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'Dragon' Breathes Fire In Hoosier Cup

Sunday, June 26, 2011  By: Emily Gaskin


ANDERSON, IN--The 15th installment of the $500,000 Hoosier Cup, Indiana's richest race, saw a familiar face in the winner's circle. Trainer George Teague Jr. made his third trip to victory lane with Custard The Dragon (Dragon Again).

Nine top 3-year-old pacing colts battled to take top honors with four of the entries hailing from the Teague stable. Custard the Dragon left the gate alertly from post three, but his lead was short-lived as the 6-5 favorite Big Bad John (Western Hanover) and driver Brett Miller opted against a three hole trip and pressed to the lead. It was not easily earned as Montrell Teague placed a tax on him reaching the half in 53.3. Stablemate Wink N Atcha (Dragon Again) followed in third as Townslight Hanover (Bettor's Delight) and driver Trace Tetrick were fourth. The group remained in single file line until Townslight Hanover was the first to commit as he was first up around the last turn with Samandar (American Ideal) and driver Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow reaching the three-quarter marker in 1:23.

Big Bad John looked down a long Hoosier Park stretch bracing himself for the Teague assault force and was unable to hold off a powerful Custard the Dragon from the pocket. The 3-year-old son of Dragon Again bested his rivals to score in a stakes record 1:50, with his final quarter clocked in :27. With a new lifetime mark, Custard the Dragon elevated his career bankroll to over $526,000.

"The trip worked out perfectly," Montrell Teague said. "After we got through the turn, I knew I had a full head of horse coming into the lane. I didn't expect him to go right on by Big Bad John. He just did everything I asked him to do."

Canadian invaders Alsace Hanover (The Panderosa) and Scott Zeron staged a big rally late to finish second while Wink N Atcha overcame a difficult trip from post position eight to finish third. Teague stablemates Feel Like a Fool (Art Major) and Wind Me Up (Bettor's Delight) finished fourth and seventh, respectively.

"He's just a great horse. I personally think he's one of the best 3-year-old pacing colts out there," George Teague said of his pupil. "It's a wide open group of horses and I think he has been underrated all year."

George Teague said the next target for Custard the Dragon is the Meadowlands Pace.

The win stamped Team Teague into the Hoosier Cup history books, as Montrell Teague, 20, is the youngest driver to ever win the race and George has the most training wins with three.

"This was my biggest win and it's just awesome that it was here with my dad's horse," Montrell Teague said. "They can never take it away from me."

George leaves his mark on Indiana once again as he erased the mark set by his Total Truth five years ago.

"Indiana has been great to us," George Teague said. "This was a double win for me, seeing Montrell succeed is the biggest bonus. Indiana is always good to us and Montrell earned his money tonight, that was a great trip for the horse."

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