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Beau Rivage Bids For Presidential Upset

Published: January 23, 2009 8:10 pm ET

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Already an upset winner in round one of the Presidential Series, Beau Rivage will try to upend Winbak Speed in the $125,000 final Saturday night at the Meadowlands.

Trained by Peter Tritton, Beau Rivage N is rated at 15-1 from post eight in the Presidential, the first major stakes race of the season for free for all pacers. Winbak Speed looms the one to beat as he bids for his fourth straight win as the 9-5 favorite from post five.

“Obviously, Winbak Speed looks tough to beat,” said Tritton, a native of Sydney, Australia now stabled in Delaware. “Beau Rivage has had his share of bad luck drawing outside post positions, and he’s drawn outside in this final. He’s got real good gate speed, but it’s hard leaving from out there with those horses. He’s a seven-year-old with a lot of good miles and a few years left in him. He hasn’t got any physical problems and he’s easy on himself. Possibly, he’ll race better if you don’t use him early. I just have to hope they go hard early and he gets a good trip into it.”

Beau Rivage rallied from last to first to score a 27-1 upset in the first leg of the Presidential Series with Eric Goodell in the sulky. He finished third behind Winbak Speed in last week’s second round of the series.

“I was a little surprised when he pulled that upset in the first leg,” he said. “I looked at the program when I got up there and I told my wife he was as good as them. My philosophy is every horse I take up there, I have low expectations in their first start and then they always race better. Most of the time it just takes them a few runs to adapt to the track."

Beau Rivage is a New Zealand-bred purchased by Illinois-based owner/trainer Harry von Knoblauch last January. In his two years of domestic racing, Beau Rivage has hit the board in 15 of 18 starts.

“I know Harry Von Knoblauch through a mutual friend we buy horses from in New Zealand,” Tritton explained. “With Chicago racing not going that well at the moment he’s been sending a few out to me. That’s where Beau Rivage comes from. He was one of a few he had in the free for all there. He rang me up one day to tell me he was going to put him in the Presidential Series. Initially, I wasn’t optimistic. I know it’s tough at the Meadowlands.”

Already an established trainer in his homeland, Tritton, 57, immigrated to the United States in 2002.

“I’ve been training horses since I was 17,” he said. “I went straight from school right into the business. There’s a guy I was training for at home, Clyde McKay, who bought some horses to bring back to New Zealand, like Island Glow and Art Attack. I won 19 races with Art Attack there, and I did well with a few others that I trained for McKay. They ended up coming to the U.S. doing well. I had always wanted to come here and there was an opportunity to bring three horses over. I decided to take them for a few months and check things out. I liked it, so I went back home to organize a permanent stay here.

“I didn’t really know a lot about the racing in America, so I asked a buddy where I should go,” Tritton continued. “He told me undoubtedly Delaware because of the slots. It’s relatively inexpensive to live and quiet. I tried to settle there, but I couldn’t. I was going to try Toronto, but I’m not fond of the cold weather. So, I ended up in Indiana at Hoosier Park. I took my three horses there for about four months. I befriended Andrew Stafford and went back to live with him for a while. I got into Harrington and I’ve been [in Delaware] ever since.”

Tritton trains a stable of 15 horses at his five-acre farm in Felton, Delaware, and plans to become more of a presence at the Meadowlands this year.

“I think I’ve got one or maybe two that are actually better than Beau Rivage,” he said. “Pacific Reign, another New Zealand bred pacer who went three-for-three at Chester, and Richard Henry, who won in 1:49.3 at Dover Downs last year. Apache Dame has won the last three fillies and mares opens here, and I’ll probably bring her up there.”

The field for the $125,000 Presidential Final:

PP, Horse, Driver, Trainer, Odds
1, Shark Gesture, John Campbell, Larry Remmen, 12-1
2, Psilvuheartbreaker, Jim Meittinis, Bruce Saunders, 10-1
3, Noble Falcon, Tim Tetrick, Kevin Mc Dermott, 8-1
4, Western Shore, George Brennan, Joe Poliseno, 6-1
5, Winbak Speed, Ron Pierce, Wayne Givens, 9-5
6, Its That Time, Brian Sears, Mark Kesmodel, 8-1
7, Boulder Creek, Daniel Dube, Mark Kesmodel, 4-1
8, Beau Rivage N, Eric Goodell, Peter Tritton, 15-1
9, Maltese Artist, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 15-1
10, Soul Chaser, David Miller, Ken Rucker, 8-1


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