Trot Insider has learned that open class pacer Dapper Dude has been sold by Bob McIntosh and will be making his first start for the new connections this Saturday.
A 17-time winner with nearly $800,000 banked in his career, the six-year-old son of The Panderosa - Dress To Suggest was purchased by Richard Poillucci of North Easton, Mass.
"The deal actually had a green light on 4:45 on the Friday afternoon, and the horse would be vetted the next morning," Poillucci told Trot Insider. "I live in Massachusetts, I got in my car at 8:00 p.m. that evening, drove to Jersey, stayed over, got up the next morning, met the veterinarian, vetted the horse and the horse vetted well."
Dapper Dude has been placed in the care of trainer Kelvin Harrison, and he will make his first start for his new connections on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. He's drawn post 4 in the A-2/A-1/FFA Handicap and will have John Campbell at the controls.
"I've done business with Kelvin for many, many years. I felt this horse was a good fit for Kelvin, and he's thrilled to have him."
Both trainer and owner are thoroughly impressed with the horse's manners and appearance. Poillucci called Dapper Dude a "beautiful animal with great conformation" and his trainer agrees.
"He absolutely loves to do his work. Kelvin trained him on Tuesday, and he said he's just a professional."
Poillucci currently owns a half-dozen horses with a preference toward upper-echelon horses: open and free-for-all campaigners. He feels, as does his former trainer McIntosh, that Dapper Dude is getting better with age. The mahogany-hued (not chestnut, according to his new owner) pacer will get his first major stakes test in the upcoming Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway.
"We bought him with sights on the Levy. He's gotta step it up a notch to be a TVG or U.S. Pacing Championship type but I was planning on staking the horse.
"I think he's got the talent, I just don't know where the bottom is."