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Lucky Man Wins Au Revoir Pace

Published: December 27, 2019 7:52 pm ET

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On Friday, Dec. 27, at Monticello Raceway on a track listed as good, a field of five pacers lined up behind the starting gate for the last time in their careers in the $5,000 Au Revoir Invitational Pace.

For almost a decade and a half, these five equine iron geldings have been behind the starting gate almost 1,600 times combined in their careers.

When the gate left, betting favourite Flem N Em N, starting from post position five with driver Jim Devaux, was first away followed by Lucky Man right alongside. Devaux worked his mount hard to get to the front keeping Lucky Man at bay and they zipped the opening quarter in :27.3. Trainer/driver Jennifer Lappe and Lucky Man were parked and forced to tuck in the three-hole well past the paddock turn.

The Saratoga invader, Flem N Em M, took the field to the half in :57.3. At that point, Lappe pulled the right line for the last time and started the outer flow with Lucky Man. He was first-over as leader Flem N Em N hit the three-quarters in 1:27.3. In the paddock turn, Lucky Man was urged on by Lappe and exploded in a matter of strides. He had an instant three-length lead on the field at the head of the stretch.

The usually reserved Lappe savoured the moment and pumped her arm in the air before the wire, reminiscent of the Stanley Dancer moment with Duenna in the Hambletonian. Lucky Man hit the wire in 1:57.2 after drawing off by 5-1/4 lengths with a final quarter in :29.4. Flem N Em N finished second and Lightning Raider N third.

Lucky Man paid $6.40 to win. The victory was his ninth of his 14-year-old campaign and pushed his seasonal earnings over $32,000.

Lucky Man’s career stats and overall body of work is impressive. The $90,000 Camluck yearling purchase has 68 career wins, total earnings over $1.3 million and a lifetime mark of 1:49.1 taken as a five-year-old at Mohawk Racetrack. He is currently co-owned by Lappe and Patrick Laiso.

After the winner circle's presentation, an emotional Lappe paid homage to her stead and unhooked the sulky and walked the gutsy campaigner Lucky Man back to the paddock for the last time amid the spattering of claps for the classy duo from those admirers on the racing apron that braved the elements to bid him farewell.

(With files from Monticello Raceway)

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