Day At The Track

Teague's homebred Goldberg flashes talent

01:34 AM 25 Aug 2018 NZST
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Goldberg, harness racing
Goldberg will prep for next month’s Metro Pace by competing in Saturday’s first of three C$92,127 divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes.
Derick Giwner Photo

Trenton, NJ --- Goldberg reminds driver Montrell Teague of two Team Teague stars when it comes to mannerisms. Now he will find out how closely he resembles them in major harness racing stakes action.

Goldberg, a homebred 2-year-old male pacer, will prep for next month’s Metro Pace by competing in Saturday’s first of three C$92,127 divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Ontario. Teague, who bred and owns Goldberg, also has the colt staked to the Matron and Governor’s Cup, not to mention the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund.

“This is going to be one of his first true tests,” Teague said about Goldberg, a son of Mr Wigglesout of Chausettes Blanche, who has a win and a third in two starts. “I staked him pretty good. I hope he’s as good (as the competition). You never know what’s going to show up, but I’m going to give him every opportunity.”

Teague and his dad, George Teague Jr., see early similarities between Goldberg and two Teague Stable standouts -- 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and this year’s North America Cup champion Lather Up.

“He’s a pretty classy horse,” Montrell said. “He reminds me of how we started out with Wiggle It Jiggleit, the first year when he was just two fingers (to drive) and never got tired and had tons of speed. He’s pretty much the spitting image almost. I don’t know if he’s going to be as good as him, but he’s been showing signs of being like him so far.

“Dad thinks very highly of him. He thinks he’s got some attributes that (Wiggle It Jiggleit) had and Lather Up had. When he started racing, I thought the same. I think he’s a pretty talented horse.”

Montrell bred Goldberg after buying Chausettes Blanche online for $1,000. He remembered racing against her, noting that, “She usually came from off the pace and she was just a classy horse. It looked like she was in hand every single time. Sean Bier had her and he really loved that horse.”

The mare won $329,250 racing primarily in Delaware. Although George did not recall her, he gave a thumbs-up to the purchase. The previous owners were unsuccessful in breeding the mare, but she caught with Mr Wiggles in “a one-shot deal,” Teague said. Unfortunately, the mare passed away before she could produce another foal.

When it came to naming her colt, Teague got his idea off Facebook. He saw Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farms was naming foals and asking people for suggestions with the theme of wrestlers. Thoughts of WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg -- whose surname was his ring name -- sprung to Teague’s mind.

“It’s weird how everything works,” Teague said. “Everybody was chiming in, but nobody said Goldberg and he was my favorite wrestler when I was younger. So I just went with the same theme she did. It was random. If I wasn’t on Facebook I probably would have had something more to do with the mom or dad.”

Goldberg, who is trained by Montrell’s aunt, Brenda Teague, debuted on July 31 when he won a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:54.3. On Aug. 10, he finished a dead-heat third in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs. He led from the start before losing by one-quarter length.

“He flipped his palate in his last race at Tioga, so we didn’t really think anything of it,” Montrell said. “We didn’t lose hope. We knew how good he was when he was training down. We gave him the benefit of the doubt. He had to have an excuse somewhere, and he did.”

Teague is now ready to see exactly where Goldberg stands among the division’s big boys. Goldberg is the 3-1 second choice in his Nassagaweya division behind 8-5 morning-line favorite Captain Crunch, who is 2-for-2 for trainer Nancy Johansson. Dream Maker Series champ Captain Ahab, trained by Tony Alagna, is the 3-5 choice in the second division and Casie Coleman’s Canadian-record-holder Stag Party is 9-5 in the third.

“This will be a conditioner for the Metro and all the other big ones to see who is the top 2-year-old,” Teague said. “Training down he’s got unbelievable speed, but you never know who you’re going to go up against. You can think you’ve got the best one, and hope you’ve got the best one, but until it comes down to race time you never know.

“I’m excited, though. Dad is excited too and really thinks highly of him. He knows a lot more than I do, so I trust his opinion.”

For complete entries for the Saturday card at Woodbine Mohawk Park, click here.

by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

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