Sixteen state-bred freshman colts and geldings will vie in a pair of eight-horse elimination divisions for starting berths in next week’s $60,000 (estimated) championship at Maywood Park.
Among Friday night’s Cardinal Final hopefuls are Super Night Orange and Blue champion Froggy Turn and Springfield State Fair winner Mucho Sleazy, the morning line favorites in their respective splits
“Froggy Turner is a real nice colt,” said Dave Magee who guided him to his come-from-behind 1:52.1 Super Night championship.
“He’s big gaited but he gets around a half real well. Tommy (trainer Simmons) started out at the fairs and he had no problems there. He’s versatile. He can come from off of it like he did in the Orange and Blue or he can race up close. I like him a lot.”
Froggy Turner will open as the 5-2 first flash favorite in race five Friday. Omaha Survivor, winner of the Fox Valley Championship at Hawthorne, is 3-1 second choice, and Lets Get Started, the third place finisher in the O&B showdown is at 4-1.
The first division also brought out Harness My Fury (20-1), Littlebitoflife (8-1), Chevie Classic Rod (6-1), Blagojevich (5-1) and Too Much Pepper (15-1).
Mucho Sleazy bounced back last Saturday at Balmoral Park after a disastrous and uncommon break in his Orange and Blue elimination two weeks earlier, missing the freshmen stake championship.
The home bred won a division of the Yates Eagle stake in 1:52.4, pacing a very quick: 54.3 last half for Buffalo Grove, IL owner and breeder Marty Engle and is the 9-5 early favorite in the second Cardinal elimination.
“Mucho Sleazy has done everything we’ve asked him to do and he’s overachieved from what we expected,” said driver Mike Oosting. “Ken (trainer Rucker) has just done a hell of a job with him. This horse always shows up and for some reason in his (O&B) elimination he ran.
“We weren’t going very fast and I was backing off and giving Dave (Magee) the hole. He wasn’t crowded and there wasn’t anybody in front of me. He just picked the wrong time for it to happen. He got a week off and he felt even sounder this week. I drove him a little careful tonight but he was really good out there,” Oosting added after the freshman’s fourth win in 11 career starts.
This will be Mucho Sleazy’s first start on Maywood Park’s half-miler oval.
“He’s good on a half. The horse trains on a half and he gets around like hoops on a barrel,” said Oosting.
Mucho Sleazy drew post three. Starting inside of him is Ricks Big Q (12-1) and Willie The Kid (8-1). To his right are Dr McSteamie (9-2), Bring You Honor (15-1), Louie Fernandez (20-1), Little Pedro (4-1) and O&B runner-up Jolly Lester (7-2), in that order.