Ryan Anderson didn’t have far to go to accept a trophy as Maywood Park’s 2006 Spring meet leading driver.
The 26-year-old drove Fox Valley Whiz to a wire-to-wire victory in Friday night’s feature and right after the winner’s circle picture, took a few steps forward to accept his reward for last season’s driving accomplishment.
Anderson took advantage of Fox Valley Whiz’s pole position, who out-sprinted his six foes in the $10,700 feature for $25,000-27,500 claimers and grabbed a quick lead. The seven-year-old son ofwas hustled out hard enough to make sure the field dropped in behind him, and then went on to make his first start of the season a successful 1:54.2 winning mile.
Fox Valley Whiz, the 2-1 second choice of the betting public, took the field to a :27.4 first quarter on a balmy (48 degrees) January night with Oakbrook Raider (Josh Sutton) sitting in the pocket and the 4-5 favorite Engle Stable owned entry of Caps Classic (Mike Oosting) and Cambustion (Sam Widger) racing third and fourth, respectively.
Widger pulled Cambustion out of fourth and raced outside of Fox Valley Whiz through a soft :29.4 second quarter and a quicker :28.4 third panel before tiring. Oakbrook Raider swung out of the pocket in the last turn and made his bid but Fox Valley Whiz ($6.40) had plenty left in the tank, scooting home in:28.1 for a one and one-quarter length decision.
Oakbrook Raider did nose out the fast closing Caps Classic (:27.3), who came up the passing lane to be a nose short of the place spot.
“Fox Valley Whiz has very good gate speed but he had been hurt by drawing outside in most of his recent races,” said Anderson. “This horse raced super on the front-end tonight.”
Trained by Todd Crone for Illinois owners Dominick Argentino (Wheeling) and Frank Reber (Bensenville), Fox Valley Whiz went 2-for-25 in 2006 with his season mark of 1:55.2 coming at Maywood Park.
Fox Valley Whiz was the second of three winning drives for Anderson on Friday’s card. Ryan posted a four-bagger on Thursday, opening night of Maywood Park’s sixty-first consecutive harness racing season.
Later in the evening, Jill Arnold accepted the trophy as last year’s Spring meeting’s leading trainer and Dave McCaffrey was honored as the fall-winter meet’s leading trainer, as well as the 2006 combined leading conditioner.
Tim Tetrick, the fall-winter and combined 2006 meetings leading driver, competed at Yonkers Raceway Friday night.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity