Day At The Track

Getting our fill of ICF Stakes

01:59 AM 25 Apr 2015 NZST
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Iam Bonasera
Iam Bonasera
However, it appears those days are behind us. Many of the Illinois bred sophomore pacers and trotters are now ready to race and those who aren’t, look to be only a week or two away.

All three of this weekend’s state-bred stake races are a “go,” including the $14,000 Rambling Willie for older ICF pacers. Three weeks ago the Song Cycle, the first 3-year-old and up ICF stake, didn’t fill.

Nevertheless, Saturday’s ninth race Rambling Willie saw six pacers pass the entry box, including the current big three of the ICF heavyweight division—Iam Bonasera, Fort Silky and Ice Scraper.

The 9-5 morning line favorite Iam Bonasersa made a break near the top of the lane last week, costing him any chance to pick-up his third “Winner’s Over,” in a row. The 8-year-old Nelson Willis trainee did regain his stride quickly and rattled off a 26.1 last panel finishing third behind Best Man Hanover and Fort Silky.

“It was just a speed break and nothing to be that concerned about”, said Iam Bonasera’s regular driver Travis Seekman. “Every once in a while he out-paces himself before he gets completely straighten out coming out of that last turn.

“I kind of rushed him trying to keep up with the field because I didn’t want to have them get to too far ahead. He can come off a break quick, like he did, and always make up some ground.”

Iam Bonasera drew the two-slot Saturday with the speedball Ice Scraper, programmed at 2-1, Brian Carpenter) landing the five and Fort Silky (3-1, Casey Leonard) getting the four.

Ice Scraper hasn’t started at Balmoral since April 7 when he was third in a “Winner’s Over.” In fact 6 of his 9 season outings have been in Ohio at Miami Valley Raceway where he’s posted 2 of his 3 season wins.

Fort Silky’s stable-mate Whirtlwindiplomacy has the pole position in the Rambling Willie with driver Dean Magee. Bob Phillips Big Brad (6-1, Bobby Smolin) leaves from the three, while Dave Brook’s Rickie Bobbie (8-1, Mike Oosting) has the outside six-slot.

Last season’s 2-year-old ICF colt division champion Earndawg makes his sophomore debut in Saturday’s fourth race $8,000 Betzotic stake. He’ll open as the 2-1 public’s choice with regular driver Todd Warren.

I’ll have more on this 3-year-old colt stake in Saturday’s column.

Sunday’s $8,000 Koochie for 3-year-old ICF trotting fillies lured a field of eight and was carded as race two.

Mike Paradise

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