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Southbound Trucker is back in Monticello winner's circle

June 30, 2010
HOME PRINT

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Last year Southbound Trucker was the Horse of the Year here at Monticello Raceway. This season his prowess and lack of competition has kept him away for the most part. However, on Tuesday afternoon, June 29  Director of Racing Eric Warner  finally filled a winners/over pace  and Southbound Trucker didn’t have to ship out of town for a race.

The Trucker’s return to Mighty M was welcomed by all and he didn’t disappoint. With usual teamster Greg Merton aboard, Southbound Trucker was victorious in a time of 1:56:3 collaring a stubborn Cactus Creek (Jimmy Marohn, Jr.)  in the final  strides.

“He’s a tough old guy and  he really loves this track,” “Merton said  about Southbound Trucker after their victory. “ He went the whole mile on the outside and it didn’t matter at all. He likes nothing  in front of him. He’ll just do his work… and do what he wants to do.  But he’s always there at the wire. He’s a big favorite of mine.”

Merton wasn’t exaggerating about being  on the limb.  After he started from the eight-hole Southbound Trucker never saw the  pylons and  throughout the mile  the 7-year-old Sharky Spur gelding kept grinding away at  Cactus Creek  who was on the front-end and  set the fractions.

The Trucker finally worked his way even with Cactus Creek  as the field headed for the three quarters and the  two leaders  raced side by side around the final turn. Bilmar Rustler and Zeke Parker  had a perfect two-hole trip behind Cactus Creek from the get-go  and when the three pacers rounded the final turn it appeared that Bilmar Rustler might be the strong horse  in the lane.

But that was not to be. Though Parker had room in the passing lane the front two proved too strong and the gritty Cactus Creek didn’t fold. Only Southbound Trucker’s determination made him a head winner.

“One thing about the old guy,” Merton added. “You can’t hit him. He doesn’t like the whip. And really he never needs much urging, anyway. He’s honest… he knows where he’s at and he knows what  he’s got to do.”

As a testament to Merton’s words last season  Southbound Trucker won 16 races. This season, due to lack of local competition, Southbound Trucker only raced 13 times  and has  won three races. But still his seasonal bankroll tops $37,000.

Owned by George Stamatien and trained by his dad Art Stamatien, Southbound Trucker paid  $6.80 for win. (Monticello)

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