State-bred pacers headlined a stormy Saturday night at Balmoral Park as a field of seven Illinois conceived and foaled stars were sent postward in the $30,000 Broadway Preview Stake.
The sloppy surface and a lightning show that lit up the sky for most of the night could not slow down the 2011 Horse of the Year, Well To Do Guru, as the eight-year-old gelding proved once again that he's the king of the state-bred set splashing home with a front stepping one-length victory in 1:52.4 for driver Casey Leonard.
Charging away from post position seven as soon as the wings of the starting gate folded Leonard had the son of Richess Hanover on top as the field reached the quarter-mile mark in :28. The Terry Leonard trainee continued to show the way down the backstretch and was under no pressure at all as he rolled past the half-mile mark in :56.1.
Heading around the far turn a first-over Park Lane Deputy (Mike Oosting) came calling, drawing to within a length of the pacesetter as he splashed by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.3. Through the lane, the career winner of more than $595,000 continued to hold sway, turning aside the bid of Park Lane Deputy with a sixteenth of a mile to go. Under only mild urging from Leonard Well To Do Guru then turned back one final try from a late rushing Doubletrouble (Brian Carpenter) as he scored for the second time in 10 starts this season. Doubletrouble finished second while Park Lane Deputy was forced to settle for a third place check.
Sent off as the second choice of the betting public Well To Do Guru returned $5.60 while winning for the 34th time in his illustrious career for proud owner James Gorman. (Balmoral Park)