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Underated Whirlwindiplomacy Returns (10/05/13)

Posted Saturday October 5, 2013

                                                     By Mike Paradise

  When Fort Silky takes the long van ride from the Leonard’s farm in Harvard, IL to Balmoral Park in Crete, IL for Saturday’s $17,000 Invitational, the 5-2 morning line favorite will have plenty of company.

  Four other top-notch Terry Leonard Stable pacers are also making the 110-mile trip, the distaffers Tamarac Sassy and Whistle Pig for the $14,500 co-featured “Winner’s Over” eighth race filly and mare pace, and In Over My Head and Whirlwindplomacy for the $10,000 eleventh race conditioned pace.

  While Fort Silky, Tamarac Sassy, Whistle Pig and former Windy City Pace champion In Over My Head, all came into this season with close to or over $100,000 in career earnings, Whirlwindiplomacy made only a little over $10,000 in his first two seasons.

  However this season as a 4-year-old the horse has added nearly $58,000 to his card.  I asked Casey what turned the Illinois-bred gelding around.

  “I broke the colt when he a youngster and trained in many times,” said Casey. “I knew he was pretty quick, even as a 2-year-old but he was a real tough colt to drive. When we acquired him in mid-August of last year the first thing we did was ‘cut’ him.

  “Then we turned him out. When we brought him back we took it real slow with him. I had to teach him how to race so I could handle him in a race. After a few starts for us we put him in (conditioned) claimers.

  “This year his first seven starts were in conditioned/claimers. After he started winning there we’ve moved him up and he’s just gotten better and better.”

  Tonight’s start in a high-level conditioned pace is only the second time in his last 12 outings that Whirlwindiplomacy has not gone postward in an Illinois bred aged stake or an open Balmoral Invitational.

  Whirlwindiplomacy came into 2013 with a mark of 1:54.1, taken at Balmoral last year as a 3-year-old. In late March of this year he won on the Crete big track in 1:51.1. In his Maurello elimination he was timed in 1:50.3 with a :26.3 last quarter.

  Back on May 31 when his renowned ICF stable-mate Fort Silky won the first Aged Cardinal stake division at Maywood Park, Whirlwindiplomacy came from eighth and last on the half-mile track to capture the second Cardinal split with Casey.

  Dean Magee will get the catch drive behind Whirlwindiplomacy (5-1) in race eleven while Casey handles In Over My Head (8-1) from the pole position. The now 7-year-old In Over My Head (Dale Hiteman) pulled off a stunning upset in the 2009 Windy City at odds of 55-1 when he raced for the John Butenschoen Stable as a 3-year-old.

  Fort Silky’s streak was 18 consecutive starts with either a first or second place finish was snapped last week when he finished third, beaten three-quarters of a length, by winning longshot Firstclassallthway and runner-up Brooklyn Flight.

  John De Long is off his Saturday Balmoral drives to be at Hoosier Park where he’ll guide Firstclassallthway in a $30,000 claimer with a $24,000 purse. The Wisconsin native also handles the Erin Elliot Stable’s Celebrity Hercules in the $24,000 Invite Trot, and Schmatie in a $22,500 pace for 3-year-old fillies.

  To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here

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