04/27/2013 12:41PM

Finger Lakes: Jeff Englehart takes on his father in feature


As the 7-2 second choice on the track’s morning line, Lucy Stragmore has a realistic chance to provide rookie trainer Jeff Englehart with his first career victory as a trainer in Monday’s featured eighth race at Finger Lakes. But to accomplish that feat, Englehart’s mare will have to find a way to beat the projected favorite, Untapped Secret, trained by the track’s perennial leader – and Jeff’s dad – Chris Englehart.

Jeff Englehart, 22, is the third member of his family to train at the western New York track. Chris Englehart has won 10 consecutive training titles at Finger Lakes, winning 135 races last season. Jeff’s older brother Jeremiah finished 2012 as the track’s second-leading trainer with 94 victories.

Jeff Englehart has worked with horses since he was 8, gained experience as a farm manager for his father, and has owned racehorses since 2010, compiling a record of 23 for 106. Last year at Finger Lakes, Englehart’s horses went 9 for 25 while trained by his dad.

This spring, the younger Englehart has 11 stalls and went 0 for 2 over the first three days of the 2013 meet. Lucy Stragmore will make her Finger Lakes debut in Monday’s eighth race, a $23,000, 4 1/2-furlong allowance for fillies and mares who have never won three races. Although she is just 2 for 22 lifetime, Lucy Stragmore has run well in two of three starts since she was claimed for $7,500 at Parx Racing on New Year’s Day. She missed by a nose in a conditioned $12,500 claimer at Aqueduct on March 3, then returned to beat $15,000 claimers by 1 1/4 lengths last time out on March 10.

Chris Englehart will counter with the 3-year-old filly Untapped Secret, who flashed high speed and faded late in a trio of first-level optional $75,000 claiming races for New York-bred fillies at Aqueduct. She has held the lead after a half-mile in all five of her lifetime starts and was 2 for 2 at Finger Lakes last season.

The elder Englehart excels with horses who come to Finger Lakes after a 31-to-60-day break following a race elsewhere. He shows a 17-for-44 record (39 percent) in that category the past two years.

During the first three days of the 2013 meet, Englehart ran four shippers, winning twice and finishing second by a neck and a head with the other two runners.