Day At The Track

Crankin' It Up ready for $115,000 Showdown

06:44 PM 21 Jun 2013 NZST
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Crankin' It Up (Kyle Wilfong)
Crankin' It Up (Kyle Wilfong) - Was all alone at the finish of his elimination
R.E.B. Photo

As every knowledgeable harness racing fan knows the draw for post position is all so important on a half-mile track for a major championship race and Friday night's $115,000 Maywood Pace Final is no exception.

The draw couldn't have worked out any better for the Wilfong Family's Crankin' It Up, who looked very good winning his elimination a week ago. The homebred landed the coveted one-slot after coasting to a three-length victory in 1:52.4 last Friday.

"Of course we're all very happy with the draw," said driver Kyle Wilfong. "Especially since two of the (pre-stake) favorites, Big Brad (p.p. 7) and Silver Devil (p.p. 8), drew the outside posts.

"Crankin' It Up can race well on any size track but he's been best at Maywood. Last week was his best race and he gives us a big chance from his post in the final."

Owned by Kyle's parents, Brett and Candy Wilfong, and his grandparents, Lynn and Barbara Wilfong, Crankin' It Up is 2-for-2 at Maywood and has never finished worse than third in his eight season starts,

"He's a very versatile horse," continued the 21-year-old Wilfong. "You can race him any way you want. He's really good at Maywood. He's not a big horse and handles their turns really well. The horse has a lot of ‘go.'"

Have you ever won a six-figure stake race before?

"No I haven't," replied Kyle. "Crankin' It Up gives me a good chance to get one Friday night. We did get second in the ($122,000) Filly Pace last week with Feel Like Dancing and we were happy with that finish but it would be nice be first this time around."

Crankin' It Up will open as the 5-2 early program behind recent Cardinal champion Fox Valley Elusive (2-1, Dave Magee). Last year's Filly Orange and Blue winner raced first up last week to Crankin' It Up and ended up a disappointing fourth as the heavy 2-5 betting choice.

Big Brad (Bobby Smolin), who extended his winning streak to three in a row with a 1:53.2 elimination triumph, landed the seven-slot and is at generous 8-1 first flash odds.

Mystical Walter (p.p. 2), is the 9-2 early third choice after a big finish (:27.2) last week to be second best behind Crankin' It Up, beaten three lengths. The Erv Miller trainee was driver Casey Leonard's choice after is other elimination drive Silver Devil (10-1, Todd Warren) ended up with the outside 8-hole.

Other hopefuls in the ninth race headliner are Colechester (20-1, Dale Hiteman), Darth Quaider (15-1, Mike Oosting) and Fox Valley Norman (12-1, John De Long).

By Mike Paradise

The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

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