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Widger sweep at Maywood

December 08, 2006

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Buster B Skipalong and I Believe Its True both were convincing winners, with driver Sam Widger at their lines, in the first-round divisions of the Incredible Finale Series for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Thursday night at Maywood Park.

The series is for second season state-bred pacers without two victories or $5,000 in career earnings as of Nov. 1 of this year. Balmoral Park will host the series’ second leg on Wednesday, Dec. 13. The series leading moneywinners will compete in the $10,000 (est.) Incredible finale Final on Thursday, Dec. 22, at Maywood Park.

The 1-2 public’s choice, Buster B Skipalong ($3), had little trouble winning Thursday’s first division in front-end fashion, in 1:57.2, on a very chilly, 13 degree night. The pocket horse, Buckhorn Major (Josh Sutton), was second, beaten by 1 3/4 lengths. Bell Valley Banker (Ryan Anderson) took the show spot, two more lengths behind.

Nicely rated by driver WIdger, Buster B Skipalong shot out of the two slot and took the eight-horse field through fractions of :28, :58, and 1:27.4, before coming home in :29.2 without any urging.

“Buster B Skipalong is a racehorse,” Widger said. “He likes his job. This horse is quick from the gate and he raced really well tonight. He was a little excited coming out there, but he settled in nicely.”

Unraced at two, Buster B Skipalong won for the third time in his last four starts for trainer Kyle Jones and Rice Lake, Wis. owners Richard and Sally Fish. The son of Oxford Grad now sports a season record of four wins in 11 starts.

I Believe Its True ($2.80) was another overwhelming opening-round winning favorite at 2-5. The 3-year-old son of Cole Muffler drew off by 13-plus lengths in his second start since he was acquired in a private sale by trainer Ken Rucker for the Engle Stable, Centaur Stable, Rucker Stable, and Jordon Skult.

Soon after the start I Believe Its True grabbed the three hole behind the pacesetting Thereplayingoursong (Anderson) and Closeatom (Todd Warren). After a :28.1 first panel, Widger took I Believe Its True out in the second turn. The winner was only a head behind at the :58.4 half-mile pole, but didn’t clear to the front until he came out of the third turn. Once he did, the race was all over.

I Believe Its True was ahead by 2 1/2 lengths at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, and was all by himself at the end of the 1:57.1 mile. Harmony Oaks John came on to be a distant second best, beaten by 13 1/4 lengths. Thereplayinoursong held on for third, another half-length back.

“I won very handily,” Widger said. “Once we cleared and he got himself straighten out, I knew we were in good shape.”

The victory was I Believe Its True first in 17 season starts, and it was his first start on Lasix. The gelding also won his Nov. 29 qualifying race at Balmoral Park on the bleeder medication by 13 lengths. (Maywood Park)
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