On an absolutely picturesque evening at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Crazy Wow and Chris Page assumed command upon their departure from the gate and did not experience a truly tense moment en route to a powerful 1:52 track record score in the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial in front of a standing-room only crowd on Saturday (June 10). Defending older trotting champion Obrigado (Mark MacDonald) was second, with Canadian invader Musical Rhythm (Peter Wrenn) third.
In fact, Page was still rather incredulous at how the race unfolded for his horse after he addressed his legions of young fans in the winner’s circle that were shouting his name and pleading for his whip or his sunglasses as a souvenir of his victory.
"I can’t believe how it all worked out," he said. "I intended to get him involved in the race early-on, but I wasn’t planning on going to the lead. When the wings were still unfolding off the gate I looked to my left and wondered where everybody else was. He just took me out there all on his own and from there on it was all him. I could not have asked for a better trip."
Commencing his journey from post position eight did not seem to hamper Crazy Wow’s need to display his speed. Conditioned by Ron Burke and owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, J&T Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms, the 5-year-old stallion, fresh off his first victory in nearly a year in the $150,000 Maxie Lee Invitational on May 28 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, laid down a very swift first split of :26.2 with Obrigado in hot pursuit in the field of nine with the scratch of Homicide Hunter. In essence it was reduced to eight competitors after 2015 Dan Patch Award winner and world champion JL Cruze broke strode going into the first turn.
As Crazy Wow and Page went past the half-mile marker in :55.1, Obrigado was hemmed in and slightly shuffled back to third as Hemi Seelster (Brett Holland) moved aggressively, intent on not allowing his top two rivals to stray too far.
After Crazy Wow passed the three-quarter marker in 1:23.1, the rest of the field began their bids to overtake him in their quest for the wire. Both Centurion ATM (Aaron Merriman) and Musical Rhythm made their moves from sixth and fifth, respectively, as Hemi Seelster tired from his earlier efforts to drop back to fourth entering the top of the stretch.
This transition of positions provided Obrigado, who was making his 2017 debut, with a desperately needed seam and he and MacDonald pulled to the outside in an attempt to chase down Crazy Wow. Their efforts, however, were in vain, as Crazy Wow appeared to lengthen his stride with each hoof he placed upon the Columbus oval and he maintained a comfortable 1-3/4 length advantage right to the wire. Musical Rhythm spurted up the rail after Obrigado vacated that area to finish third.
"I had driven him once before," Page said. "It was a long time ago and I don’t remember anything specific about him from that race, other than I already knew he was a very good horse, but tonight he was something; he was much more than just very good. I know his connections have worked with him and it certainly has paid off."
Collecting his second consecutive triumph and propelling his 2017 record to 5-2-3-0, with his career resume now at 47-17-10-3, Crazy Wow has now earned more than $1.7 million. Sent off the as the second selection at 3-1, the stallion paid a generous $8.20 for his victory. Obrigado at 3-1 provided $5.00 to his supporters to place, with Musical Rhythm (14-1) offering $7.80 to show. (By Kimberly French/USTA)