The tactics were different but the end result was the same as Fox Valley Snaffle pulled off a wire-to-wire victory in Friday night's $12,300 feature race at Maywood Park.
It was Fox Valley Snaffle's second consecutive win on the circuit. The seven-year-old state bred came from far off the pace a week ago when he won his final start at the Hawthorne meeting.
Taking advantage of the pole position, driver Mike Oosting urged the Ken Rucker trainee out and Fox Valley Snaffle grabbed a quick lead that he would never relinquish. "We got out and put everybody in their seat," said Oosting.
"But we don't leave with him very often."
After motoring to a :27.1 first quarter and stopping the half-miler timer in :55 flat, Fox Valley Snaffle was challenged by Fox Valley Whiz when Sam Widger took the 14-longshot out of third. The winner had had little trouble keeping the challenger parked out and did it with a soft:29 third panel.
"I was a little surprised that Sam (Widger) came after us but that move helped us out because it gave my horse a big rest," commented Oosting.
Fox Valley Snaffle came home in :28.2 to post a half-length victory over the pocket horse Robin of Lockley with a 1:52.2 clocking. Live Out Loud closed for the show spot, beaten three-plus lengths.
"I was a little worried about Brent (Holland, driver of Robin Of Locksley) because I had to use my horse two or three times but it ended up he still had plenty left," said Oosting.
"We had been just coming home with this horse because we were drawing so badly at Hawthorne but tonight the opportunity was there to put him on the engine."
Fox Valley Snaffle's victory was No. 6 of the season. He's now banked $67,755 on the year for Engle Stable LLC of Buffalo Grove, IL.
By Mike Paradise, Publicity Director, Maywood Park