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Most Favorites Drew Poorly for Springfield Finals (08/14/14)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014
By Mike Paradise
The rain-shorted Illinois State Fair harness racing meeting at Springfield concludes this afternoon with no less than 10 championships to be decided. Six have $52,000 pots and four others are splits of $30,000 each.
First Post is at 12 noon.
While drawing an outside post on a big track in a championship event isn’t as big a bummer for an owner as it is on a half-miler, it’s still a detriment to his or her pacer or trotter chances of coming away with the big prize.
For the pre-race favorites in all six $52,000 championships the postposition draw was either feast or famine for the owners of those horses. By a 3-1 ratio the race office pill-shaking pastime of chance couldn’t have gone any worse.
Mini Me champion King Of The Swamp (8-5, Todd Warren) landed the 10-hole in the eleventh race 2-year-old colt championship for owners William and Pat De Long. Ditto for Palmer, Illinois owner Donald Huddleston and his nine-time season winner Macie Rae in the 12th race sophomore final for trotting colts and geldings.
Things didn’t go much better for Quaid Racing of Evergreen Park, Illinois when their Ann Vonian champ My Little Bit (7-5, Casey Leonard) ended up with the 9-slot in the 11-horse field final for 3-year-old pacing fillies.
Unlocked, generously listed at 9-5 in the morning line with Dave Magee, is looking in from the outside nine-hole in the 15th race showdown of ICF 3-year-old colts and geldings for his proprietors Megan Roger’s Racing Stables of Chicago.
On the flipside, Mr. Leland’s Filly (1-1, Casey Leonard), winner of both the 2-year-old ICF filly Loyal Opposition Pace and a Hanover, is sitting pretty with the one-post for her Illinois owners Paymaq Racing of Long Grove and Leland Mathias of Bethany.
And Fox Valley Veto had to bring a smile to the faces of Curt and Craig Gummel of Carrollton, Illinois when he landed the rail in the 13th race championship for ICF 3-year-old trotting colts and gelding after rattling off four victories in a row including last month’s Kadabra stake at Balmoral.
When rain washed out the eliminations for both of the 2-year-old filly and colt trotting races, those stakes became a quartet of $30,000 events.
The filly trot finals will go as races 5 and 6 on Wednesday’s card while “the boys” will tangle in their $30,000 championships in races 7 and 8.
Herman Wheeler’s unbeaten (4-for-4) Plesac champion Fox Valley Qatar (Todd Warren) is the overwhelming 1 to 2 favorite from post 5 in race 8, while Captain Greedy, trained and driven by J D Finn, is listed as the 2-1 early choice from the one-slot in race nine. The latter brings in a five-race winning streak for Finn of Newton, Illinois and co-owner and breeder Charles Doehring of Brownstown, Illinois.
Harness racing resumes on the Chicago circuit with Friday's card at Maywood Park and on Saturday at Balmoral. First post is 7:10 pm.
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