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Don't Count Out Alarm Detector

Published: February 17, 2019 10:12 am ET

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The term sophomore slump most frequently applies to other sports, but on paper it would certainly seem to fit 2017 O'Brien Award winner Alarm Detector.

As a two-year-old, Alarm Detector was the cream of the crop. He won six of seven starts for his connections, finishing a strong second in his other appearance. He was pointed to the major events at three but only managed one win in 11 starts -- his three-year-old debut in his Goodtimes elimination.

There were signs of promise, like his mid-July mile at The Meadowlands in which he did all the work for Six Pack in a division of the Stanley Dancer before finishing third in a world record 1:50 mile. Alarm Detector was race timed in 1:50.4 on that occasion but he was unable to come close to that speed for the rest of the year.

Now four, Alarm Detector should not be discounted as a threat in the older trotting division. Co-owner Tom Rankin told Trot Insider that the son of Chapter Seven is back in training after a MRI noted some issues that could be impeding optimal performance.

"We knew the previous year he had a bone bruise in one ankle." said Rankin, "but discovered he had bone bruises on both [ankles]."

Rankin said that Alarm Detector received I.R.A.P. (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) therapy, a treatment that many of the sport's top trainers have used with positive results.

Trained by Ben Baillargeon, Rankin co-owns Alarm Detector along with his wife Elizabeth, Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, Que. and Santo Vena of Brampton, Ont. While no timetable has been established for a return to the racetrack, Rankin still has a ton of confidence in the four-year-old's abilities.

"He has been off all fall; Ben just started jogging [in early January] but we are going to have both legs checked with MRI again. It is a slow healing process.

"I have little doubt that he could [trot] in 1:50 if he's right."

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