The Chicago circuit’s top distaffer Bob’s Minute Maid made a successful switch to Maywood Park’s half-miler and captured the $14,000 She’s A Great Lady Open for fillies and mares Thursday night in front-end fashion despite being handicapped with the outside eight slot.
The venerable 8-year-old mare, trained and driven by Mike Oosting, had to work a bit to get command from the outside slot, clearing the early leader Faith Leigh, the 2-1 second choice, before the :27.2 first quarter pole. Bob’s Minute Maid had to put away an early move after the first panel by Marvel Sahbra, keeping that mare on her outside through the :56.3 half-mile marker before she gave way before the 1:26.4 three-quarter pole. The winner was one length the best in 1:57.2 over a late-closing Fox Valley Glitz (Sam Widger) who nipped Faith Leigh (Joshua Sutton) for the place spot.
“Bob’s Minute Maid can leave like a runner but I usually don’t choose to race her that way,” said Oosting. “Tonight when we came out of the turn for the start I saw she was keeping up with the gate despite the outside slot and I saw some other horses were struggling a bit so I decided then to let her go.”
The victory was Bob’s Minute Maid’s 15th of the season for Burbank, Ill. owner Paul Bertucci and her 25th over the past two seasons. The triumph boosted the mare’s season earnings over the $200,000 plateau ($204,200) and her career bank account to $461,504.
“My horse was a little tired at the wire but I didn’t do much training with her since her last start a couple of weeks ago (Nov. 12) when she was sick and did well to get third.”
Even with the outside eight slot, the winner was sent off as the even-money favorite and returned $4.20.
Bob’s Minute Maid was making only her third season appearance at Maywood and her first since March when she was second best in and Illinois bred Open against “the boys,” and event she won a month earlier on the circuit’s half-miler.