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Custard The Dragon Upsets In Hempt

Published: May 21, 2011 10:13 pm ET

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Custard The Dragon parlayed a pocket trip into a rallying victory in the 2011 $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race is Pocono’s premiere event for three-year-old colts and geldings on the pace.

Racing from an outside post in a field of nine as a 10-1 shot, Custard The Dragon was sent toward the front by driver Montrell Teague in the early going, settling into a pocket trip behind the 8-5 favourite Powerful Mist. The colt watched as Powerful Mist set nasty early fractions of 26:4 to the quarter and :55 to the half.

On the backstretch, the leaders got a break when some horses in the middle of the pack went off stride and slowed the momentum of the latter half of the field, leaving just Powerful Mist, Custard The Dragon, and Movie Idol in contention. The latter started to fade as Powerful Mist tripped the three-quarter pole timer in 1:22.

In the stretch, Teague tipped Custard The Dragon to the outside to make his move. He passed Powerful Mist just short of the finish line, ending up a winner by a half-length in 1:50:2 - a new career mark for the colt from the barn of trainer George Teague, Jr. Powerful Mist settled for second, while Movie Idol picked up the show.

The win marked the third Hempt champion that George Teague, Jr. has trained in the last four years. He also conditioned Badlands Nitro (2008) and Johnny Z (2009). This one might have been his most surprising, considering that Custard The Dragon, a son of Dragon Again, barely made the final after finishing ninth out of ten in last week’s Hempt elimination.

Custard The Dragon, owned by Ted Gewertz, Robert Feldman, George Teague, Jr. and Fannin Raching, won for the second time in four 2011 starts. It was his fifth lifetime victory, and the winner’s share of the hefty purse put his career earnings at $246,908.

(Pocono Downs)

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