09/10/2014 7:06PM

Yonkers: Lachance looms large with Southwind Masimo

Geri Schwarz
Southwind Masimo has won four of five career races.

While you won’t find the name Patrick Lachance at the top of the trainer standings, his barn is one of the more steady outfits in the nation. On Saturday he sends out a pair of hopefuls in two of the eight $225,000 New York Sire Stakes Finals at Yonkers Raceway.

In 2013, Lachance-trained horses earned over $1.9 million ranking him 25th on the leaderboard. This year he ranks 26th more than halfway through the season. His stable is the model of consistency, registering at least 50 wins and over $1,000,000 in earnings each year since 2000.

Lachance, who typically drives most of his horses, will look to inch up in the standings on Saturday behind Southwind Masimo, a talented 2-year-old colt he handles for Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber.

The $65,000 Lexington purchase began his career with a bang, winning his career debut by 11 lengths in 1:55 4/5 at Monticello on July 21. While Lachance admitted he always liked Southwind Masimo, that start was an eye-opener.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch Saturday's New York Night of Champions from Yonkers LIVE on DRF!]

“They mixed it up on the front and I picked off a lot of tired horses,” recalled Lachance. “He sure proved something to me that day. I wasn’t expecting that big of an effort.”

Southwind Masimo continued his winning ways in each of his next three starts, all on the NY Sire Stakes circuit. The colt hit a bump in the road when he was scratched-sick from a leg of the series at Vernon on August 30 and subsequently finished just third in his final preliminary leg at Batavia on September 6.

“He probably wasn’t himself and when they are coming off being sick you can’t be too hard on them. He had a long uncovered trip and it was just a bad spot,” said Lachance of the Batavia effort.

The competition only gets stiffer on Saturday when Southwind Masimo, the NYSS point leader in the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacing divison, will square off with the best of his peers in the Empire State. While each of the octet competing in the eighth race have had their moments this year, Betting Exchange is the flavor of the week having scored victories in his last two starts. The Tom Fanning trainee starts just to the outside of Southwind Masimo in post two with Brian Sears in the bike.

Still, despite the deeper waters in store on Saturday, Lachance is very confident and plans to drive accordingly. “I think I’m going to try to leave and come away close to the front.”

Although his chances of winning are somewhat lower, Lachance also sends out Sir Sam’s Z Tam in the final for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, race seven on the program. With just one win in NYSS company this year, the gelded son of Bettor’s Delight will have a tough time defeating likely heavy favorite All Bets Off, but Lachance is hoping for some good fortune.

“I think he is the type that can hit the board. He’s not the best, but if they mix it up he can be involved,” said Lachance.

The son of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance, Pat, who trains 25 head, says he still leans on his father for advice and tutelage. “No doubt he is an asset,” said the younger Lachance. “He is here (at the barn) in the morning and we also go to the yearling sales together and he helps me pick them out.”

The NY Sire Stakes Night of Champions card gets underway at 7:10 PM. Yonkers is offering a $10,000 guaranteed pick five starting in the fifth race on the card.