Driver Lauren Jones, who ended last week’s program by winning the final event with 6/1 chance Foxy Dame, should continue in winning vein by guiding talented five-year-old American Boy to victory in the $20,000 TABtouch Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Star trainer Gary Hall sen. engaged Jones in order to use her junior claim which enabled American Boy, an M3-class pacer, to contest an event restricted to M2-class horses.
And American Boy’s prospects soared after he got the prized No. 1 barrier in the random draw.
American Boy, a winner at his only start in New Zealand, has had 27 starts in Western Australia for 16 wins, seven seconds and one third. He led and won at four of those outings and Jones will be anxious to set the pace on Friday night.
Gary Hall jun. was full of praise for American Boy after driving him to victory over Bungalow Bill at Gloucester Park two starts ago. American Boy started from the outside barrier and settled in last position before racing three wide for much of the 2130m journey.
“He’s starting to mature and has really hardened up and turned into a real racehorse,” Hall said. “He’s so versatile, which is the key to him. He can do it from the front and the back. I think he’s pretty special and if he stays fit and sound he should be ready to contest the big races next summer.”
American Boy is closely related to former star pacer Another Party, who earned $888,678 from 31 wins and 42 placings from 149 starts. His dam Alesandra Ambrosio is out of Bee Gees Dream, the dam of Another Party.
American Boy’s toughest rivals on Friday night are sure to be a trio of New Zealand-bred pacers, Risk, Bettor Offer and Our Regal Ideal.
Risk, to be handled by Mitch Miller from barrier four, will be making his first appearance since he led and won by two lengths from Twoandahalf Tigers over 2130m on November 25. He is a classy animal with 14 wins, nine seconds and three thirds from 39 starts and is capable of a bold first-up effort.
Bettor Offer (barrier three) and Our Regal Ideal (two) are in sound form and should be prominent. Ryan Bell will drive Risk and Michael Blakemore will handle Our Regal Ideal.
Written by Ken Casellas