Northern Chief upset again at Monticello
January 14, 2011
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For over three months Northern Chief remained undefeated at Monticello Raceway, but on Dec. 31 he was nailed at the wire in a tight three-horse photo and finished second, beaten by a nose for all the marbles. On Thursday afternoon, after once again cutting the fractions, the veteran pacer couldn’t hold off Doug’s Boy who rallied down the lightning lane to score a 1 1/4- length victory in 2:00.1 for owner-driver Alan Schwartz.
Schwartz sent Doug’s Boy to the lead from post three and parked Mike Merton and Northern Chief to the quarter in :28.4 before he let them go. After that Schwartz sat still and didn’t go anyway since he decided to keep Doug’s Boy tight up behind Northern Chief the rest of the way.
Sitting still and watching others come first- over at the halfway point by the time the field rounded the final turn, Schwartz had Doug’s Boy in perfect position to charge down the passing lane. And when Northern Chief straightened in the lane Schwartz ducked inside and Doug’s Boy charged by the leader and went on to an easy triumph.
"I was surprised my old guy had enough in him too be as strong as he was in the stretch but ever since I bought him last summer he has been a whole lot more than I ever expected (him to be)," Schwartz said.
Since Schwartz purchased the 10-year-old Cambest gelding he won seven races with him over the last four months of 2010.
"I guess I just got lucky with him," Schwartz added. "I knew he was a pretty nice horse when he was younger so, not giving too much for him, I figured I’d take a chance and I’ve have been nothing but happy with him since he’s been in our barn."
The victory by Doug’s Boy was in the claiming series named in honor of the late Dominic Macedonio, a local horseman who spent nearly his entire career racing at Monticello Raceway. Now with a win and a third in the series Doug’s Boy has a good chance to earn a berth in the series finale on Jan. 27.
Doug’s Boy, trained by Raheem Strong, paid $5.10 for win. (Monticello)