Day At The Track


08:55 AM 28 Apr 2007 NZST
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Thisbigdogwilfight <b>Fox Valley Gambler</b>
Onsite Photographic - Thisbigdogwilfight (Dave Magee) was much the best in Friday's $15,500 ICF Open Pace at Maywood Park, winning in 1:53.3
Fox Valley Gambler
Onsite Photographic - Fox Valley Gambler (Jeff Cullipher) strides out to a 1:54.3 victory in Friday night's $20,000 Taser Gun stake at Maywood Park for 3-year-old ICF colts and geldings.

Sawgrass Farm's Fox Valley Gambler stayed unbeaten in his second season campaign with a very easy win in Friday night's $20,000 Taser Gun Stake for three-year-old ICF pacing colts and geldings at Maywood Park.

It was his fourth consecutive victory and it came in his first career start on a half-mile track.

The 1-2 favourite paced a 1:54.3 mile in his small track debut with his regular driver Jeff Cullipher at the lines, finishing one and one-half lengths of One Park Place (Sam W dger). Big Puff Doggie came home in :27.4 to be a fast closing third, and half-length behind the Richess Hanover offspring winner I n the third race co-feature.

"We didn't really know how he would be on this track," said trainer Jill Arnold.

"We train him on a half at home however you never know how he'll race on one but we had to take a shot and he came up with another strong effort."

With only five horses in the field and Fox Valley Gambler on the outside looking in, Cullipher took the public's choice back at the start. He was six and one-half lengths behind the pacesetting One Park Place (Sam Widger) at the :28 flat first quarter.

One quarter of a mile later Fox Valley Gambler was the pacer who hit the half-mile timer in :57.1 when he displayed a strong brush.

Fox Valley Gambler wasn't pressed throughout the third quarter which went in :29.1 and when Arthur B Skipalong made his bid on the backside, the winner put him away with ease, drawing off without any urging from Cullipher.

Fox Valley Gambler made three unsuccessful starts as a freshman, putting only $225 on his card. However he has $18,904 banked for his Lockport, IL owner in four tries and a 1:52.3 (Balmoral) mile already to his credit this year with what appears to be a very productive sophomore season ahead.

Thisbigdogwilfight Remains Hot at Home

Thisbigdogwilfight remained perfect in Illinois for 2007 when he romped in the eighth race $15,500 ICF Open Pace with Dave Magee.

The overwhelming 2-5 public's choice took command right before the :27.3 first quarter pole, cruised to :28.2 and :29.1 middle quarters, and closed in :28 flat with the whip still resting on driver Dave Magee's houlder at the end of a 1:53.1 mile.

"We got the lead pretty easily," said Magee.

"The middle quarters were respectable and he had plenty left for the late going. That (1:50.4) mile last week at Balmoral was pretty impressive. Jim (trainer Eaton) has him really good right now."

Prince Vince (Ryan Anderson), who enjoyed a pocket trip, was second best, beaten three-plus lengths. It was and two and one-half lengths back to the third place finisher Hot N Sporty (Brent Holland).

Thisbigdogwilfight started the season with a 1:52.1 victory at Balmoral on March 3. He shipped to The Meadowlands for the Four Leaf Clover series but after a solid third place finish in the first round, he came up empty in

he next leg and final.

"He got sick in New Jersey and so did most of my horses," Eaton. "Since I brought him back home and he got to be around familiar people and surroundings, he's been like his old self again."

Thisbigdogwilfight won his first start back on April 14 at Balmoral in 1:51.3 and since added two more triumphs.

Owned by Redbud Stable (Frankfort, IL) and Michael McNeeley (Normal, IL), Thisbigdogwilfight now has $32,099 in season purse earnings and $219,815 in a little more than two years of racing. The Big Dog offspring won 7 of 17 starts last season, including stake triumphs in the Cardinal (Balmoral) and Hothead (Hawthorne).

Courtesy Of Mike Paradise, Publicity Director, Maywood Park

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