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Kadabra Kicks off Festival of Racing (07/26/13)
Posted Friday July 26, 2013
By Mike Paradise
Balmoral Park hosts its annual Southland Festival of Racing on Saturday evening with five ICF stake championships to be decided.
The $51,500 Kadabra for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings was moved to the second race to kick off the track’s Pick 5 which, at least on paper, looks more like a Pick 4 with the powerhouse entry of King Mufasa, Skyline Road and Powerful Poe.
King Mufasa has been dominant, breezing to victories in his last four races that included a Hanover and a career fastest 1:54.1 mile two weeks ago and he wasn’t urged to go any faster.
“I don’t know how fast he can go,” said King Mufasa’s trainer Mike Brink. “Mike (driver Oosting) told me he never pulled the earplugs in his last start when the horse went in 54. All I can say is that he’s a very nice trotter and that we haven’t found his bottom yet.”
“King Mufasa is loaded with talent,” added Oosting. “Mike (Brink) has done a wonderful job with the horse. Last year he was uncontrollable. Now you can do anything you want with him.”
Powerful Poe, the runner-up to King Mufasa in the Hanover, went to Michigan earlier this month and was second in hazel park’s $100,000 Connors championship. Regular driver Todd Warren made the trip to drive the Dirk Simpson trainee with over $210,000 on his card in one and a half seasons of racing.
While the morning line on the Kadabra has King Mufasa and friends is at 6-5, anything over 2-5 odds would be a gift for the entry supporters.
Saturday’s $60,000 Ann Vonian Final Auniqueaquisition (programmed 5-2) and Aliyah Maria (3-1) square off for the fifth time this year with the each filly beating the other twice.
Aliyah Maria beat her when the Roger Welch trainee took the Violet title back in May. Auniqueaquisition handled open company fillies in a Hanover, a stake Aliyah Maria wasn’t eligible to.
“Donna (trainer Lee Ozment) has just done a heck of a job with Aquiqueaquisiton,” said her driver Oosting “Last year the filly didn’t always want to finish but this year that’s not a problem.
“She and Todd Warren’s horse (Aliyah Maria) look like the best in their division. They’ve beaten each other and they figure to battle that way all through the rest of the year.”
The other Southland Festival of Racing ICF showdowns are the $65,000 Loyal Opposition for freshman pacing fillies, the $63,500 Mini Me for 2-year-old male pacers and the $59,000 Incredible Finale for second season pacing colts and geldings.
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King Mufasa (Mike Oosting) goes after his fifth straight in Saturday's Kadabra.