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Lachance enjoys his visit to Monticello
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - by John Manzi, publicity director, Monticello Raceway

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Monticello, NY --- Patrick Lachance’s 131 driving victories at the 1998 meet at Monticello Raceway ranked him fourth in wins that year, and the following year the son of Hall of Famer Michel Lachance moved on to further his career.

Recently, he returned to the Mighty M -- and has picked up here where he left off years ago.

Tactical Rein N (Monticello Raceway/racehorsephoto.com)
Tactical Rein N, the favorite, rallied late and won the feature on Monday
His first appearance on June 1 resulted in a driving victory with a young 3-year-old pacer, and yesterday, June 12, he again ventured to the Catskills to drive Tactical Rein N in the track’s $15,000 Fillies and Mares Preferred pace, which resulted in another triumph.

The New Zealand-bred pacer had been competing at the Meadowlands, with fair success, and she was sent off as a weak, 2-1 betting favorite, but she was no stick-out in the race. However, she was given a patient drive by Lachance, who sat back off quick early fractions and came on and picked up all the marbles when it counted.

She rallied from fourth at the top of the stretch and scored a one-length victory, in 1:563, over Millwood Midnite N (Jimmy Devaux), who was responsible for parking out the co-favorite, Ms Raider, though a :272 first quarter-mile, which undoubtedly took a toll on the Larry Stalbaum-driven mare. Casino Miss finished third for driver Stephane Bouchard.

Tactical Rein N, owned by he MJGB Racing Stables of Nanuet N.Y., paid $6.20 to win.

Lachance was also impressed with the improvements at Monticello Raceway, made since he last drove and trained here years ago.

“I wish they had these purses when I was racing here,” he said, referring to the $3,200 top purse paid at the time he was a Mighty M regular. “I might never have left. But really, I’m happy for the boys (drivers) who stuck it out. Now at least they can make a decent living.”

Lachance was also impressed by his surroundings.

“Look at this paddock. It’s beautiful. It’s as good, if not better, than any I have raced out of,” he added.

Bikini Bottom (Monticello Raceway/racehorsephoto.com)

Monticello Raceway/racehorsephoto.com

Bikini Bottom and Stephane Bouchard were alone at the wire
Stephane Bouchard won four races on the card, and now has 166 wins here, which leads the local driving colony. One of his four triumphs came in a co-featured $12,500 winners-over race for fillies and mares, in which he guided Bikini Bottom to a one and one-half length victory over Lucky Angel, who was driven by Mike Merton.

Filly Finale (Larry Stalbaum) who cut the early fractions faded in the stretch and finished third.

Bouchard got a second-over trip from the half-mile pole onward, behind Lucky Angel, but at the top of the stretch he moved Bikini Bottom three-wide and the classy 3-year-old daughter of Cam’s Card Shark cruised to an easy victory, in 1:561.

Bikini Bottom, owned by Martin Scharf of Lawrence, N.Y. and Jeffrey Eckburg of Rockford, Ill., raised her 2006 earnings to over $90,000. Sent off as the odds-on favorite she paid $3.20 to win.


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