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Eagle Luck Hoping For Luck Tonight

Published: August 16, 2008 4:01 pm ET

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Eagle Luck may have advanced to the Canadian Pacing Derby final by the skin of his teeth, but with an advantageous post position and a little luck behind him, the five-year-old son of Camluck could be ready to take a healthy chunk of the $702,000 purse.

"He's got a tough assignment tonight, up against Artistic Fella and Mister Big," admits trainer Gregg McNair, who has worked with Eagle Luck since he was a yearling. "But he's a real nice horse and he's competitive with most of the horses in the field. He's got a little gate speed, too, so with the good draw (post position 2) I guess he'll just follow them as far as he can follow them.

"Things would have to work out awfully good for him to win, but I think we can pick up a nice share of it."

Sylvain Filion will be at the lines tonight for Eagle Luck, who impressed many earlier this year when he pulled a 1:51.1 shocker out of his hat in the Molson Pace at London's Western Fair Raceway, defeating Grand Bend Turbo and Silent Swing, as well as the heavily favoured Tigerama.

In 79 lifetime starts, Eagle Luck has racked up 16 wins and close to $900,000 in earnings for owner Frank Dettore of North Ridgeville, Ohio.

Of course, the headliners in tonight's Pacing Derby are 6-5 favourite, Mister Big, who is riding a four-race win streak for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr., including an August 2 victory in the US Pacing Derby at the Meadowlands, and rival Artistic Fella, who was second in that contest and last defeated Mister Big on June 2 in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Harrahs Chester Casino, in a world record time of 1:48.0.

Won The West is another big gun who cannot be ignored - he has been well-placed in several big stakes this year for trainer Mickey Burke - but you can bet that many in the crowd at Mohawk this evening will be cheering on Eagle Luck, the hometown horse with his game face on.

As part of Saturday's festivities, it is also Family Fun Night with all sorts of wonderful activities for young and old alike. Thumbelina, the world's smallest horse, will be making her first-ever public appearance in Canada, as a special guest of the Canadian Pacing Derby program. The six-year-old miniature mare stands only 17.5 inches tall at the withers.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and first race post time on Saturday is 7:30 p.m. The Canadian Pacing Derby is race seven tonight, post time 9:41 p.m.

To view tonight's entries, click here.


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