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Four Starzzz Shark looks to repeat in the Haughton
Tuesday, July 6, 2004 - from the Meadowlands Publicity Department

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East Rutherford, NJ --- After a 1:474 victory in his elimination, Four Starzzz Shark is poised to become the only repeat winner in the history of the $700,000 William R. Haughton Memorial, the sport’s richest event for older pacers, which will be the seventh race this coming Saturday night at the Meadowlands.

Four Starzzz Shark has been installed as the even money morning line favorite and will start from post position two in the Haughton Final, with driver Michel Lachance in the sulky. The 2002 Haughton winner has won seven of eight starts this year and extended his current winning streak to five straight with the 1:474 clocking, which was a track and world record time for older horses -- and only one-fifth of a second off the Meadowlands’ all-age mark, set by the 4-year-old Jenna’s Beach Boy on June 22, 1996 in the Haughton, which was then called the Driscoll Series Final.

“I keep him happy and sound and Mike (Lachance) does the rest on the racetrack,” said Dave Sabatelli, the trainer of Four Starzzz Shark. “I’m not going to change anything this week. I wanted one more fifth of a second (for Jenna’s record). I don’t know where he can go. You need the right fractions, the right day, but I’m not worried about records, just winning races.”

In the fastest overall race card in Meadowlands history, averaging 1:494, Four Starzzz Shark’s mile eclipsed the older horse track and world record of 1:48 set by Western Ideal on July 29, 2000. Four Starzzz Shark, a 6-year-old son of Cam’s Card Shark, has banked more than $2.1 million for the FS Starzzzz Stables, Inc. of Glenwood, N.J.

His chief rival could be Life Source, who paced his Haughton Elimination mile in 1:48, a world record for older geldings. Life Source eclipsed the mark of 1:482 shared by Red Bow Tie, Art Dialing, and Armbro Proposal. Later on the Saturday night card, Eaton Road Kill equaled Life Source’s world record effort.

Life Source is rated as the 4-1 second choice and will leave from post three with driver Cat Manzi in the sulky. Trained by Richard J. Banca and owned by Richard T. Banca of Vernon, N.J., the 7-year-old Life Sign gelding has earned nearly $1.1 million.

“This is a swell horse, one of the nicest horses I’ve driven,” said Manzi after the fastest victory of his career. “Tonight he put it together, and I’m hoping next week he will put it together, too. I love racing that horse.”

The two elimination winners, Four Starzzz Shark and Life Source, are eligible for a 10 percent bonus. If either also wins on Saturday his connections will receive 10 percent of the final purse of $700,000 and the remaining 90 percent will be distributed 50 percent to the winner, 25 percent to second, 12 percent to third, eight percent to fourth, and five percent to fifth. If neither wins, the same distribution will take place -- but for 100 percent of the purse.

In accordance with New Jersey Racing Commission rules applied to stakes with purses of $500,000 or more, there will be no coupled entries in the Haughton Final.

Originally called the Governor Alfred E. Driscoll Series, the race was renamed in 1999 to honor Hall of Famer William R. Haughton, a harness racing legend regarded for his outstanding career on the racetrack and his dedication and service to his sport.

Headlining a weekend rich in stakes action, the W.R. Haughton Memorial will share the spotlight on Saturday night with 23 colts and geldings who will race in three $50,000 eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace. The $1 million Meadowlands Pace Final will be raced the following Saturday, July 17.

On Friday night, some 3-year-old trotters will face their next major hurdle to date; 23 colts will race in three $35,000 eliminations for the $382,000 Stanley Dancer Trot, and 25 fillies will race in three $25,000 eliminations for the $325,000 Delvin Miller Memorial, the last major preps for the $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, both of which will be raced on August 7. The Miller and Dancer finals will be raced on Friday, July 16. Here’s the field for the Haughton Final:

The $700,000 W.R. Haughton Memorial Final
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Line
1 - Art’s Chip - John Campbell - Joseph Poliseno - 15-1
2 - Four Starzzz Shark - Michel Lachance - Dave Sabatelli - 1-1
3 - Life Source - Cat Manzi - Richard J. Banca - 4-1
4 - Royal Mattjesty - John Campbell - Michael Langdon - 15-1
5 - Peruvian Hanover - Jim Morrill Jr. - Noel Daley - 12-1
6 - Allamerican Captor - Brian Sears - Virgil Morgan Jr. - 25-1
7 - Camcracker - Dan Dube - Mark Harder - 25-1
8 - Luckyisasluckydoes - George Brennan - Mark Harder - 12-1
9 - Mini Me - David Miller - Bill Popfinger - 6-1
10, Boulder Creek, Ron Pierce, Mark Silva, 10-1

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