Fox Valley Diamond has turned his season around in a big way.
After going winless in his first 12 starts the six-year-old state bred pacer romped to his fourth consecutive victory at Maywood Park in Friday night’s $10,700 feature fourth race. Hammered down overwhelming 1-5 odds, Mike Oosting guided the winner to a 1:54.2 clocking.
Fox Valley Diamond ($2.40) was taken out of a winning $15,000 claimer April 13 by trainer Paul Stafford for Mokena, IL owner Brooke Velmett, and theoffspring has gone three-for-three since, capturing his last two in $25,000 claiming events.
“When (trainer) Dan Dubeansky was with me he claimed this horse in 2005 and he brought him along pretty good” said Oosting. “Then the horse got hurt in a stall and injured a hock. Fox Valley Diamond still struggles with that problem at times but he does have ability. He was just real lame for a while, however each start since they claimed him he has gotten better.
“The first week I drove him he was on the left line real bad,” continued Mike. “The next start he was on the left line a little bit. And tonight he was on it even less. He’s very sharp now”, said the Michigan native who will turn 45 in a little over two weeks.
Indian Territory (Todd Warren), who ended up third best with a two-hole journey Friday, outsprinted No. 1 Fox Valley Diamond and grabbed a quick lead in the first turn, nevertheless on the backside Oosting tipped his horse out of the pocket and Fox Valley Diamond dashed to the front before the :28 first quarter pole.
“I had to make that move if Todd (Warren) would let me but he was more than happy to sit behind my back in the race,” said Oosting
After strolling to a :29.3 second quarter, Oosting opened it up on the backside and the pacesetter went to a :28.1 third panel. Fox Valley Diamond came home in :28.4 without any urging from his driver, three lengths ahead of runner-up My Tractors Sexy (Brandon Simpson). Indian Territory was another quarter of a length behind.
“I think Fox Valley Diamond is better on the big track at Balmoral but he’s doing well enough at Maywood to leave him here, at least for a little while longer,” added Oosting, who continued to stay hot on Fridays at Maywood. Mike had four more winners on the card, to go along with a five-bagger a week ago last Friday, and that followed a foursome on Friday, April 27.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity