Teague\'s duo ready to roll
May 11, 2007
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Total Truth, the 2006 Pacer of the Year, and Western Ace will debut as 4 year olds for trainer George Teague Jr. in the $50,000 Graduate prep on Saturday night at the Meadowlands, and they\'ll be ready to roll, said Teague. \"I don\'t believe in that popular theory of horses needing one or two races to get into shape,” Teague said. “I want to send them out ready. That\'s why I qualified them three times, the last one a 1:50 and change-win for each.”
The entry is rated at 5-1 on the morning line in the Graduate prep, Saturday night’s third race. Total Truth [#1] drew the rail with driver Ron Pierce, while Western Ace [#1A] will start from the far outside, post eight, with Brian Sears. The eight horses in the prep race will join Lis Mara in the $285,000 Graduate final on Saturday, May 19.
“It was a long year for them last season,” Teague added. “They came out in April to qualify, raced in May and didn\'t stop until early December. So I took my time coming back. That\'s one of the best things about owning them yourself. You can pick and choose when you want to race them and take your time if you think you need to.\"
Total Truth was the top money-earner in the pacing ranks last year and was named Pacer of the Year over Lis Mara in a 71-62 vote. He ended the season with a record of eight wins in 19 starts and $1,494,222 in earnings. Total Truth is the second horse in three years that Teague sent out to Pacer of the Year honors. He first stepped into the national spotlight with Rainbow Blue, who was also named Horse of the Year, in 2004. Teague is the only trainer ever to have both a male and a female pacer lead earnings list at the end of the season. Rainbow Blue\'s $1,195,010 season in 2004 is still a single season earnings record for a pacing filly or mare.
“Total Truth has filled out a bit more,” Teague said. “He’s more muscular. He was a little bigger than Western Ace to start with. He\'s real sound, no lameness issues at all, perfect. There no setbacks with him during the winter or early spring.\"
Although Western Ace raced in the shadow of his stablemate and Artistic Fella last year, he still earned an impressive $577,223 for the season, which catapulted his career bankroll to nearly $1.3 million. He had three wins--the Jug Preview at Scioto, an Adios elimination at The Meadows and the Matron Final at Dover--but also picked up sizable checks in the New Jersey Classic, North America Cup, Adios, Confederation Cup and Breeders Crown finals. At two, he captured the Woodrow Wilson at the Meadowlands and banked more than $700,000.
\"Western Ace grew some from three to four,” Teague said. “He looks and feels good. He felt super in his last qualifier, winning in 1:50 and a piece. He needed a big mile. They both did, if you are going to go out and race against horses like the free for allers, the older ones. He\'ll have to be ready to face that. I think they\'ll both hold their own.\" (Meadowlands press release)