Trainer had a good feeling about Lugar
November 16, 2010
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Trainer Mark Friedman admitted he had a good feeling about the prospects for his 2-year-old trotter Lugar going into the $32,814 Florida Stallion Stake on the Monday evening program at The Isle Casino-Racing Pompano Park.
“Things went a little better than I expected,” Friedman proclaimed after the Famously-Chili Vanili freshman gelding captured a life’s mark of 1:58.3 in the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) Fall Series event. “I told (driver) Doug Brown all we really needed to win was one mistake by the other two top horses in there and this time everything went our way.”
Prairie Big John with Tom Sells in the bike was eagerly away as usual to put up the early fractions of :28.3 and :58.4. However, his continuing reluctance to be rated saw him abruptly give way to the pocket sitting favorite, Famous Hall with Wally Hennessey in the bike, well before the three-quarter call of 1:28.4. Lugar took advantage of the situation and bravened up on the back of Famous Hall and tipped out in the stretch. Famous Hall, who established a track record of 1:57.4 on Oct. 29, was coming off a sickness scratch and made a late stretch break leaving the victory to Lugar. Famous Hall survived an inquiry to hold second while Prairie Big John was far back in third.
Friedman has Lugar competing for the ownership of his Polo Stables. He campaigned former FSBOA filly pace champion Bling at Pompano in 2008 and 2009.
“We sold Bling in March of this year and she’s racing at Yonkers now, but the pattern is the same for Lugar,” Friedman explains. “I campaigned the dam of Bling and I also raced Chili Vanili, the dam of Lugar. In fact, Lugar is her first foal and I’m just ecstatic to see him get a 2-year-old record under 2:00. I’ve got two more entered in the Florida Stallion Stakes later this week and we haven’t had a big win like this since Bling was sold and went up north.” (Pompano Park)