Some of top Illinois bred three-year-olds will be on the sidelines this weekend when two single eliminations races will be raced Friday night to determine the starting field for a pair of $100,000 added money events, the Maywood Pace and the Maywood Filly Pace.
A surprise entry into the Maywood Pace for second season colts and geldings was the 2006 Illinois Freshman Colt Pacer of the Year Home Bed Advantage, one of the favorites for this Saturday’s $1 million Art Rooney Championship at Yonkers Raceway. The pride of the Dave McCaffrey Stable was one of nine ICF horses entered for tonight’s elims and gained a bye into next Friday’s (June 8) based on his $28,920 current season earnings, the highest among the nine entrants.
Going to the starting gate in Friday night’s $10,000 sixth race single elimination are (in post position order): Brother Vinny (7-2), Cole Combustion (6-1), Booze Cruzin (3-1), Madhi (5-2), One(6-1), Sneaky B Skipalong (8-1), Richess King (15-1) and Arthur B Skipalong (15-1). Only the last place finisher will fail to make the final.
Driver Brent Holland describes Erv Miller’s Mahdi has a sprinter. “He’s best racing off the cover,” said the Ohio native who recently recorded his 3,000th career winner. “Mahdi is a very quick, handy little horse. I don’t know yet how long he can carry that speed.”
Booze Cruzin won last Saturday’s $50,400 Cardinal Pace at Balmoral on a sloppy track in 1:54.2, overcoming the 10-hole and popping at 30-1. “I don’t think he should have gone off at those kinds of odds,” said his driver Ryan Anderson. “He was obviously overlooked by a lot of people. This horse won the Fox stake (Indianapolis) as a 2-year-old when he was a lightly raced.
“I left with him in his (Cardinal) elimination and we ended up getting jammed up with no where to go but we made the final,” continued Anderson. “This time I just floated him out from the 10-hole. They were cooking up front and those fractions worked out well for us. He finished strong at the end of the mile.
Friday’s fifth race is also a single elimination race to determine the $100,000 Maywood Filly Pace finalists. Drawing a bye into the distaff showdown were HBH Standardbred’s Sportsfancy and Ron Phillips and John Carver’s Faith Leigh, the one-two finishers in last Saturday’s $48,000 Violet Pace at Balmoral Park.
Looking to join Sportsfancy and Faith Leigh in the Maywood Filly Final are (from the one-slot out) Orgami Rose (6-1), Makin’ A Statement (8-1) Apache Trick (3-1), Looking At You, (10-1), Mrs Grant Seven (7-2), Past The Evidence (2-1), Fox Valley Sarong (4-1) and Colette (9-2). The first six finishers will move on to the filly showdown.
Faith Leigh was the highest season earner among the fillies entered with $63,385 banked for the Erv Miller Stable, with $33,500 of that amount coming from her April 5 victory in the $67,000 Jersey Girls Final at the Meadowlands. Sportsfancy has picked-up $42,880 in ’07 for trainer and part-owner Homer Hochstetler, and will carry a four-race winning streak into the filly final.
Home Bed Advantage won his first eight starts as a freshman, including the $285,000 Orange and Blue last Super Night at Balmoral for McCaffrey, who shares ownership of the quickoffspring with MJGB Racing Stables Inc. of Nanuet, NY. He also notched the DuQuoin Championship, the Cardinal Final here at Maywood and the Sarah Meyers at Balmoral before finishing second to rival The Quiet Mon in the American National.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity