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Two-Decade Wait For Second Chance

Published: July 13, 2018 9:27 am ET

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Quebec racehorse owner Daniel Plouffe will get his second crack at the Meadowlands Pace on Saturday with the morning-line favourite, Courtly Choice.

He's hoping for a better outcome than his first shot 19 years ago, when his superstar pacer Blissfull Hall -- voted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame this year -- got buried on the rail and was hemmed in for the entire mile, ultimately finishing seventh in the most disappointing result of a championship season.

"(Driver) Daniel Dube texted me the other night, after Courtly Choice won his elimination, and said he never got to the wire in a 1:49 race with as much horse as he had with Blissfull (in 1999)," said Plouffe. "The way the race unfolded, he was just never able to get out."

Courtly Choice, pictured victorious during his Meadowlands Pace elimination at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Courtly Choice, who captured his Pace elimination in a career-best 1:48.2 mile for driver David Miller after being supplemented to the race at a cost of $61,690, drew post five for the $701,830 final. That was a relief for Plouffe, who co-owns the three-year-old son of Art Major with partners Hutt Racing Stable, Mac and Heim Stable and Touch Stone Farms. Blissfull Hall, who also won his elimination, had the rail in the 1999 final.

"I'd rather have the five than the one, but nothing in racing is ever guaranteed," said Plouffe. "I'm just happy to be there again, happy for Blake (MacIntosh, the trainer), happy for my partners. And if we can finish among the leaders, so much the better."

The field for the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace appears below.

(PP - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line)
1 - Stay Hungry - Doug McNair - Tony Alagna - 3/1
2 - This Is The Plan - Tim Tetrick - Chris Ryder - 15/1
3 - American History - Yannick Gingras -Tony Alagna - 5/1
4 - Jimmy Freight - Louis-Philippe Roy - Andrew Harris - 9/2
5 - Courtly Choice - David Miller - Blake MacIntosh - 5/2
6 - Nutcracker Sweet - Brian Sears - Jimmy Takter - 15/1
7 - Hayden Hanover - Andy Miller - Julie Miller - 8/1
8 - Thinkbig Dreambig - Jordan Stratton - Jimmy Takter - 12/1
9 - Babes Dig Me - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna - 30/1
10 - Dorsoduro Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 15/1

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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