Trio of Teague trainees tantalize in trials
from Harrah's Chester publicity department
The second day of pre-meet qualifiers at Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack (Friday, April 16) saw a number of notable performances, including four winning performances from the George Teague, Jr. stable. While Fancyfreeshark was a handy winner in 1:55.3, the trio of Delmarvalous, Barber Pole, and Windfall Blue Chip were nothing short of sensational.
Delmarvalous led the Teague brigade in the third race with a 1:53.4 performance, showing a :54.1 last half and a :26.2 last quarter in rein to Montrell Teague. Qualifying in such fine form and having been a dominant force in Delaware at two, the three-year-old Badlands Hanover colt's absence from the recently completed Delaware Standardbred Breeders' Fund series at Dover Downs comes as a bit of a curiosity.
"Not to downgrade the Delaware stakes at all, but we went in the direction of the national stakes circuit," commented trainer George Teague, Jr. :I think we're better off picking our spots and letting the Delaware stakes go by."
"It was only his first qualifier," continued the elder Teague. "Even though it was a big last half, he did hit easily. Our expectations are very high for him, and we don't want to get him cranked up too early. We're hoping to get him to the Meadowlands Pace, the North America Cup, and to race in the Delaware stakes we'd have had to get him in top form a month and a half ago."
Just as Delmarvalous capitalized on a pocket trip with an uncanny late turn of foot, Barber Pole used similar tactics en route to an astonishing 1:51.3 win, showing a :54.1 back half and a :26.3 last quarter, again with Montrell in the bike. The four-year-old Badlands Hanover entire showed the fastest qualifying effort of the day, and looks to develop the raw talent he showed as a two- and three-year-old into a promising season for 2010.
"Early last season, he paced in 1:49.1 as easily as a horse could," remarked George Teague. "We then sent him to Pocono for the Hempt Memorial, and it seemed like he had a heat stroke coming out of it, and some other issues.
"The last couple times we trained him, I noticed he came back as fast as he used to. He's got huge speed."
The last qualifier of the day saw Windfall Blue Chip rate a half-mile in a glacial :59.2 before turning up the tempo on the backstretch, reaching three-quarters in 1:28.0 and drawing away steadily to complete a 1:54.3 mile over thirteen lengths clear of his nearest competitor. The younger Teague drove this three-year-old Art Major colt to victory, and he's also got an ambitious schedule ahead of him, including a possible stop at the Battle of the Brandywine on Super Stakes Sunday.
One pre-meet qualifying session remains on Tuesday, April 20. Horsemen should be advised to enter on the day prior.