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Benn's a Keeper (04/24/13)
Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2013
By Mike Paradise
Last year at this time Wednesday’s feature starter Benn’s Score Keeper was more familiar with a rural grocery store than he was with Balmoral Park’s one-mile track.
Veteran horseman Marshall Makin took a chance on the Michigan bred trotter last summer and it has turned out to be a very wise move for the 65-year-old Wolverine native.
“Benn’s Score Keeper had some health issues as a 3-year-old and was sold to the Amish after his first season in 2011,” said Makin. “I got a call last year from the Amish and they told me he was a nice horse and asked me I would be interested in buying him.
“I knew his original owner had high hopes for the trotter and the horse did have a good year as a 2-year-old before his health problems. I think he made over $25,000 in his first year.
“The Amish price on the horse was right so I felt I had to give him a try.”
It’s turned out to a shrewd decision for Marshall.
Benn’s Score Keeper didn’t race from November of 2011 until July of 2012 when Makin got the trotter back to competition.
“Last year when I got the horse he wasn’t in the best of health,” continued Marshall. “After all he hadn’t been racing since late in 2011. Instead the horse was pulling a cart back and forth from the grocery store on probably some dirt roads for many months.
“So when I got him I took my time getting him back to racing. I started him a couple of times at Balmoral last summer and he didn’t do any good so I took him to Michigan and he won a two straight races. I brought him back to Balmoral where he won two more times.
“Now as a 5-year-old he’s really doing well for me. He’s turned out to be a very good trotter. “
Benn’s Score Keeper already has made a season best $27,750 for Makin this year and it’s only April. Last week the chestnut gelding rallied with Casey Leonard to overtake the 6-5 favorite George’s Vacation and Mike Oosting who had driven Benn’s Score Keeper to his previous two season triumphs.
Benn’s Score Keeper (programmed 6-1) will have entry-mate Mad Cow Lisa (p.p. 2, Jared Moyer) in the $12,500 “Winner’s Over” trot feature when he leaves from post 7 with Casey. The 3-1 morning line favorite George’s Vacation and Oosting have the outside 8-slot.
The competitive sixth race field also lured Hitithard (8-1, Jimmy Daniel), New Zion (6-1, Todd Warren), Melt In Your Mouth (7-2, Dave Magee), Lookin’ Ahead (5-1, Kyle Wilfong) and Natural Forces (4-1, Skip De Mull).
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Marshall Makin's Been's Score Keepr (Casey Leonard) wins another at Balmoral.
Courtesy of R.E.B. Photos
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