Lazarus to tackle Canadian Derby

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The next step for champion racehorse Lazarus has been confirmed with connections of the two-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner making a US$40,000 payment for him to race in the Canadian Pacing Derby.

The Kiwi star will take to the track for an elimination of the Derby at Woodbine this weekend, looking to follow up his remarkable American debut victory with another success for trainer, Jimmy Takter.

Woodbine Communications confirmed that the owners of Lazarus, who was purchased out of New Zealand for reportedly more than $4 million, had made the payment by deadline time on Monday and he was all clear to take to the track again this weekend.

Brought by Taylor Made Stallions with a view to enhancing his chances of becoming a dual-hemisphere sire and, potentially, a world record for a mile, Lazarus has made a big impression since his arrival in the Northern Hemisphere and there has been huge interest in his movements from harness racing fans across the globe.

He stepped out at in the US$325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park a fortnight ago and produced a stunning performance from the outside gate to win in 1:48.8 - an effort which pushed his driver, Yannick Gingras to suggest that the $2.6 million earner down under could pace 1:46 flat at some point during his career in North America.

“A lot of things need to happen to get down to that speed, but I think he can do it,” Gingras said in the aftermath of the success.

While a lot of eyes will be on Lazarus when he steps out again this weekend, a few of his former stablemates will make a much more unspectacular return to racing on Kiwi soil when they contest the first race for New Zealand Trotting Cup contenders at Addington on Thursday night.

Former Auckland Cup winner Dream About Me will join her stablemate, Thefixer, in the National Handicap Pace on Thursday night alongside other Cup contenders in Alta Orlando, Classie Brigade and Captain Dolmio.

Tim Williams will rekindle his relationship with the six-year-old Dream About Me while co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen will drive Thefixer.

John Dunn has elected to take the reins on the Southland-owned staying star Captain Dolmio in the race with Gavin Smith picking up the driving duties on Alta Orlando.

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