Kerry Way had a seemingly unexplainable and unexcusable record, too. The fact was she had not been trained hard for any of her previous races. "I haven't been trying to get her too tight," said old master trainer Frank Ervin. "The race she has to be tight for is The Hambletonian." Furthermore, the filly's training schedule had been delayed when she got an infection in a leg from the dye on her new trotting boots. Last Thursday she donned her old boots when she stepped out to meet the boys. Galoshes might have been more appropriate.
Severe thunderstorms drenched the race course for an hour and a half before the Futurity, but on rock-hard harness tracks mud seldom makes a difference in performance. It may possibly have affected Carlisle, making his hooves even heavier than usual, but Haughton said he had raced well in the mud as a 2-year-old.
At the start of the Futurity, Carlisle barreled to the front. Sholty sent Polaris after him, and by the time they had gone a quarter of a mile Polaris had the lead on the outside. Haughton tucked Carlisle in along the rail in second place. Kerry Way and Governor Armbro were far back. Polaris went to the half in 1:02[1/5]. Joe O'Brien pulled Governor Armbro out to make his move at the three-quarter pole.
As the field trotted into the final turn, Polaris still had the lead and Carlisle was still a length or so behind. Suddenly Haughton's horse threw a shoe. It careened into the infield, and the colt immediately began to pace, not trot. His race was over. At the top of the stretch Governor Armbro moved into second and Kerry Way rushed from sixth to third. Polaris just kept trotting. They never got near him. He won by two and a half lengths in 2:06.
George Sholty was jubilant. "See you at The Hambletonian," he told anyone that shook his hand. Joe O'Brien and Frank Ervin came off the track smiling broadly, too. Their horses had put in their best races in months, and The Hambletonian, at Du Quoin, Ill., was still three weeks off. Come to think of it, they also were telling people, "See you at The Hambletonian."