Lather Up scores a 1:52.2 victory on July 4 in the opening leg of the Ohio Sires Stake for two-year-old colt pacers | Conrad Photo

Montrell Teague making Ohio his second home

July 17, 2017

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The Delaware native has had great success in the Buckeye state, including wins in two recent Ohio Sires Stakes divisions.

by Jay Wolf

Although he lives in the “First State” of Delaware, driver Montrell Teague has been making waves in his second home, Ohio.

Since the beginning of 2015, the 26-year-old pilot is sporting a .447 drivers rating and wins at a 34 per cent clip in races held in Ohio.

“I was unaware of how well I have done in Ohio,” said Teague. “Ohio is so tough now that they have the money. There are plenty of good horses and drivers. I should have come out here a couple of years ago to establish myself.”

Teague’s Ohio success can be attributed to Little Brown Jug champion, Wiggle It Jiggleit, and a willingness to work hard in the mornings.

“I think I have an advantage over some of the catch drivers,” said Teague. “I get to work out the horses that I will be driving. I know first-hand what they can do.”

Teague found himself in the Scioto Downs winner’s circle twice on Independence Day with a pair of two-year-old colt pacers in Ohio Sire Stakes (OHSS) action.

Teague used an off-the-pace strategy to score a ¾ length win the second $40,000 division with Sip And A Bite in 1:54 at 13-1.

Sip And A Bite is owned by his father, George Teague, Jr., and conditioned by his aunt, Brenda Teague.

“Sip And A Bite has real potential,” said Teague. “He’s a homebred and a full sister to Miss Me Yet who won the (Ohio) Sires Stakes and the Ohio Breeders Championship for us.”

Miss Me Yet, who is currently racing in Delaware, has earned nearly $350,000 and took her mark of 1:52.3 in the Ohio Breeders Championship during last year’s Jug week.

In Montrell’s next OHSS start, he sent Lather Up gate-to-wire to record an impressive 4 ½ length victory. The final time of 1:52.2 equaled the Scioto track record and established a national season’s record.

Lather Up is owned by long-time Teague Stable patrons, Gary and Barbara Iles of Harrington, DE.

“I had the opportunity to train him a couple of weeks ago,” Montrell said. “I told Gary that he had a good one. I thought he could go in :55, but :52 was a surprise.

“I thought he was stung in that :26.3 first quarter, but I chirped at him and he went on. He’s so smart and doesn’t wrestle you on the track.”

Sip And A Bite and Lather Up are both sired by I’m Gorgeous, who raced at Scioto Downs on July 1.

“He wasn’t getting many mares, so they decided to race him again,” Montrell said. “He was racing in the $30,000 claimers. I think his value may have just risen thanks to these two (Sip And A Bite and Lather Up).”

Montrell’s chances at an OHSS “hat trick” came up four lengths short with a third-place finish behind Delaware Chrome, who is owned and trained by Brenda Teague.

“He had some traffic issues, but the shadows really got him,” Montrell said. “Aunt Brenda did the best she could with equipment changes, but (Delaware Chrome) kept worrying about the shadows and didn’t grab the track.”

Teague and his three pronged attack will be back in the Buckeye state next weekend for the second leg of the OSS for freshman pacing colts at Northfield Park.

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