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First a bye, now the pole

June 07, 2007

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Trainer Dave McCaffrey entered Home Bed Advantage into the Maywood Pace hoping to earn a bye, and his gamble has been further rewarded when the 3-year-old colt drew the rail in Friday’s $100,000 contest at Maywood Park. Instead of competing in the Maywood Pace elim (won by Brother Vinny, who drew post five in the final) last weekend, Home Bed Advantage started in the $1 million Rooney final at Yonkers where he finished third.


“We took a $1,000 gamble,” said McCaffrey of the Maywood Pace starting fee. “Home Bed Advantage was shipping back home after the Rooney anyway. His next start was going to be in the Cleveland Classic in late June at Northfield, so we decided to pay the $1,000 starting fee and hope that maybe there weren’t enough entries to have eliminations or possibly we could get lucky with a bye.


“I know him being entered at Maywood had to surprise a lot of horsemen, given the fact my horse (was in) a $1 million race Saturday in New York and the (Maywood) eliminations would be the night earlier in Chicago, but this is exactly what happen to me in 2004 when I had Live Out Loud racing in the Windy City Pace,” explained McCaffrey, who shares ownership of Home Bed Advantage with MJGB Racing Stables Inc. of Nanuet, N.Y.


“That was the year Breeders Crown champion Western Terror was entered for the Windy City eliminations even though he was about to race in a big stake (The Progress) at Dover. The horse ended up with a bye and missed the Windy City eliminations much to be chagrin. Western Terror then came to town and won the final. I always remembered that incident and was able to use that lesson to my advantage this year.”


Home Bed Advantage, the 2006 Illinois Freshman Colt Pacer of the Year, was one of nine ICF horses entered for the Maywood Pace elims, earning his bye into the June 8 championship based on his $28,920 season earnings at the time of entry, the highest among the entered horses. After his third-place finish in the Rooney Final those ’07 earnings shot to $148,920.

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