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Lachance hopes Rooney is child's play
Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - by Harness Racing Communications, a division of the USTA

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Little Kate Elizabeth Lachance, age four months, has yet to hit an important milestone for a baby from a harness racing family.  The granddaughter of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance and daughter of trainer/driver Patrick Lachance has not yet made the trip to the winner’s circle after a race. For that matter, "she hasn't even been to the track yet," says father Patrick, but that could all change this weekend.

Kate's father trains and drives Forensic Z Tam, winner of his $40,000 elimination race for the $1 million Art Rooney Memorial Pace, to be held Saturday at Yonkers Raceway, outside New York City.  Forensic Z Tam, a son of Bettor's Delight, owned by William Matz, of Nanuet, New York, made a big impression in his first victory of the season on May 26 in the Rooney elimination, winning by a half length in 1:52.4 after gong three wide at the half and then two wide to the three quarters in 1:23.3.

Lachance, who drove the horse from post five, wasn't looking to go three wide.

"I didn't have a choice,” he said. “The horse on the outside, first over [eventual sixth-place finisher Ideal Vintage], was parked and if I didn't go around him, I would have been sitting last. We got back in at the three quarters and he had plenty of pace."

Lachance has trained the first foal of $167,000 winner Lady Indigo since he was a yearling. The colt was a $50,000 purchase at the Lexington Select Sale. "He was just a good looking horse, good conformation," said Lachance. "I like buying horses from Dr. Stephen Dey, who raised him. Everything fit what I like."

The New York-bred won two races and was second twice on New York Sires Stakes circuit half-mile tracks last year, but also had a stakes win in the $94,800 Bluegrass at the Red Mile in Kentucky, a mile track. "He's just as good on a big track or a small track; he's handy each way," said Lachance.

He prepped the colt for the Rooney with three qualifiers at the Meadowlands and an overnight event on May 19 at Yonkers.

"That was just to get him around Yonkers one time before he raced," said Lachance. "He was in against older horses, so I was conservative with him. He finished real strong up the rail I was real happy with him. He's very handy, either way; you can race him on the front or come from behind. He's a very handy horse; you can do anything you want with him.”

Lachance is also handling training duties on Home Bed Advantage, who was third in the same Rooney elimination as Forensic Z Tam. Home Bed Advantage is ordinarily in the stable of Dave McCaffrey, based in Chicago, but is with Lachance while competing on the East Coast. He was the winner of eight of nine starts last year and $247,775, but is winless in four starts this year.

"I was following him and he was following the horse [Ideal Vintage] that was parked,” said Lachance. “We moved around the parked horse together. I got him right after the Berry's Creek [on May 5] and he's just getting better and better every week. He was a little flat in the Bery's Creek final and he had some issues that we ironed out. He gets better every week now. He got sick and he just wasn't healthy and not eating much. We just got him to eat better and got him healthier; he's eating a different feed now."

Tony Morgan drove him in the elimination and will drive in the final, said Lachance.

This is the 17th edition of the race that is named for Art Rooney Sr., the late patriarch of the Rooney family, owners of Yonkers Raceway. The senior Rooney also owned Standardbreds and was one of the founding owners in the National Football League. The Rooney family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is the first time the race has been conducted at the track since 2003; it was held at Monticello last year and was not contested in 2004 or 2005 while the track was under construction for the addition of 5,500 video lottery machines.

Below is the field in alphabetical order for Saturday’s $1 million Art Rooney Memorial at Yonkers Raceway in New York.

Horse

2007 Record

Driver

Trainer

Owner(s) or Lessees

Forensic Z Tam

2-1-1-0      $26,500     1:52.4H

P. Lachance

P. Lachance

Z Tam Racing

Glass Pack

4-1-1-1      $19,300     1:54.1H

G. Brennan

R. Banca

P. Heffering, J. Silva

Home Bed Advantage

4-0-0-3      $28,920  Q1:54.3M

T. Morgan

P. Lachance

MJGB Racing Stable, D. McCaffrey

Mattdultery

2-0-0-1      $4,800    Q1:54.4M

Y. Gingras

G. Teague Jr.

W. Camp Jr., Teague Inc., Double Down

Poker Hat

2-0-0-0      $3,200       N/A

J. Morrill Jr.

R. Norman

D. McDuffee

Southwind Lynx

2-1-0-0      $10,075     1:51.3M

T. Tetrick

G. Teague Jr.

K & R Racing, Teague Inc.

Takeshigemichi

3-1-2-0      $104,072   1:50.0F

D. Dube

A. Mannino

Lightning Stable

Tivoli Hanover

4-2-2-0      $182,048   1:51.0F

E. Goodell

C. Oakes

S. Oakes, R. Phillips

In addition to the Rooney, the $242,620 Lismore (formerly Rose of Tralee) will be held Saturday at Yonkers. Six fillies entered the race, so no eliminations were necessary. The field in alphabetical order is; Artcotic, Elusive Prey, Go On BB, Philadelphia, Southwind Tempo, and Trinity Islands.


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