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Mystical Walter a Winning Choice (07/27/13)
Posted Saturday July 27, 2013
By Mike Paradise
Before every racing card many drivers make decisions on which particular horse to be behind over another.
About a little more than a month ago Casey Leonard had a choice in the Maywood Pace Final after steering a pair of 3-year-olds in their eliminations into the championship.
Casey chose Mystical Walter, winless in his first four season starts and somewhat of a “green” pacer with only five trips postward as a 2-year-old.
It’s a decision that brings a smile to Casey’s face.
“I knew it would be a risk but I also knew that Mystical Walter had a lot of potential and now he’s showing it. We haven’t seen the bottom of him yet,” said Casey.
Leonard’s comment to me came after Mystical Walter paced a 1:50 flat mile when he won a Hanover two weeks ago and followed with his third straight victory in last week’s Incredible Finale elimination with a 1:51.1 clocking while well in hand.
Tonight the Erv Miller trained colt opens up as the programmed 2-1 favorite in the $50,000 Final for ICF sophomore pacing colts and geldings, one of five championships to be decided on Southland Festival of Racing Night at Balmoral Park.
To say that Casey has been impressed by Mystical Walter might be a bit of an understatement.
“He is the fastest horse I ever drove,” said Casey.
“Mystical Walter reminds me of a thoroughbred. He looks like a thoroughbred. He’s a sharp looking horse who likes his work. He even kind of races like a thoroughbred. You’re not afraid of showing him a little air because he just keeps going.”
Mystical Walter came from eighth and last in the Maywood Pace Final to be only a head short of catching the winner Fancy Creek Elusiv and the gelding hasn’t lost a race since for his owners Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL, D&M Trading of Chicago and Mystical Marker Farms of Dwyer, Indiana.
“The horse kind of lets me know when he wants to go,” continued Leonard, who will be 36-years-old on “9-11.”
“When Mystical Walter went in ‘50’ he was strong all the way to the wire. In his last race I showed him the whip at the three-quarter pole just to get his attention to let him know that they were probably going to start coming at him and he just swelled right up and was ready to go He came home in 27 flat. And that was after he went in ‘27’ on the backside.
“A lot of it is how well he is trained. He’s such a nice horse. I’d thrilled to be driving him.”
The eighth race Incredible Finale is the last of five ICF stake championships on Saturday’s Southland Festival of Racing program.
The second race $51,500 Kadabra for sophomore trotting colts gets the stakes brigade started. The $65,000 Loyal Opposition for 2-year-old filly pacers is race five, followed by the $63,500 Mini Me for freshman pacing males in race six and the $60,000 Ann Vonian for second season pacing fillies in race seven.
To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here
Mystical Walter (Casey Leonard) streaks into tonight's Incredible Finale Final.