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Cantab Hall set for Trot

August 25, 2004

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Trainer Ron Gurfein says Cantab Hall is "doing fine" and will be shipping from Lexinton to Hawthorne Racecourse Thursday for Saturday's (Aug. 28) $391,200 Yonkers Trot, the second leg of the trotting Triple Crown.

The race has been temporarily moved to the suburban Chicago racetrack while Yonkers Raceway undergoes renovation construction to accommodate the anticipated installation of video lottery terminals.

The second jewel in the Triple Crown will be the first start for Cantab Hall since finishing second to Windsong's Legacy in the Triple Crown's first leg, the Hambletonian Aug. 7 at the Meadowlands. Cantab Hall has drawn post position five with Mike Lachance driving.

Instead of finding a race for Cantab Hall, Gurfein trained the Self Possessed colt in 1:54.2 at The Red Mile last Friday (Aug. 20) despite a sore back. "I trained Cantab Hall on Monday (Aug. 16), and it had been so long since he trained he felt so good he tried to kick me out of the bike and I hurt my back," Gurfein said. "I was flat on my back for two days, that's why I didn't go to Springfield. But I recovered in time to train him on Friday."

Gurfein says the Yonkers Trot is a hard race to figure out. "There's a lot of question marks in that race," he said. "Eilean Donon didn't look right; Tom Ridge is coming of a poor performance (and throat surgery). My horse and Trond's (Smedshammer) horse (Hambletonian winner Windsong's Legacy) are coming off normal performances. It's hard to figure out where you want to be and hard to figure out how you want to handle the situation. One way or another Mike (driver Mike Lachance) will figure it out."
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