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Forensic Z Tam helps Lachance leap forward
Friday, February 15, 2008 - from the Meadowlands Publicity Department

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East Rutherford, NJ --- Forensic Z Tam and trainer Patrick Lachance are each going through their own growth spurt.

The pacer begins his career as an older horse in the $40,000 Aquarius on Saturday night, Feb. 16, at the Meadowlands, while his conditioner regroups after a series of professional and personal transitions.

Despite drawing outside posts in most of his stakes appearances, Forensic Z Tam had a lucrative 3-year-old season in 2007. He finished on the board in 14 of 20 starts and banked $584,823 while racing against the best of the sophomore class. Owned by Bill Matz's Z Tam Racing, Forensic Z Tam makes his 4-year-old debut in Saturday night's third race, the second leg of the Aquarius Series. He is rated at 8-1 from post four.

"Forensic Z Tam had a very good season despite the bad posts he had," Lachance said. "In the Art Rooney, post eight, in the Confederation Cup Final, post eight, and in the Breeders Crown, post nine. It's hard to get involved on a half-mile track. He was second in the Art Rooney, third in the Confederation Cup, and third in the Breeders Crown. He's a closer and that's the way he likes to race, but he would have made more money with some inside draws.

"I think the way I was forced to race him last year will make him an even better older horse," he continued. "I might be in different situations where I can use him leaving and get a better spot. He'll be stronger and more mature. We went pretty aggressive with him in staking him this year. We took a shot at the tougher open level, but we think he earned it. The Aquarius Series is a good way to get him tight."

After experiencing some growing pains in his career two years ago, Pat Lachance got his stable back into a winning rhythm in 2007.

"I don't know if I had too much on my plate between my personal life changing, getting married, driving and training," he said. "Now things are just more comfortable and we're settled into our home. I actually have more time to think about the horses and I'm just in a better place right now.

"I've been doing most of my overnight racing at Yonkers and on the New York Sires Stakes circuit," he continued. "With the horses I had, it just fit my program better. Image Of Dawn had to be in a claimer at the Meadowlands and I might have lost him. Last year, he made over $200,000 for me. Also, Best Chance Hanna made $160,000 and Sir Valahad banked over $100,000. They consistently raced at the open level and I didn't have to keep exchanging horses all the time."

The 32-year-old son of Hall of Famer Mike Lachance posted career numbers in 2007, winning 160 races and $2,788,159 as a driver, and 73 races and $2,108,190 as a trainer.

"When I had (free for all pacer) Casimir Camotion and he was on his game, nobody was pointing fingers at me," he said. "Then, things weren't going good and I had to change things around. It worked out and the barn made over $2 million last year. For me, it was the best thing.

"At the Meadowlands you simply need power, and I was driving well, but it seemed like my horses weren't progressing. I decided to take a step back and let somebody else drive. That didn't help much, so I had to make another move. At Yonkers, I'm managing the stable well and my horses fit better. I'm glad I was able to turn things around because it definitely wasn't fun."

Lachance lives just three miles away from his stable at Showplace Farms in Englishtown, N.J., with his wife, Megan, and their 1-year-old daughter, Kate Elizabeth. Lachance will have another happy transition in his life this spring. He and Megan are expecting a son in May.

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