Bangor, ME — Chocolate Biskit may be one of the favorite horses in the Deslandes Stable but after three years on the sidelines, his path back to the races, much less the winner’s circle, pegged him at times as the longest shot on the board.
Now a 10-year-old veteran, the son of Village Jiffy had enjoyed a successful career racing in the eastern provinces of his native Canada before venturing south to test his mettle along the Pine Tree Circuit in Maine. There, he quickly earned a reputation as a hard knocking warrior who loved to win races, but more importantly, he won the hearts and admiration of the husband and wife team of Kori and Dan Deslandes.
“We won 14 races with Biskit in 2019 before his connections took him home to race back in Canada,” explained stable manager Kori Deslandes, “We jumped at the chance to buy him after the 2020 season. We brought him back to Maine, gave him the winter off and planned to train him down to race here in 2021.”
Life and happenstance sometime have a cruel way of foiling the best laid plans though.
“We started training him down and suddenly he goes lame,” Deslandes continued. “The X-ray revealed he had a broken elbow so the new plan became a year off and stall rest, and plenty of pampering which included daily treats of his favorite cookies.
“In 2022, the new X-ray showed that the shoulder injury had healed completely so we started training him down again only to have him go lame on the other side. At this point Dan and I turned him out for another year and started to wonder if we should just call it quits.”
A new year brings fresh possibilities though and as 2023 rolled around, so did another chance for Chocolate Biskit to rebound.
“So many times Dan had debated whether to quit with him or not and questioned if he’d ever race again but he’s such a nice horse. He actually tries so hard and really wants to race so we kept giving him another chance,” said Deslandes.
On Wednesday (June 7) at Bangor Raceway, Chocolate Biskit repaid that vote of confidence with a dramatic victory in a $4,200 lower level conditioned event. With Dan Deslandes at the helm, the comeback kid tripped out third-over, looped three-wide around the final turn, and then split foes at the wire, persevering by a neck in 2:02.1 to notch his first win in nearly three years.
“Of all the horses in our 25 horse stable, I think Biskit stresses Dan out the most,” concluded Deslandes, “He’s definitely his pet and I know how much this win means to them both. Most people probably aren’t too impressed with a horse winning in 2:02 in NW1000L5 but we’re just so happy that he made it back to the races at all after so many years.”
After three years of determination, the long shot comeback came complete with long shot prices on the infield board. Sent to the gate at 26-1 odds, his true believers collected $54.20 for their show of confidence in Chocolate Biskit but the feeling of confidence, accomplishment, and joy that Kori and Dan Deslandes felt in the winner’s circle is priceless.
Bangor Raceway proudly features live harness racing every Wednesday at 3 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees going to post at 12:15 p.m.