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Well To Do Guru Returns Minus Casey (06/15/13)
Posted Saturday June 15, 2013
By Mike Paradise
When former Illinois Horse of the Year Well To Do Guru makes his first appearance of the season in Saturday’s $30,000 Broadway Preview stake the now 9-year-old will have some familiar stable-mates starting inside of him however his customary driver Casey Leonard won’t be behind him.
Besides Well To Do Guru (p.p. 8), the Leonard Stable will also send out current Illinois kingpin Fort Silky (p.p. 5) and recent Aged Cardinal champion Whirlwindiplomacy (p.p. 1) in the ninth race feature. The Leonard trio will compete uncoupled because of different ownership.
“Arty (Art Gregory Jr.) will drive Well To Do Guru,” said Casey who won the Broadway Preview with the venerable pacer in 2010 and again last year.
“Arty drove and won with Well To Do Guru in April of 2011 when I was out with a separated shoulder. Mike (Oosting) will drive Whirlwindiplomacy.
“Besides Art, (my brother) Ross drove Well To Do Guru a dozen times or so earlier in the horse’s career as well but that’s it. It’s always been me driving him.
“Right now Fort Silky is the best of the older Illinois bred pacers racing on the circuit. I put myself back up to drive him. It wouldn’t be fair to Fort Silky or his owners for me to get off him and drive Well To Do Guru right now,” explained the 35-year-old Leonard
The Broadway Preview stake will be the first time Casey will be competing against the pride of the Leonard Stable and the 2011 Illinois Horse of Year.
“I’ve never driven against Well To Do Guru and that’s definitely one thing I never thought I would be doing,” added Casey. “It’s going to be a weird feeling going to the gate and looking over and seeing him.”
“He’s been off a long while so he’ll probably be short Saturday. We plan on racing him just in ICF races the rest of the year. Hopefully he can make it until November and then we’ll see about his future. We would love to have him back as a 10-year-old in 2014 but that’s a long way off.”
Fort Silky is listed as the 5-2 programmed favorite with both Well To Do Guru and Whirlwindoplomacy at odds of 6-1. Sawgrass Farms” Uncle Smoothie (Brian Carpenter) is the 7-2 early second choice.
Then comes Gibbs (9-2, Todd Warren), NJ’s Big Deal (8-1, Ronnie Gillespie), My Boy Gal (12-1, John de Long) and Richess Emperor (15-1, Dean Magee).
A number of ICF mares racing on Saturday’s card and likely staying sharp for next Saturday’s $20,000 Sue Fee stake. The pre-stake favorite is Mystical Victress, the favorite in the 8th race co-featured $12,500 “Winner’s Over.”
Party Hangover, Makena Cat, Peace and Tamarac Sassy are possible Sue Fee starters from that same race while in Sunday’s second race are a number of others, such as Fox Valley Matinee, rev Me Up, Dee Dee Sage, Fox Valley Touch and Fox Valley Absolut.
To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here
Art Gregory Jr. is reunited with Well To Do Guru in tonight's Broadway Preview.