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Gingras On Pastor Stephen Placing


Published: September 14, 2010 4:20 pm ET

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Race fans from all over have had over a month to give their opinion on the placing of Pastor Stephen in the $500,000 Peter Haughton Memorial. Now, the colt's driver, Yannick Gingras, has chimed in.

"I don't think that was the right call. I don't think that changed the outcome of the race at all. Mike got back in the hole, where he was going to go anyway. Pierce was on the front, where he was going to be anyway," Gingras said during a recent interview with the Woodbine Entertainment Group.

Pastor Stephen's trainer, Jimmy Takter, filed an appeal of the judges' decision just days after the race took place.

In the Haughton, the then-undefeated Pastor Stephen took control of the race from the rail spot. At the :27.3 first quarter mark, Charlie De Vie (driven by Mike Lachance) pulled the pocket but was jammed up and ducked back to the pylons as Pastor Stephen put in a few steps in front of him. From there, Leader Of The Gang (Ron Pierce) brushed up from third taking over at the :56.3 half-mile mark.

2010 Peter Haughton Memorial

As the field raced to three-quarters 1:25.3, Neal (John Campbell) went first up from fourth and pushed ahead down the stretch while Pastor Stephen came flying home on the outside to stop the clock in 1:55.2. The Lindy Reserve had rallied from the backfield in :28.2 to finish second. Pastor Stephen was, however, disqualified for causing interference in the backstretch, when, according to the presiding judges, he jammed Charlie De Vie and Leader Of The Gang. Consequently, Pastor Stephen was placed sixth behind Charlie De Vie. The Lindy Reserve was second placed first in 1:55.3 with Neal and Leader Of The Gang bumped up to second and third.

"It's horse racing," Gingras continued. "My horse knuckled over. It's like a horse that hits its knees -- it took a bad step. My horse took a bad step, but was never offstride. I think he should've stayed as a winner."

Gingras and Pastor Stephen will be looking for a big score in Saturday's $500,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot. After having won his elimination by a half-length in 1:56 last weekend, Pastor Stephen (PP2, Y. Gingras) will surely be an attractive wagering option for those playing Mohawk's stakes-packed Saturday card.

"My horse is really good. He's a nice colt and always gets to put his nose in front. He never wins by a whole lot, but he's a winner, which is the main thing," Gingras explained.

"He's really handy. You can leave a quarter in 27 (seconds) with him and take right back to last if you want to. It's definitely a big edge for a two-year-old trotter. Now, knock on wood that I'm not jinxing him, but he's really steady and square-gaited, so that's definitely a plus, too."

The $500,000 Wellwood Memorial and the $466,000 Peaceful Way Stakes will be a couple of very high-profile undercard dashes on the 13-race program. The $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-olds will be taking centre stage on the evening.

Mohawk will offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000 on Saturday’s early Pick-4 as part of the festivities. Fans that can’t make it to the track can watch live coverage of the CTC and William Wellwood during a two-hour special, from 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., on The Score.

To view the entries for Saturday at Mohawk, click here.

(Note: In an effort to consolidate feedback on the Haughton placing, if you wish to leave a comment, please do so here.)

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