Lachance on new Hall of Famers Cantab Hall and Western Ideal

by Bob Heyden

Cantab Hall was the first and only 2-year-old to be voted Trotter of the Year, doing so in 2003 when he was 10-for-10. He came back and had a strong season at three, but Mike Lachance remembers him battling sickness two weeks prior to the Hambletonian.

“He was very sick at that point, and it took him a long time to get back to being himself. I’d say his last 2-3-4 starts he was back. He was a great gaited colt, and the high speed was there, big time,” Lachance said. “He never made a break-ever. Once Ronny (Pierce) came out in front of me in Lexington and he went down to both knees, but came up trotting. He’s turned out to be a top stallion too — and his sons also.”

Cantab Hall in 2004 was Stan Bergstein’s fourth straight “HALL” at the top of the list — Banker Hall (2001), Andover Hall (2002) Broadway Hall (2003) and then Cantab Hall.

Lachance also was the driver for Western Ideal at age 5, and he turned in one of the best ever older pacing seasons with none of his wins slower than 1:50.

“He was ready to go. Brett Pelling was right in his prime then. Western Ideal was never in a bad spot,” Lachance said. “The couple of races he got beat, they came in eliminations, and Dragon Again usually won. But Western Ideal would turn around and win the final. You had to be careful with him in the stretch, you didn’t want to get the lead in midstretch or he’d have a tendency to loaf some. I had to time it for the end with him. He was THE most beautiful horse I’ve ever driven.”

Important female milestone

June 27 was the 20th anniversary of the Ladyship Stakes, history’s first sub-1:50 female performer on the very same weekend that Magareta Wallienus Kleberg heads into the Hall Of Fame as the first female inductee there. Armbro Romance with a 1:49.4 victory for John Campbell, Brett Pelling over Galleria-George Brennan for Jim Campbell. The NJSS was the event-and it would last 6 whole weeks-until Jays Table-in the Mares Open Breeders Crown-would then lower this to 1:49.3-also at the Meadowlands-also with John Campbell driving-this time for Bill Robinson.

A quick look at Montrell Teague

FIRST Meadowlands winner? Mr Apples.
FIRST $100,000 win? DSBF at Dover with No Bad Luck.
FIRST Pace elimination win and first Pace final drive? 2011 (Age 20)
FIRST PACE win? 2015 Wiggle It Jiggleit
FIRST NA CUP win? 2018 Lather Up