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Illinois Flavor in First Season Hanover (06/29/13)
Posted Saturday June 29, 2013
By Mike Paradise
A well-rested King Mufasa heads up the first of eight Hanover stakes this season in Saturday’s $36,000 added money event for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings.
Landing the rail with regular river Mike Oosting and being coupled with both Powerful Poe (Todd Warren) and Skyline Road (Casey Leonard) because of common ownership, the honcho of this year’s Illinois sophomore division will be at 9-5 first flash odds.
Coming in from Indiana to take on King Mufasa and seven other Illinois based trotters are Dan Shetler’s Longwell (4-1) and Steve Waller’s Deweykidumhhowe (10-1), who drew the outside 9 and 10-posts, respectively.
Longwell is no stranger to Balmoral’s big track. Last year the son of Yankee Guide won the American National 2-Year-Old Trot in 1:58.2. This season the colt is 1 for 3 with a pair of seconds at Hoosier Park and has shown he has the gate speed to gain position.
King Mufasa is 4-for-4 in this year’s ICF division, winning four stakes including the $50,800 Cardinal Final late last month for Springfield based trainer Mike Brink.
“Thus far the horse done everything I’ve asked,” said Brink. “His only loss came in a prep race a week before the Cardinal Final. He was in against older horses and drew outside. I told Mike (driver Oosting) I didn’t want to tear the horseup in that race when we had the Cardinal a week later.
“So Mike let him settle in. He got back pretty far but he closed very strong and was second best to Big Chocolate., a very good open company trotter.”
King Mufasa skipped Balmoral’s June 19 Betzotic stake and will have 16 days off going into Saturday’s fifth race headliner.
“I gave him more time off to keep him fresh for Saturday’s Hanover. It’s a long season and King Mufasa is not a very big horse so I want to make sure he gets plenty of rest in between starts. I’ll pick up by spots with him.”
Fox Valley Dubai (10-1, Brian Carpenter), Show Stoppin Money (10-1, Ronnie Gillespie), Semper Fit (5-2, Dave Magee), Gonnagetya (20-1, Freddie Patton Jr.) and Fox Valley Camo (6-1, Jamaica Patton) are the other Hanover hopefuls.
Also on tap Saturday’s is the ninth race $12,000 Betzotic for ICF sophomore colt and gelding pacers, followed by the $17,000 Invitational Handicap.
With Fancy Creek Elusive and Mystical Walter, the 1-2 finishers in last weekend’s $115,000 Maywood Pace Final skipping this week’s Betzotic, the early favoritism will be divided between Fox Valley Action (2-1, Todd Warren) and Big Brad (3-1, Bobby Smolin).
They’ll be challenged by Kostas Wine (8-1), Mr. Three Quarters (12-1), Middle Aged Crazy (6-1) and Monopoly Man (7-2).
Illinois kingpin Fort Silky is taking this weekend off and that makes Saturday’s invite a wide-open affair and with no clear-cut favorite. The posts were drawn by groups (1-6) and (7-8).
The first six slots belong to Old Man River (8-1), NJ’s Big Deal (10-1), Whirlwindiplomacy )8-1), Madoff (5-1), Gibbs (9-2) and Raging Cam (8-1) with the latter racing as an entry with Old Man River.
Bestman Hanover (5-2) and Lennox Blue Chip (7-2) landed the outside two posts.
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King Mufasa (1A) looks to add tonight's Hanover to his accomplishments.
Notes and Quotes