One of the bigger harness racing stories around Monticello Raceway in recent months has been the emergence of Real Mystical, a 1:51.1 record pacer five years ago who has been the talk of the town of late.
Claimed for $5,000 by James Schreisbeis on Sept. 20, the altered son ofthen proceeded to reel off five consecutive victories; all faster than 1:54.3 culminating in a 1:53.2 triumph on Oct. 18 all with leading driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. at the controls.
Not that the apparent Cinderella story came to an end on Tuesday (Nov. 1), it’s just that Real Mystical got beat, but in the weekly winners-over pace.
Winbak Delight, in from Yonkers Raceway with Jimmy Taggart Jr. at the controls, stalked Real Mystical throughout fractions of 28; 57.1 and 1:26.3 before getting up in the final strides to collar the pace-setting Real Mystical and score a head victory in a time of 1:55.3.
“We got away in good shape from the rail and (we) even parked Real Mystical a ways before we let him go. Once he took the lead I sat right on Bruce’s back and we never let Real Mystical get away from us,” Taggart said in the winner’s circle as he was trying to hide his wry smile. “Coming off the final turn I thought we were gonna get him and my mare finally wore him down. But it wasn’t easy.”
When Aldrich was contacted in the paddock after the race he really made no excuses although he said; “ The horse (Real Mystical) missed a race last week because his class didn’t fill and he hadn’t started since Oct. 18. I still thought we’d be the best, but I guess not racing in two weeks cost him his sharpness. And then again, he was racing against the best pacers on the grounds today, too.”
Winbak Delight, a 7-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight-M S Caddy and a former Monticello Raceway Older Pacing Mare of the Year, is owned by Ken Weckstein and Richard Rubin and trained by Gary Messenger. With her victory Winbak Delight raised her seasonal bankroll to almost $92,000 and returned a $16.40 win mutuel.