Given a perfect two-hole journey by driver Mike Oosting Thin Blue Line scooted through the passing lane and captured Friday night’s (October 28) $275,000 Windy City Pace Final, Maywood Park’s signature stake for the last 23 years.
Sent off as the 3-1 third choice, Thin Blue Line worn down the pacesetting Gold Dust Beach in the late going, posting a three-quarter of a length victory with a 1:52.3 time for the mile. Art’s Day came from seventh at the three-quarters to take third, another three-quarters of a length behind the Richard Oldfield trained winner.
“I had a chance to go three-deep in the elimination and I really wanted to make sure that I made the final with plenty left for this week,” Oosting said. “I wanted to make sure I had a confident horse going into the final.”
Just as he did in last week’s second elimination Gold Dust Beach (Tony Morgan) was quickest from the gate, out-sprinting Thin Blue Line, who had the rail, and gaining control in the first turn. Gold Dust Beach had an unhurried :27.4 first quarter and was able to get away with a easy :56.2 half with Chevy Cash (Dale Hiteman) racing first up.
Meanwhile Thin Blue Line was setting pretty in the pocket when Gold Dust Beach put Chevy Cash away with a :28.1 third quarter. The leader was still one-length ahead coming out of the last turn but Thin Blue Line’s :27.3 final panel propelled him to his third victory (14 starts) of the season and sent his season earning’s from $75,685 to $213,185 for Oldfield Farm of Farm Creek, MI.
‘Thin Blue Line can leave well and he’s best from off the pace,” said Oosting. “When Brian’s (Sears) horse (Cam’s Fool) made a break early on I thought we were home solid. This is a very happy day for the connections of this horse and for me.”
The first $65,000 division of the Cinderella stake for three-year-old fillies saw Illinois champion Brianna Joy extend her winning streak to seven in her usual front-end fashion with a 1:53 and three-fifths mile clocking. Driven by Eric Ledford, the 1-2 favorite paid $3.00 in her first venture against open company pacers. Canadian invader Belovedangel was second beaten a half-length. The 2004 Breeders Crown freshman winner Restive Hanover rallied for third.
“We know now that this filly is for real,” said winning trainer Seldon Ledford. “Tonight she beat a real remarkable filly.”
“The race worked out great for us. I needed John (Campbell) to be first over (with Belovedangel) and that’s what happened,” Eric Ledford said. “This was her biggest test of the year to date and she passed with flying colors.”
The victory was Brianna Joy’s 12th in 16 season starts for Illinois owners James Jesk (Lemont) and Ledford Racing Inc. (Crete). The Illinois bred filly has earned $266,550.
New Jersey Sire Stake champion Magic Swan was given a perfect trip by driver Andy Miller and the sophomore trotter took advantage of it, rushing past in the lane to post a length victory in 1:57 and three-fifth for the mile. Vanished came from far back to grab second while the pacesetter Garth Vader held on for third. The third choice in the betting paid $14.60.
Garth Vader was sent out by DR Ackerman and took a quick lead before the first turn, The Doug Ackerman trainee followed his :28.2 first quarter with a very leisurely :30.4 second panel with Bare It All (John Campbell) racing to his outside. Garth Vader took the field to a 1:28.2 three quarter time however in the lane was overtaken by both Magic Swan and Vanished.
Magic Swan, trained by Jeff Long, who shares ownership of the Enjoy Levec offspring with James Harris (Westbury, NY) and Paul Long (Milford, DE), was sent off as the 6-1 fourth choice. The 6-5 Ray Schnittker three-horse favored entry was never a factor. Both Armbro Copenhagen and Clearaway went off stride in the early going and ended up eighth and tenth, respectively. Stable mate Hewitt Blue Chip got away slowly, fell some 13 lengths off the leader by the quarter, and finished seventh.
“Magic Swan was just super to drive and the trip couldn’t have worked out any better for us than it did,” Andy Miller said of his Galt winner. “In a big (10-horse) field like this all you have to do is play it by ear and hope that things work out for you and tonight things were perfect for my colt.”
Miller was back in the winner’s circle four races later when half-mile world record holder My Boy David ($3.00) went wire-to-to-wire and notched the $140,000 Abe Lincoln for freshman pacing colts and geldings. The 1:54.3 winning time was almost a two full second off My Boy David’s 1:52.4 clocking in the Cardinal two weeks ago, however the state-bred youngster was never pushed in Friday’s Lincoln.
“My Boy David deserved the respect he got in here after the way he’s raced all year round,’ Andy noted. “Having the rail was certainly an advantage in here and I really wasn’t that worried about Pujols. This horse had things pretty much his own way in here and I really never felt threatened. He was just super strong tonight”
The Abe Lincoln was the first open company test for My Boy David and the son ofpassed it in flying colors with a comfortable one and one-half length triumph, his seventh in 14 first season outings for Illinois owners Shirley Le Vin and David Riff. The Homer Hochstetler trained freshman has now banked $255,999.
The second $65,000 Cinderella division also saw another “pocket rocket” prevail when Digga Digga (Pat Berry) outclosed the Maytime Hall (John Campbell) after the latter set all the fraction only to come up one length short at the end of the 1:54 flat mile.
The second Cinderella winner, trained by Brett Robinson, increased her second season earnings to $142,400 for Richard Hill, Ontario owners Marilyn and Ian Fromowitz.
“The trip was good tonight,” said Digga Digga’s driver Pat Berry. “I got behind Maytime Hall and got the perfect trip,” Pat Berry said. “She was perfect around the turns and just paced super all the way to the wire. We couldn’t have had a better spot than to get behind Campbell’s horse who was strong, but my filly just was a little stronger tonight.”
Maytime Hall cut fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:25.4 before giving way to the winner. Mistletoe Shalee champion Chotat Milk was a far back third, beaten seven- lengths after being locked-in and shuffled out of contention.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity