We’ve already witnessed it.
Two demolitions in New Zealand Cups, a stunning Inter Dominion win, a powerful Hunter Cup victory… and so on and so on.
The great Kiwi pacer Lazarus amassed 35 victories and nearly $4 million in Australia and his homeland of New Zealand. He was really never beaten when he was at his peak and became untouchable over a long trip. The further they went, the easier it became for Laz.
He picked up Group 1 wins at age two, three, four and five and would have certainly won more had he remained in this part of the world.
But he didn’t – his ownership reluctantly sold the son of Bettors Delight to American stallion group Taylor Made Farms who purchased him with the hopes of racing him into commercialism as a stallion in the Northern Hemisphere. He is already an enticing stallion proposition in the Southern Hemisphere.
Such was the positive impression Lazarus gave new trainer Jimmy Takter, his owners paid a $25,000 late entry fee to contest the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana.
And what a decision that turned out to be.
Despite drawing the carpark (9), the former Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen-trained entire showed speed off the arm which he never really possessed – or at least used – ‘Down Under.’
Champion pilot Yannick Gingras sent Lazarus forward until he found the front despite running a 26.1 opening 400m. He controlled the race for the next half mile with splits of 28.1 and 28.6 before having enough left in the legs to churn out a 26.0 final quarter to win relatively easily in 1:48.4 for the mile on a track which was playing fast but is not typically one of America’s faster tracks.
Lazarus comfortably accounted for Breeders Crown winner Split The House and McWicked, the horse many claim is the top free-for-all horse in the US.
Lazarus already has an enormous following in American Harness Racing circles, with Hoosier Park even selling t-shirts on the night.
His feats in Australasia were incredible and he was already bound to go into the conversation as our greatest ever but should he continue on his winning way in the United States and Canada, he may be undoubtedly our very best.
And yes, we’re trying to claim a share in him but he is a New Zealander!