Vague Traces proved he still has it at the age of 12, scoring a win in the $6,500 conditioned mini series Sunday, Jan. 14 at Northfield Park. Guided by John Ciocca Jr., the veteran pacer scored the win in 1:58.1 over fellow Indiana sired rival What’s Your Beef and Anthony MacDonald.
Vague Traces began from post two and allowed a few horses to head to the front but immediately got to the outside past the quarter in :28.0. Horses were three wide around the first turn until everyone got into position. Vague Traces continued to pursue the top spot against his rivals and was still on the outside at the half in :57.4 before crossing over to the lead. Down the backstretch the second time, Dreamfair Sunshine and Justin Irvine were leading the charge first over through the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Vague Traces continued to lead the way into the stretch.
Vague Traces dug in deep in the stretch to fend off the horses right behind him, but it was a late charging What’s Your Beef on the far outside that posed the biggest threat. He rallied home the quickest of the field but Vague Traces held him off, winning by one-half length. Trillionaire also closed well at the end for Aaron Merriman to finish third.
Vague Traces was the second longest shot on the board, paying $68.20 for the win. The 12-year-old gelding by Always a Virgin is owned by Kick It Stables and trained by John Ciocca Jr. It was his second start of 2024 and his 42nd trip to the winner’s circle during his career. He began racing in Canada at Woodbine before heading to Indiana for Indiana Sires Stakes action. As a three-year-old he finished second in the Indiana Sires Stakes final for trainer Lavern Hostetler. The old timer now has more than $560,000 in career earnings with his career best time of 1:48.1 taken as a four-year-old. He has been with his current connections since his seven-year-old season.
Vague Traces, bred in New Jersey by Bluestone Farms, has royalty in his bloodlines. His granddam is the great Village Jig, who produced numerous top horses in Canada, including the millionaire Village Jiffy, a son of Cam Fella with a mark of 1:50 and more than $1.5 million in earnings before heading to a career as a stallion.