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Gimpanzee Jolts To Graduate Win

Published: June 28, 2020 1:22 am ET

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It wasn’t easy, but Gimpanzee came from well off the pace to win one of two $50,000 divisions of the Graduate Series’ second leg for trotting four-year-olds in a lifetime-best 1:50.2 on Saturday (June 27) at the Meadowlands.

Driver Brian Sears opted to race the two-time Breeders Crown and New York Sire Stakes champion from off the pace after a highly contentious several-horse scrum into the first turn had him take back to seventh at the quarter.

“I knew the horse to beat was Chin Chin Hall and I wasn’t going to press my horse early,” said Sears.

The son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows was sixth in a third-over flow at three-quarters as Chin Chin Hall was sailing along on the lead.

But Gimpanzee still had plenty of fuel in the tank.

Despite having four-and-a-half lengths to make up through the final three-sixteenths, the Marcus Melander trainee was up to the task, rocketing home in :27 to best Chin Chin Hall by a half-length. Kings County was third.

“Gimpanzee is everything you want in a racehorse,” said Sears. “I thought [Chin Chin Hall] was going to be spent [in the latter stages] and I thought we had a chance. My horse is a gamer and knows what we are trying to accomplish. He put his head down and did what he had to do.”

Gimpanzee paid $2.60 to win as the 1-5 favourite in raising his lifetime numbers to 19 wins from 25 starts, good for earnings of $1,770,111 for owners Courant Inc and S R F Stable.

Southwind Avenger won the other Graduate division in 1:51.3 at odds of 22-1, one of four victories on the night for driver Andy McCarthy.

After a :27.3 first quarter McCarthy gunned the Richard "Nifty" Norman trainee to the point and led past a :56 half before yielding command to Soul Strong. Sitting in the pocket through three-quarters in 1:24, McCarthy readied his charge into the stretch as Soul Strong tired, lunging Southwind Avenger to the front in the final strides to score the upset. Winnerup skimmed the cones for second while Reign Of Honor split horses late for third.

Dont Letem, the 4-5 favourite, broke at the start and finished last in the field of nine.

Owned by Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee and Little E LLC, Southwind Avenger paid $47.20 to win.

A LITTLE MORE: Geez Joe gunned down 3-5 favourite Sintra for a second-straight week in taking the overnight feature, the Preferred Pace, in 1:48.2 as the 9-2 second choice.

Wagering on the 13-race card totaled $2,863,730. Betting has now exceeded the $2.5-million mark the last 15 racing programs.

Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. (EDT). Patrons will be welcomed back into the Meadowlands at 25 percent capacity.

(with files from the Meadowlands)

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