Lazarus can get better
By Michael Guerin
The man with the best seat in the house says Lazraus can get better even after he downed many of North America’s best pacers again over the weekend.
The former Kiwi pacing hero led throughout in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby to hold out his new arch rival McWicked in the Indiana race on Saturday afternoon (NZ time).
In a near replay of his US debut four starts ago, Lazraus showed blistering gate speed and led and while he didn’t have much in reserve at the line he had done all the work early and into a strong wind down the back straight to stop the clock at 1:48.8
That victory takes Lazarus’s record to two wins and two seconds in four North American starts and while he is already beating the best free-for-allers up there, driver Yannick Gingras says Lazarus can go faster. And will need to.
“After having a virus a few weeks ago I am sure he is still getting back to his best,” said Gingras.
“He felt good but he can feel better still. He really is a very, very good horse.
“He looks like having some pretty regular racing coming up in the next six weeks and that should see him improve even more.” Lazarus is now being aimed at the US$150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby in Ohio on Friday night (Saturday NZ time), although
Gingras was not sure whether a start there was certain.
But the six-year-old has already been transferred to Kentucky where he will be based not only for the Dayton Derby but the feature open class mile at the lightning fast Red Mile track on October 6.
While Lazarus was embellishing his reputation in the US the last horse to nearly beat him in New Zealand, Dream About Me, made a long-overdue return to the winner’s circle in the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru yesterday.
Former stablemate Dream About Me, who pushed Lazarus to a half neck in the Ashburton Flying Stakes last October, made the most of a lucky break turning for home in yesterday’s $30,000 free-for-all to grab leader A G’s White Socks right on the line.
Dream About Me hadn’t won a race since the Auckland Cup 21 months ago and those who took the $1.80 yesterday wouldn’t have been feeling comfortable when she was parked early.
But after securing the one-one at the bell she was able to dive into the trail at the top of the straight when the trailer stopped, gifting her the passing lane run and the win in the latest step toward the New Zealand Cup on November 13.