Jug champion wins in stakes record performance
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In one of the most gutsy winning performances in the 26 year history of Maywood Park’s Windy City Pace, Shadow Play overcame a rugged trip Friday night and overtook Badlands Nitro in the late going to nail down a head victory in a stakes record time of 1:50.4.
The 4-5 favorite had to race parked outside of Badlands Nitro for the last half mile and when asked, still had another gear, going on to add the $275,000 Windy City Pace crown to his recent Little Brown Jug championship.
“That wasn’t an easy trip for him and he did overcome it,” said winning driver Dave Miller. “He’s had a problem with his foot but he’s just amazing right now.”
From the two-slot, Badlands Nitro out-sprinted the Illinois champion Mucho Sleazy, who had the coveted one-post, and took command coming out of the first turn. After a: 27 flat first quarter Badlands Nitro driver Brian Sears was able to slow the pace down. Miller had to move Shadow Play out of third before the :55.4 half-miler marker and the Jug winner was still to the outside of Badlands Nitro at the 1:23.1 three-quarter pole and through the last turn where he appeared beaten.
However, Shadow Play dug down deep and responded with a furious late move, getting past right before the wire. Mucho Sleazy took third, beaten one and one-quarter lengths.
“When we got to the top of the stretch and I asked him for more he just did the rest,” said Miller, who added that Shadow Play’s next start would be in the Messenger stakes at Yonkers.
The $137,500 winner’s share of the Windy City Pace boosted Shadow Play’s season earnings to $728,966 for owners Serge Savard, R G Group LTD and trainer Ian Moore.
The Budster, Gallantry Take Galt Splits
The two $65,000 division of the Galt Trot went to 7-1 longshot The Budster ($16.20) and the first up Gallantly ($5.80) who set a track record for a three-year-old trotting colt with his 1:55 flat clocking.
Patiently handled by Tim Tetrick, The Budster let the two first division favorites Holiday Credit and Napoleon duke in out through most of the first three quarters and then made a strong three-wide move in the last turn and rallied to post one and three-quarter length victory in 1:57.1 in the first $65,000 Galt division.
Andy Miller left hard with the 6-5 favorite Holiday Credit and Mike Oosting did the same with the 7-5 second choice Napoleon, who ended up in the three-hole after Holiday Credit cleared the early leader First Pleasureland, taking the field to a quick :27.3 first quarter. Holiday Credit did get a :30 second breather however he had to hold off the first up Yonkers Trot champion Napoleon through the 1:27 three-quarter pole while The Budster was in sixth in the seven-horse field.
Tetrick moved The Budster out on the backside and the winner was three-wide without cover the last quarter of a mile, coming home in :29.1 for his fourth victory in 17 starts for Michigan owners Stephen Oldford and Eugene Oldford.
“He’s a great big horse and he got around the track really well,” said Tetrick. “He showed he can race on a half with a win (Old Oaken Bucket) in Delaware. I drove him as a two-year-old and he wasn’t nearly as good as he is now. They were fighting hard through the first half and I thought my chances would be good.”
Shocker (Dave Miller) shot out from the one-slot and dictated the fractions in the second division with the 7-5 favorite Maxter sitting in the pocket. After a :28 flat first quarter and :29.3 second panel, Mike Lachance came out of the three-hole with the 9-5 second choice Gallantly, who blew past the leader and drew off to a convincing nine and three-quarter length victory for his Long Beach, NY owner Jerry Silva.
The battle for second went to Shaman Hall over a half-length victory the Illinois champion Maxter, who was seeking his 14th victory of the season.
“He started to get good at Springfield but we had problems with his shoeing at Lexington.” said Lachance. “Obviously Ronny (trainer Gurfein got him straighten out and he was perfect for tonight. He did it very easily out there.”
Cinderella Goes to Cruzin Inya Jammys
The $88,000 Cinderella stake for three-year-old pacing fillies saw the Ohio bred Cruzin Inya Jammys take advantage of a second over trip to win in 1:54 flat for driver Dave Miller, holding off the 7-5 favorite Kennans Kelli. I Y Q took the show spot, beaten three-quarters of a length.
“Dan (Trainer Ater) told me she would have no problems getting around this track and that she was good on a half-miler,” said driver Dave Miller. “This is the biggest win for the filly,” added winning owner Mark Wooten.
Enzo The Baker Cooking in the Cardinal
Enzo The Baker notched another state-bred championship with an impressive hard-fought triumph in the $61,400 Cardinal stake for ICF three-year-old colts and geldings. The heavy 2-5 public’s choice had to race first over much of the way and still worn down the runner-up pacesetter My Boy Like (Andy Miller) by half in 1:54 flat.
“That was a gritty effort for a two-year-old,” said driver Mike Oosting, subbing for Dave Magee who was in Quad City to attend the wedding of his daughter Lindsey.
Andy Miller hustled My Boy Luke away from the five post and to the top. After a quick: 27.1 first quarter, My Boy Luke strolled to a: 30.1 second panel. Oosting had Enzo The Baker in fifth in the early going and the Springfield and Orange and Blue champion was out and going after the leader by the: 57. 2 half, pulling alongside the leader at the 1:25.3 three-quarters. “Enzo” was still cooking coming out of the last turn and made a late burst to notch his seventh win in nine career starts for Illinois owners (Joe) Scurto Stables, Anthony Somone, Michael Somone and Leon Johnson. The son of Cole Muffler now has $198,090 on his card with next Friday’s $140,000 Abe Lincoln Pace at Maywood Park next up.
“Topaz” Continues to Sparkle
Fox Valley Topaz continued her domination of the two-year-old Illinois bred filly pacing division when she knifed between horses in the late going to win the $61,750 Violet Final with Mike Oosting in 1:56 flat. The Ken Rucker trainee had already won both State Fair champions at Springfield and DuQuoin and the $260,000 Orange and Blue on Super Night and along with her new entry-mate Cane’s Z Tam went off at overwhelming 1-5 odds.
“We adjusted her hobbles and put a Murphy blind on her tonight, and it paid off,” said winning trainer Ken Rucker. “She was a little rolly in her elim here last week. She actually prefers a bigger track, she’s a very big filly and if all goes well will next be in the Sarah Myers, the American National and then the Breeders Crown at The Big M. I won’t race her any more on a half—she’s such a big mare and racing on the half really does take its toll on her. She really hasn’t been a maturing kind of horse, she’s just been a big girl since day one.” (Maywood)