Proving once again that he is tops among the Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old colt pacing ranks Paymaq Racing, D&M Trading & Mystical Marker Farms Mystical Walter knocked off nine rivals by three-quarters of a length to win the $173,000 Pete Langley Memorial. The final time was 1:52.1.
Using the big quarter move that has become his signature in his second season of action driverhad the gelded son of —Yankee Blue out and rolling from fifth as Crankin It Up ( ) led the field through an opening quarter in 27.4.
“I was basically forced to make that move with him tonight”, explained Leonard. “A lot of those horses left out of there pretty hard tonight so I was just happy to land in the spot that we did.”
Charging to the front Mystical Walter was in complete control of the proceedings as he showed the way through middle splits of 56.0 and 1:24.2.
Through the lane the Ervin Miller trainee was forced to find a little something extra as he gamely dug in through the final 100 yards to hold off one last late surge from Crankin It Up for his eighth win in 16 starts this year. Crankin It Up was a hard knocking second while last year’s Orange & Blue winner Fancy Creek Elusiv () turned in a nice effort to rally for third.
“He’s been waiting on horses a little bit because of how easy he’s been winning some of those races,” said Leonard. “Tonight he felt good all the way but I definitely had to keep after him because I knew some of those good horses in this division were right behind him and they weren’t going to be letting up at all.”
Basically putting a lock on divisional honors with his win on Saturday night Mystical Walter now has 11 wins, four seconds and three thirds in 21 lifetime starts with earnings of $212,266. The odds on favorite in the race returned $3.20, $2.40 & $2.20 to his many backers.
Mystical Walter (5)_held firm to the wire to win the $173,000 Langley Memorial by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.1 for driver .