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Blanchard Upset-Minded In Molson

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Published: May 26, 2011 11:59 am ET

Last Comment: May 26, 2011 2:05 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"When you consider he was parked and battling in a :54.2 back-half, and looked like he was going to go by that's pretty impressive on a half-mile track."

Western Fair's Greg Blanchard certainly had one of the best seats in the house for the 2011 Molson Pace eliminations last Friday. After studying the elims, Blanchard is backing a Ron Burke trainee but not the one most would assume. In fact, Blanchard is choosing Atochia and driver Dave Palone despite the trailing post position.

"He and Art Professor simply stepped away from the rest of the field on that occasion," Blanchard told Trot Radio's Norm Borg. "They were every bit as impressive to me as Foiled Again was in his elimination, albeit he didn't have to go nearly as fast and probably is going to have a bit more left in the tank this week."

Blanchard and Borg examine the field for Western Fair's signature event on today's episode of Trot Radio. To hear the full interview, click the play button below.

Episode 200 – Western Fair's Greg Blanchard
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

2011 Molson Pace Field

Of the eight starters, favourite Foiled Again is the oldest, fastest, richest and most experienced of the group. An easy winner in the second elimination Foiled Again is the only seven-year-old in the race with four of the starters four-year-olds and the other three are six. Foiled Again is also the only millionaire in the field although his stablemate from the Ron Burke Stable, Atochia, will reach that milestone with a top three finish on Friday night.

That duo are also the only two in the race with more than 100 lifetime starts. Foiled Again comes into the race with 126 lifetime pari-mutuel starts, with 50 of those wins, while Atochia has 101 career outings to date.
In looking at the breeding of this talented collection of free for all pacers, three are sired by Dragon Again while Rocknroll Hanover has two sons in the final.

Camluck is the sire of one starter and the sire of the dams of another two while Artsplace is the sire of the dams of four. From an ownership perspective, four of the pacers are owned in Ontario while the remainder have ownership south of the border.

The following are brief bios of each of the starters in post position order.

1. Legal Litigator
 p, 1:49.4 ($679,284)
(b.g., 6, Camluck ~ By Desire ~ Artsplace)
Life Summary: 90-21-20-14
Owner/Breeder: Bob Hamather, Exeter, Ontario
Trainer: Casie Coleman
Driver: Mark MacDonald
Sale History: Homebred
Elimination Performance: Fourth in first elimination.

2. Anderlecht
 p, 1:49.4f ($580,865)
(b.h., 6, Cams Card Shark ~ Princess Chablis ~ Artsplace)
Life Summary: 96-20-13-19
Owners: Black Road Stable, Cambridge & Point Zero Seven Racing, Burlington, Ontario
Breeders: White Birch Farm, NJ
Trainer: Igor Vrablic
Driver: Scott Coulter
Sale History: $14,000 Yearling 2006 Harrisburg Sale
Elimination Performance: Second in second elimination.

3. Foiled Again
 p, 1:48.3f ($2,338,969)
(b.g., 7, Dragon Again ~ In A Safe Place ~ Artsplace)
Life Summary: 126-50-31-11
Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC & JJK Stables, Pa & Fla.
Breeders: Barbara Matthews, SC
Trainer: Ron Burke
Driver: Yannick Gingras
Sale History: $20,000 Yearling 2005 Harrisburg Sale
Elimination Performance: Winner second elimination.

4. Aracache Hanover p, 3, 1:50.1f ($791,173)
(br.h., 4, Dragon Again ~ Armbro Cachet ~ Camluck)
Life Summary: 35-12-3-7
Owners: William Switala & James Martin, NY
Breeders: Hanover Shoe Farms, Pa.
Trainer: Gregg McNair
Driver: Sylvain Filion
Sale History: $37,000 Yearling 2008 Harrisburg Sale
Elimination Performance: Third in second elimination.

5. Valentino
 p, 3, 1:49.3 ($391,462)
(br.h., 4, Rocknroll Hanover ~ Schoolofcardknocks ~ Cams Card Shark)
Life Summary: 46-8-6-7
Owners: KDM Stables Corp & JL Benson Stables, NY & Fla.
Breeders: David Meirs & Hill View Enterprises, NJ
Trainer: Nick Surick
Driver: Jason Brewer
Sale History: $80,000 Yearling 2008 Harrisburg Sale.
Elimination Performance: Fourth in second elimination.

6. Art Professor p, 4, 1:50s ($325,807)
(b.h., 4, Art Major ~ Allamerican Toffee ~ Western Hanover)
Life Summary: 39-14-6-8
Owners: Brad Grant, Milton & Holland Racing Stable, Aurora, Ontario
Breeders: Spring Haven Farm, Ohio & Lake To Sky Farm, Ore.
Trainer: Ben Wallace
Driver: Jody Jamieson
Sale History: $100,000 Yearling 2008 Lexington Select Sale, $200,000 Purchase 2010 Harrisburg Sale.
Elimination Performance: Winner first elimination, placed second for interference.

7. Rock Me Please p, 4, 1:50.3s ($259,007)
(b.h., 4, Rocknroll Hanover ~ Please Me Please ~ Camluck)
Life Summary: 20-5-3-5
Owners: Mardon Stables, Loretto, Bob McIntosh Stables, Windsor, Carlo Rovella, Toronto, Ont. & John McCormack, Kelowna, BC
Breeders: Susan Grange & Lothlorien Centre, Ont.
Trainer: Bob McIntosh
Driver: Mike Saftic
Sale History: Private Sale, March 2011
Elimination Performance: Third in first elimination.

8. Atochia p, 4, 1:49.1f ($970,458)
(br.g., 6, Dragon Again ~ Hot Shot Michelle ~ Artsplace)
Life Summary: 101-20-29-17
Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC & JJK Stables, Pa & Fla.
Breeders: Linda & Lee DeVisser, Mi.
Trainer: Ron Burke
Driver: Dave Palone
Sale History: $75,000 Yearling 2006 Harrisburg Sale.
Elimination Performance: Second, placed first, in first elimination.

As part of its Friday 'Pool Party', the Horseplayers Association of North America’s Harness Racing division 'HANA Harness' has selected the races for Western Fair's late Pick 4: the $300,000 Molson Pace, the $25,000 Molson Pace Consolation/Invitational, a Preferred Pace, and the $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold final for pacing fillies. Several ADWs have jumped on board and are offering you brand new rewards for the big evening.

'Pool Parties' were first introduced in 2009 where horseplayers would gather to bet a specific pool on a specific day or evening to show support for a racetrack which is being customer friendly in a myriad of ways. Western Fair Raceway has been customer friendly of late, with free programs, a reduction in takeout (15 per cent) on its Pick 4, and guaranteed pools.

Western Fair Raceway wishes to advise its customers that they will be able to wager on this year's Molson Pace program, beginning Friday at 12:00 p.m. (noon) E.S.T.

Those customers elsewhere are asked to contact your racetrack or simulcast outlet as to when wagering on the Molson Pace card will be available at your locale.

First post for Friday's 14-race program from Western Fair is 7:05 p.m. (E.S.T.) and close to $950,000 in purse money will be up for grabs. The Molson Pace itself will also be carried as part of The Meadowlands program as a separate pool event.

Please note that the opinions expressed in the featured interview are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect Rideau Carleton Raceway and/or Standardbred Canada.

May 26, 2011 - 2:05 pmJoe FitzGerald Speaking of

Joe FitzGerald

Speaking of Atochia, take note of the fact that he, Foiled and Aracache are three of the many Dragon Again's who stand against the modern obsession with flying around mile, 7/8 and 5/8 tracks. These Dragon Again's are throwbacks who can scoot around the tight turns of a half-miler like sports cars. Foiled has banked more than $1.25 million on half-mile tracks--$500,000 of that not at Yonkers Raceway. Hail Dragon Again, Dragon's Lair and Tyle B.

The notion that the Big Jim camp would even consider pulling a SBSW and skipping the Jug is a shame. It seems like the owner and trainer are both inclined to go to Delaware, and I hope they do.


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