Ashford Castle N repeats in $15,000 Monticello feature

by John Manzi, publicity director, Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY — To say that it was cold at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, March 6, would be a gross understatement. The temperature hovered around 4 degrees and the winds gusted up to 35 miles per hour. But the show went on. photo

Ashford Castle N was an easy seven length winner in the $15,000 feature.

In the weekly $15,000 Preferred Pace, Paul Kasofsky’s Ashford Castle N make it two in a row against the best pacers on the grounds. Jimmy Devaux was in the bike as the 7-year-old Holmes Hanover gelding actually made a laugher out of the contest.

Devaux fired his charge away from the starting gate from post five and when they passed the quarter pole in :28 they were a comfortable two lengths on the lead.

Still in command by two at the half-mile marker in :58.3, Ashford Castle N opened his lead to three lengths by the time he passed the three-quarter panel, and from there he just paced away from his competition.

Devaux and his pacer had six lengths in the final turn and that margin was increased to seven at the wire when the timer flashed 1:57.4. Handsome Jate, in rein to Jordan “the Kid” Stratton, finished second, one length ahead of Tough Customer (Yannick Gingras), who garnered the show dough.

For the New Zealand-bred Ashford Castle N, it was his fifth victory in seven seasonal starts and followed a 1:55, four length triumph in his last start under normal weather conditions.

Sent off as the odds-on favorite, Ashford Castle N paid $3.70 for win.

Devaux, currently third in driving victories (48) on the local leaderboard, also scored a 1:59 triumph behind Dr. R. James Shive’s P H Breakaway in a $30,000 claiming contest.

Hot-handed Yannick Gingras made yet another appearance at the Mighty M on Tuesday and came away with a driving victory in the $12,500 co-featured pace behind Robert Hiemstra’s All Shuttle.

Unlike nearly all the horses on the frigid and windy afternoon card who used the front end route to victory, All Shuttle was one of just a few who came from off the pace to score a triumph.

Actually, Gingras shadowed the pace-setter Starfire (Greg Merton) until the top of the lane and then rallied to victory over Starfire in a 1:57.3 clocking. Magic Who finished third for the meet’s leading driver, Larry Stalbaum.

Sent off as the favorite in the race, All Shuttle paid $3.90 for win.

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