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Banca scores again at MR

October 12, 2006
HOME PRINT

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The local Monticello Raceway horsemen are probably counting the days until trainer Richard Banca moves his stock back to the Meadowlands. And one could hardly blame them—the Ringwood, N.J., trainer has won 50 percent of the races that his horses have started in.

On Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 10, win number 16 (from just 32 starts) came for Banca when Bert Beckwith guided Norman Vartanian’s, Rare Jewel to an oh-so-easy, eight-length triumph over the best horses on the grounds at Monticello Raceway.

The 5-year-old Artiscape gelding scooted away to an early lead and then made every pole a winning on en route to a 1:53:4 victory, one of the fastest miles of the season at the Mighty M.

With Rare Jewel all alone on the front end the race was for second money and that went to Ameripan Patriot, in rein to Greg Merton, who came from fifth at the three quarters to finish second. Third place went to Shadows Best Buddy and driver Larry Stalbaum.

It was Rare Jewel’s third victory of the season and raised his seasonal earnings to over $108,000. He paid just $2.40 for win.

The meet’s leading driver, Stephane Bouchard, won four more races on the afternoon card. He scored with Starfire (1:56:1) in the first race; with Whistle Bear (1:55:3) in the fifth; with Flight Sign (1:54:4) in the 11th; and with BJ’s Breeze (1:56:2) in the 12th.

Bouchard is currently seventh in the nation in driving victories this season with 444 of which 302 were registered here at the Mighty M.

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