington, Ky.'s famous "Red Mile" on October 4. Speedy Scot is going to win it.