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"JOHN FRANCO, MEET PAT LACHANCE"


That was the carrot at the end of the Friday night (Sept. 30) stick for trainer/driver Pat Lachance after his last-to-first, 53-1, eight-hole upset with Ace of Clubs. The bombardier paid an even $108 to win the fifth race going away by 3 1/4 lengths.

The soggy, hotly-contested fourth race saw 3-10 choice Cartoon Daddy (Jason Bartlett) dueled into submission and finished seventh as Ace of Clubs circled his rivals to earn his first seasonal win in his 16th seasonal start (1:58.2).

Just outside the winner's circle was an impromptu meet-and-great with New York Mets' Hall of Famer John Franco.

Franco, a native New Yorker and one of baseball's all-time standout relief pitchers, was visiting Empire City Casino @ Yonkers Raceway. Franco and Amazin' fans were at Dan Rooney's Sports Bar as the Mets took on the Philadelphia Phillies in a game with wild-card playoff implications.

Spirited conversation and autographed photos (of Franco, not Lachance. Sorry, Pat) was also included in the evening.


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