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Upfront Hoosierboy Takes WEG Open

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Published: February 25, 2012 7:43 pm ET

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The ultra consistent Upfront Hoosierboy, who has hit the board more times than not in his career, prevailed in the $50,000 Open Pace early Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack for his first win of the 2012 season.

Trained by Ben Baillargeon and reined by brother Mario, Upfront Hoosierboy swept out and around early leader Peenie (Billy Davis Jr.) after the :28.4. opening quarter. The six-year-old gelding then led his five foes past middle stations of :56.4 and 1:25.3 with Brave Alex Semalu (Randy Waples) moving first over from third.

With three in and three out, the field raced around the final bend with Upfront Hoosierboy a length clear on top. Down the stretch, Upfront Hoosierboy held off the second over rally of Classic Rock Nroll (Doug McNair) for the 1:54 triumph by a neck. Brave Alex Semalu finished three-quarters of a length behind in third.

Favourite Mystician (Jody Jamieson) trailed the field for most of the mile and could not get into the action, beating only one horse at the wire.

Upfront Hoosierboy paid $14.90 to win as the third choice in the field.

"He is just a nice racehorse," Ben Baillargeon told Trot Insider following the victory. "He is turning out to be a solid racehorse. He is a war horse. We love him and we are not hard on him. If he shows me signs of fatigue or something he will get a little break. He has been good to us."

The son of Western Hanover and Artaffection, who is owned by Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Que., now boasts one win, two seconds, three thirds and over $66,000 in purse earnings while racing against the top pacers at Woodbine this year. Lifetime, he sports 60 top three finishes from 94 starts and a bankroll totalling more than $435,000.

Upfront Hoosierboy is eligible to the Spring Pacing Championship, which begins at the end of March.

"Around June he will get his three months off -- June, July and August. I don’t want to race him much in the summer," said Baillargeon of his pacer's predicted schedule for 2012. "My plans are to keep racing the horse [on the WEG circuit]."

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.


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