He's been immersed in the horse industry nearly his entire life, but Duncan Taylor admitted there is plenty of emotion involved when it applies to Lazarus N's North American and Grand Circuit debut in the 25th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes on Friday (Aug. 10) evening at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
“When we had the opportunity to become partners on California Chrome and preparing to watch him race for the first time we were truly over the moon,” said the CEO of Taylor Made Sales and Stallions. “To have a horse like him was a dream come true, but I feel the same way about Lazarus. Like California Chrome he has proven himself, but it is very exciting to see what he will do in the U.S.”
The world will most certainly be watching when Lazarus N takes on eight extremely competitive rivals in this year's edition at the Anderson oval. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the horse will commence his journey from post position nine with Yannick Gingras holding the lines in the 11th race on the card.
Despite the outside post, Lazarus N has been installed as the 6-5 morning line selection. His journey, however, will certainly be impacted by the presence of Dan Patch Award winner and world champion McWicked (post position six, Brian Sears, 2-1), 2017 Levy Memorial victor Bit Of A Legend N (post position five, Jordan Stratton, 12-1) and Breeders Crown winners Beckham's Z Tam (post position five, Ricky Macomber Jr., 20-1) and Split The House (post position two, Trace Tetrick, 20-1).
“We realize there are some very nice horses in this field and are not taking this lightly,” Taylor, who operates his business in conjunction with his brothers Ben, Frank and Mark and partner Pat Payne, said. “We just hope the horse provides a true account of himself. Jimmy has totally been the decision-maker in all things when it comes to him, but we trust his judgment.”
Although Lazarus N is not a two-time Horse of the Year like California Chrome, his credentials are just as impressive. Known as the Wonder from Down Under, the 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight-Bethany earned $2.66 million while capturing 35 of his 45 career engagements. He has failed to hit the board on only one occasion.
Lazarus N is the richest Standardbred of all time from the Southern Hemisphere and the New Zealand-bred established seven track records at various distances while being conditioned by Mark Purdon. The stallion was New Zealand's Pacer of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is that nation's defending Horse of the Year.
The industry received their first glimpse of the stallion in action at The Meadowlands on July 28 when he bested North America Cup winner Lather Up in a stellar 1:48.3 with an effortless :25.3 last quarter panel.
“In my experience with Thoroughbreds they usually need about 90 days or more to acclimate after arriving from the Southern Hemisphere,” Taylor said. “When Lazarus qualified he had only been here 50-plus days, but Jimmy said he was ready to go and the demonstrated he was. We could not have been more pleased with this qualifier.”
After Lazarus N appears at Hoosier Park the next engagement penciled in on his 2018 calendar is a trip to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations on Aug. 25. The ultimate goal is the Breeders Crown at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Oct. 20 and 28.
“That is the plan (Canadian Pacing Derby) as of now,” Taylor said. “In this sport you can make a tentative plan, but it is always about what is the best for the horse. We will just allow the horse to take us where he wants to go and looking forward to seeing what the future brings.
“We are also very excited about coming to Hoosier Park. We have never been there before and have only heard great things about the track and the facility.”
The Dan Patch Stakes, Indiana's richest harness race and reputed as one of North America's
premier races for older male pacers, will highlight the 14-race card and is set to be the 11th race on Friday, August 10 with a post time of 9:50 EDT. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information about the upcoming Dan Patch Stakes Festival weekend and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
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