Booze Cruzin showed again Friday night why he’s the class of the Illinois bred three-year-old male division with a very easy victory in the $15,000 Cole Muffler stake in his season finale. Nicely rated by regular driver Sam Widger, the Joe Seekman trainee chalked up win No. 11, once again in front-end fashion.
Booze Cruzin, as expected, was hammered down to 1-5 odds in the eighth race feature. And as anticipated Widger hustled the son of Art’s Conquest out of the five-slot in the six-horse field, getting command mid-way in the first turn.
The 3-1 second choice Kinnick was sent out from the pole position and got the pocket that driver Mike Oosting most likely was hoping for.
After a: 27.4 first quarter on a cold night (25 degrees), Booze Cruzin was backed down by Widger when he had no challengers in the second quarter, getting there in: 58.1.
After that slow: 30.2 second panel, there was no doubt about the outcome of this race. The winner put away a mild bid by the first up Something To Say (Brent Holland) with a: 28.2 third quarter and then pulled away in the lane without any urging from runner-up Kinnick.
Booze Cruzin ended up one and three-quarter lengths the best with his: 27.3 final panel. Kinnick was five and one-half lengths to the third place finisher Fox Valley Gambler. There was no Show wagering on the race.
“This horse has just gotten better and better,” Widger noted. “His ability to keep going forward just gets stronger and stronger with each start. He’s an amazing animal.”
Booze Cruzin concluded his second season with 11 wins in 25 starts, earning $350,677 for Holland Michigan owner Broekhuis Stables. Among his sophomore championships were the Windy City Pace (Maywood), the Cardinal (Balmoral), the Master Shawn Final (Hawthorne), the Dudley Hanover (DuQuoin), a Horseman’s stake (Indianapolis), and Super Night’s Orange and Blue (Balmoral).
“You kind of hate to stop with a horse that’s winning—with a horse that’s doing so well,” noted second trainer Jerry Seekman (Joe’s brother). “However, Booze Cruzin has raced very tough all season long and definitely deserves a break. We’re going to give him 30 days off. He’ll have a month’s rest up in Michigan with his own pasture. Then, he’ll head out east somewhere—to The Meadowlands, Chester or Dover, perhaps. The owners are still a bit undecided exactly where they want to race him out there.”
Mike Paradise, Maywood Park