Mystical Tenor wins fourth straight

by John Manzi, publicity director, Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY — Mystical Tenor scored his fourth consecutive triumph and fifth of the season when Stephane Bouchard reined the 6-year-old Art’s Conquest gelding to victory in Monticello Raceway’s pacing feature on Tuesday afternoon, March 11.

In a field abbreviated by a late scratch, Mystical Tenor turned back four others in a time of 1:58.2.

Mystical Tenor started from post position two and reached the first stanza in a soft :30.2. After passing that panel, Bouchard got his pacer to the half in 1:01.1 despite a challenge that began at the three-eighths by Firstline Valiant, who was driven by Jordan Stratton.

By the time Firstline Valiant ranged alongside Mystical Tenor at the halfway point, Bouchard had his mount in high gear and the two horses paced the next quarter in :28.3.

In the final turn, Mystical Tenor put away Firstline Valiant and scooted off to a two length lead.

With the pedal still to the metal, Mystical Tenor fired another :28.3 clocking over the final panel and the pacer needed every second to withstand a strong late charge from Southbound Trucker and driver Mike Merton for a short victory. Firstline Valiant rambled home in third place, some two lengths behind the winner.

With five wins and two thirds in 10 seasonal starts, and with four consecutive victories now under his belt, trainer Ron Ingrassia was asked how come his pacer has gotten so good recently to which he replied: “He (Mystical Tenor) took a record of 1:51.1 as a 3-year-old and he was always a good horse but in recent years soreness has kept him from being all he could be.

“He got beat by $7,000 claimers earlier this year but once we worked the soreness out of him he got to be a tiger and now he’s won four in a row faster than 1:58.2 and two of his wins were in 1:57.4. I hope he stays good because he’s a nice horse when he’s right.”

Owned by Ingrassia’s son, Randy, Mystical Tenor paid $5.40 for win.

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