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Silky Smooth Sailing (08/30/14)
Posted Saturday August 30, 2014
By Mike Paradise
Fort Silky and driver Casey Leonard successfully defended their Maywood Park Pacing Series crown with a convincing victory in last night’s $25,000 Egyptian stake, stopping the timer in a quick 1:50.4, just 2 ticks off a second off the track record.
The venerable 8-year-old gelding had the outside five-slot in the second leg of the series for ICF pacers, ages three and up, nevertheless he exploded from the starting gate and had a three length lead over the 40-1 longshot Fox Valley Norman coming out of the first turn with the heavy 2-5 favorite Al’s Hammered settling into the three-hole.
Casey nicely rated Fort Silky to a :28.1 first quarter and a comfortable :28 second quarter before Bobby Smolin pulled Al’s Hammered out in the third turn. That’s when Casey let the Terry Leonard trainee out a notch and the :27.1 third quarter kept the public’s choice more than two lengths behind.
Al’s Hammered had dead aim on Fort Silky at the top of the lane but the winner had plenty left in the tank, coming home in :27.2 to finish two lengths ahead of his ICF rival.
Back in early July Fort Silky won the opening first leg Cook County stake and Friday’s Egyptian triumph clinched the series championship even with one leg left (The McKeever in November).
A $25,000 bonus for winning the series will be awarded to Paw Paw, Illinois owners Neva Jane Keeler and John Prentice for a second straight year.
Mystical Walter came on for third in the fourth race feature that was reduced to five starters when Silver Devil came up sick and had to be scratched.
Super Night Preps: The Saturday before Super Night eliminations is sometimes used by trainers to sharpen their horses up for those all-so-important elims and a shot at those six-figure championship pots.
With the Du Quoin State Fair ICF events contested just last weekend, most of the 2 and 3-year-olds are taking this weekend off but there are so notable exceptions.
The Nelson Willis Stable’s Lex, who hasn’t been out since a second place finish on August 2 in a Hanover, is the second race 5-2 programmed favorite in a 2-year-old ICF filly prep. Lex earlier captured Balmoral’s Ohyouprettything stake. Among her challengers is Springfield Review champion BS Tyrichess (6-1, Brian Carpenter).
The third race is the Super Night elimination prep for ICF 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Mini Me champion King Of The Swap (programmed 6-1, Todd Warren), who skipped Du Quoin, could be the post-time favorite despite the 10-hole. The Roger Welch trainee is coupled with his O&B eligible stable-mate Rockin Cassinova, who owns seven victories on the fair circuit.
The Dave Mc Caffrey Stable’s Dupage’s Z Tam (p.p. 9, Casey Leonard)-, runner-up in the Springfield Final, is the 3-1 early favorite The (Marty) Engel Stable’s home bred The Big Sleazy (Ryan Anderson) is the 4-1 second choice. The Erv Miller Stable’s Engine One O One (6-1, Travis Seekman), who went off stride at the start as the Governor’s Cup favorite, is another likely Orange and Blue bound pacer in the 10-horse field.
No Invite: With Al’s Hammered and Fort Silky racing in last night’s Egyptian stake at Maywood, the Saturday Invitational came up short and didn’t fill. It was replaced by a $10,700 conditioned pace for non-winners of $17,500 in their last five starts.
It’s a very solid ninth race field with the early favorite’s Best Man Hanover (3-1, Todd Warren), Time To Roll (7-2, Dave Magee) and In Over My Head (9-2, Casey Leonard) who had been off since mid-July.
Both Time To Roll (July 5) and In Over My Head (June 7) are past Balmoral Invite winner’s this season.
Minnesota Bound: John De Long, currently second to Casey Leonard in driver circuit wins this season, is at Running Acres Saturday night. The 25-year-old Wisconsin native has drives in eight Minnesota Championships, six behind his father Jesse horses.
County Fair Report
CHRISTIAN AND TRI COUNTY FAIR AT PANA
FIRST: $1,000 Non-Winners of $2,000 LT Trot:
Horse (Driver) Time (Track Fast)
Forest Raider (Dakota Birch) 2:12
Trainer: Joan Brown. Owners: Joan and David Brown.
SECOND: $1,000 Non-Winners of $3,000 LT Pace:
Party’s Gold (Dillon Cox) 2:04
Trainer: Ray Hanna. Owners: Mary Jeffers and Adele Everett.
THIRD: $1,000 Winner’s Over $2,000 LT Trot:
Powerful Speed (Tom Graham Jr.) 2:02.4
Trainer: Tom Graham Jr. Owners: Jerry Graham, J. Graham, Tom Graham Jr.
FOURTH: $1,300 IHHA Four-Year-Olds and Up Pace:
Incredible Filly (Mike Rogers) 2:00.2
Trainer: John Fletcher. Owner: Savanna Turner.
FIFTH: $1,300 IHHA Four-Year-Olds and Up Pace:
Rucker Place (Mike Brink) 2:01.1
Trainer: Mike Brink. Owner: Adam Friedland.