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I Scoot Sam Has Come a Long Way (01/26/13)
Posted Saturday January 26, 2013
By Mike Paradise
The $17,000 Invitational returns Saturday night after a week’s absence with a full field of 10 solid pacers that includes a new face to the circuit’s top overnight event.
He’s I Scoot Sam from the Terry Leonard Stable who will race uncoupled with another Leonard trainee Fort Silky because of different ownerships.
The now 8-year-old I Scoot Sam, owned by Michael and Laura Lee of Bridgeport, IL and Terry, spent a good portion of his career racing in Indiana successfully for Ross Leonard.
I Scoot Sam was an Open winner about a month before being sidelined in early August of 2011. He didn’t race again until November of 2012, some 16 months later.
“We’re not exactly sure what the problem was with the horse,” said Casey Leonard, who had driven I Scoot Sam since his return to racing.
“Our vet and we all thought I Scoot Sam had an infected joint. We took him to Purdue and up to the University of Wisconsin and they said the horse had a cyst in his bone that was pretty much inoperable.
“So we were pretty much going to not race him anymore. However, luckily Ross really liked the horse for sentimental reasons and because he’s a super horse to be around in the barn. Ross wanted to turn him out and wait with him and see what happens. My dad agreed, so we did.
“I think the horse was turned out for about a year. We brought him back once and jogged him a few times but he got sore so we turned him back out. The last time we brought him back he just kept progressing and getting better.
“So the problem was obviously not a degenerative bone. Maybe the problem was caused by an injection or something. Anyhow, he’s come back super.
“The first couple of times I drove I Scoot Sam when he came back I wasn’t overly impressed with the horse because he doesn’t do a whole lot on his own. But Ross kept saying be patient with him and let him get a chance to get his legs back under him and my brother was right.
“The horse kept getting better and he really showed me something in that last start when he went by a good horse like Firstclassallthway at Maywood and I had to take I Scoot Sam three deep in the last turn.”
I Scoot Sam landed the rail in the ninth race headliner and Ross will be reunited with the programmed 12-1 longshot while Casey is back behind Fort Silky (8-1) for Paw Paw, Illinois owners Neva Jane Grevengoed and John Prentice.
Fort Silky dropped a head decision to Saturday’s 3-1 favorite St Elmo Hero two weeks ago in another strong performance by the 7-year-old ICF pacer who can fly away from the starting gate.
“Fort Silky can be a little headstrong behind the gate but he’s awfully quick at the start,” continued Casey. “In his last race he snapped off from the gate faster than any horse I’ve ever driven before."
Al’s Hammered (4-1, Bobby Smolin) and St Elmo Hero (3-1, Mike Oosting) were assigned the 9 and 10 posts, respectively in Saturday's Invite.
Kansas Wildcat (10-1, John De Long), Iam Bonasrea (5-1), Park Lane Deputy (8-1), Touch The Rock (6-1) and the entry of Lennox Blue Chip (8-1, Ridge Warren) and Ice Scraper (8-1, Josh Sutton) complete the Invite field.
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