Go Warrior Go and driver Dave Magee won the early battle for command of Friday night’s (November 18) $35,000 Associates Stake and the five-year-old ICF pacer parlayed the front end into a game 1:54.2 winning performance in the third and final leg of the Maywood Park Pacing Series.
The Associates victory was also worth an additional $20,000 to Go Warrior Go’s owners Par II of Howe, IN, awarded to the state bred pacer with the most series points earned. Go Warrior Go earlier captured the second series leg Egyptian stake on August 27.
Sent off with entrymate Black Bingo as the 7-5 favorites, Magee had Go Warrior Go sprinting out from the one-slot, while Tim Tetrick did the same with the 5-2 second choice Live Out Loud from the five, as did Shawn Christner (7-1) with the venerable Illinois champion Taser Gun from the six-post.
The trio raced through the first turn, and a good portion of the sizzling :26.2 first quarter three abreast, with Go Warrior Go ($4.80) holding the inside advantage. Tetrick was hung outside of the leader with Live Out Loud, while Christner had to take back Taser Gun into the fifth spot in the eight-horse field.
Magee was able to get a :28.4 second quarter breather for Go Warrior Go despite having Live Out Loud outside of him. It wasn’t until the 1:24.3 three-quarters that Live Out Loud faded but then Moxie (Tony Morgan), who raced third inside most of the way, and the second-over Crazy Art (Brent Holland), both came charging at the pacesetter. However, Go Warrior Go still had something left. He held off runner-up Moxie by a half-length, while Crazy Art settled for third, beaten three quarters of a length.
“He was right on his game tonight,” winning driver Dave Magee noted. “This horse is a better horse when he can race under cover, but I didn’t want to get into a situation tonight where he’d get caught in between horses and not be able to get out, as he tends to get a little shy then.”
The $17,500 Associates winner’s share along with the $20,000 series bonus vaulted Go Warrior Go’s season earnings to $194,366. The victory was the gelding’s 10th in 34 starts in 2005.
“We’ll probably race him until the end of the season and then give him a little time off,” said trainer Darcy Pletcher. “This horse can get a little lazy at times but Davy (driver Magee) really gets along well with him.”
Mike Paradise, director of publicity