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Cardinal Pace Finalists Decided Tonight (05/25/13)

Posted Saturday May 25, 2013

                                                     By Mike Paradise

  The field for next Saturday’s $57,300 Cardinal Final will be decided tonight with a pair of eliminations. A fifth place or better finish is needed to advance to the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace showdown.

  Going postward in the seventh race second elimination is Sawgrass Farm’s Fox Valley Norman, a surprise winner of last week’s Gosox stake at Maywood Park. It came in the Perry Smith’s trainee’s first start of the year when the Yankee Skyscraper colt was reunited with driver John De Long.

  “I really didn’t know what to expect from him going into the race,” said De Long. “I didn’t talk to Perry (Smith) before I drove him. I looked at the entries and saw I was listed to drive him and that was it.

  “I did drive the horse at Du Quoin as a 2-year-old (fifth in the Governor’s Cup). “I liked the horse last year but it seemed he was a little immature. He was big horse last year, too.”

  Fox Valley Norman’s Gosox victory came on the front-end.

   “I wasn’t looking to take him to the front,” continued the 24-year-old Wisconsin native. “It just kind of worked out that way. Mike (Oosting) did tell me that when he qualified Fox Valley Norman the horse grabbed-on behind the gate. In the Gosox he did a little but he’s such a big horse that in two steps to get to the front.

  “For such a big horse he gets around Maywood perfectly.

  “Mike’s horse (the favorite Shotgun Shack) went off stride right after the start and of course, that changed everything. I probably would have gotten away fourth or fifth and it might have been a completely different story.

  “Instead my horse got to the top very easily. I thought that someone would come up and covered him up but nobody did so when we got to the half I just put the hammer down and he was revved up and rolling then. We went in :27.3 on the backside.

   “A 54 mile at Maywood for the first time out of the box as a 3-year-old is pretty sporty.  “This horse covers a lot of ground and he covers it fast.”

   Fox Valley Norman will be coupled with stable-mate Greg And Flex when they open as the 5-2 programmed choices and take on Fancy Creek Elusiv (4-1), Beachside Bungalow (8-1), Crankin’ It Up (9-2), Kostas Wine (10-1), Sage Ruck (6-1) and Mystical Walter (3-1).

  This will be the first 3-year-old start for the Nick Giberson Stable’s Fancy Creek Elusiv, the winner of last year’s $250,000 Orange and Blue on Super Night.

 Looking for a berth in the Cardinal Final from the sixth race first division are Silver Devil (5-1), Fox Valley Malone (8-1), JP’s Mini Me (10-1), Colechester (8-1), Monopoly Man (6-1), Tracy’s Hero (12-1), Darth Quaider (7-2) and Fox Valley Action (5-2).

  To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here


Gosox champion Fox Valley Norman (John De Long) seeks berth in Cardinal Final.

                                                                                                R.E.B. Photo


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