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Du Quoin Champ Back Home (02/01/13)
Posted Friday February 1, 2013
By Mike Paradise
Two-time Du Quoin State Fair champion Mystical MJ makes her first start in Illinois in over a year when she competes Friday night at Maywood Park for the Tom Simmons Stable.
The now 5-yerar-old daughter of Sportsmaster was bought by long-time Simmons owner (David) Clinard Properties Inc. of Mt. Sterling, IL for $33,000 at the Meadowlands Sale a few weeks ago
Mystical MJ will open as the 5-2 second choice in Friday’s $10,000 11th race conditioned pace. The mare has lifetime earnings of $240,168 and $188,065 of that amount came in her first two seasons in Illinois when she campaigned for the Erv Miller Stable.
As a 2-year-old she won the Director’s Award stake at Du Quoin and was second in the Springfield Final and Balmoral’s Loyal Opposition Championship and the Sarah Myers.
She also won the Time Dancer as a 3-year-old at Du Quoin, about a week after she captured the Springfield crown where took her mark of 1:51.1, beating Pardon and Fox Valley Touche.
That winter Mystical MJ was sold to New Jersey interests and earned almost $48,000 in 2012 even though she had just one victory in 23 outings.
Mystical MJ leaves from post six Friday with Mike Oosting in her Prairie State return. The first five posts are manned by Skinny Jeans (8-1), MJ’s Last Dance (9-2), Bluebird Regal (15-1), Twilight Delight (6-1) and the 2-1 morning line favorite I Kill Time.
Longshots Makin’ A Statement (20-1) and Summer Party (15-1) have the 7 and 8 slots, respectively.
Potent Starts: A trio of local circuit drivers—Mike Oosting, Casey Leonard and John Roberts—all were cooking for the first month of the New Year.
Oosting began defense of both the Balmoral and Maywood driving crowns with 40 winners in January, coming in 229 drives.
Leonard brought home 332 horses to victories in 202 opportunities, highlighted by a career best six winners on Maywood’s January 18 program. Horses Casey drove made $1,620,445 last year, a personal season best for the 35-year-old resident of Harvard, Illinois.
The 32-year-old Roberts began the new season with a very robust 25 winning drives coming in 127 chances. “Rocket Roberts” had career highs in wins (225) and money won ($1,352,346) for the 2012 season.
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