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Shark Gesture wins Graduate final again

May 15, 2010

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If the $200,000 Graduate final was any indication, the free-for-all pacing class might be dominated by Shark Gesture, Won The West and Lisagain this year. Shark Gesture fought off pressure from both sides to earn his second straight victory in the $200,000 Graduate Final, winning with a 1:48.4 mile Saturday night at the Meadowlands.

Driven by George Brennan, Shark Gesture pressed the leader Won The West well before the half and was stretched out to make the top in a brisk :53.3. Lisagain came to call as they circled the far turn and the two horses were just heads apart as they started their sprint down the lane. With Won The West surging up the pylons to his inside and Lisagain still at his throat, Shark Gesture gamely fought back in the final strides for a half-length victory. Shark Gesture paid $3.40 to win the co-feature for older pacers.
“Going into the race, I figured I’d have to get down to the half in :53 if I was lucky enough to make the lead,” Brennan said. “That was the whole idea about picking the rail [elim winners picked their starting posts in the final]. I wanted to get away as best as I could and then try to move him to the lead, and it worked out perfectly. Lisagain never quit and then Won The West was coming up the inside and Shark just fought them both off. He’s absolutely one of the toughest horses I’ve ever raced and he proved it again tonight.”
A 7-year-old, New Jersey-sired son of Cam's Card Shark, Shark Gesture surpassed $2 million in earnings as he notched his second win in three starts this season. After embarking on a brief stud career in 2008, Shark Gesture was brought back to the racetrack in 2009 by trainers Larry and Ray Remmen. He went on to win seven of 29 races, including the Graduate and William R. Haughton Memorial finals, for seasonal earnings of $933,015. Shark Gesture is owned by Norman Smiley of Boca Raton, FL, Gerald Smiley of Cote Saint-Luc, Quebec and TLP Stable of Kearny, NJ.
“I knew he’d keep fighting, there’s no give up in him,” said Meadowlands’ all-time leading trainer Ray Remmen. “He’s got lots of ‘go’ and lots of heart. He’s by far the best horse I’ve ever trained.” (Meadowlands)
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