Fox Valley Elusiv easy winner in Cardinal
June 01, 2013
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Last year's Orange & Blue winner, Fancy Creek Elusiv, looks to be picking up right where he left off after big 2-year-old campaign as he cruised to a decisive 3 ¾ length romp in a career best of 1:51.3 in Saturday's $57,300 Cardinal Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled 3-year-old pacing colts at Balmoral Park.
Despite being saddled with the outside post in the field of 10, Hall Of Fame driver Dave Magee managed to work out a perfect second over trip with the altered son of Sportsmaster-Elusive Image. Floating away from the gate Magee tactfully maneuvered his charge into sixth as longshot Sage Ruck (Ryan Anderson) led the field through an opening quarter in :28.2.
"Going into the race I was a little anxious because of that outside post,” said Magee. "With it being three-year-olds who haven't seen that much action yet this year you never really know how things are going to work out. Fortunately for us it worked out perfectly tonight.”
Magee then managed to flush live cover from one of last week's elimation winner's Monopoly Man (Casey Leonard), as the field moved past the half-mile mark with Fox Valley Action (Todd Warren) showing the way by that station in :55.3.
"That's the kind of move you wouldn't have been able to make with him last year,” explained Magee. "Nick (Giberson) has done a great job with him over the winter and he's much quieter and much more versatile than he was last year. That's always a plus because it will make things much easier on him as well.”
Sitting in a perfect second-over position as the field moved by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.2, Magee confidently tipped his charge off their cover. The long striding gelding then rolled home in an effortless 26.4, leaving his rivals in a muddy wake. Crankin' It Up (Kyle Wilfong) shook loose late and rallied well to finish second while Monopoly Man hung on for third.
In the winner's circle, Magee was asked when he felt that he and Fox Valley Elusiv were home free. "When we were that close at the top of the stretch I felt pretty confident about things,” said a soaked but happy Magee. "I knew there were still some pretty good horses behind us that were going to be coming late but my horse has a ton of speed when he sets sail for home and he showed that again tonight.”
With the win, Fox Valley Elusiv is now a perfect two for two this season, winning his elimination for this stake in his seasonal debut last week. The pride of owners Hart Walker, Robin Mullink, Homer Henke and Robert Walker boasts seven wins and two seconds in 13 career starts with earnings of $168,931.
Sent off as the 8-5 favorite despite the outside post, Fox Valley Elusiv returned $5.40, $3.80 and $3.20. (Balmoral Park)