Day At The Track

Happiness is drawing inside at Maywood Park

01:50 AM 04 Oct 2014 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Earndawg, harness racing
Earndawg and driver Todd Warren
David Baum Photo

I’ve known trainer Roger Welch for over 20 years and anytime I’ve talked to the Illinois Hall of Fame conditioner about one of his horses going into a stake race at Maywood Park he couldn’t emphasize enough how important the draw was on the half-miler.

“It can mean the difference of having a real good chance in the race or no chance at all.”

So when his dynamic Illinois bred duo of Orange & Blue Colt champion Earndawg and Mini Me champ King Of The Swamp landed the 1 and 4 posts, respectively, in Friday’s $43,000 Cardinal Final I couldn’t resist picking up the phone for a quick chat with Roger.

“You’ve got to be all smiles the way the draw went for your horses Friday,” I said.

“You have that right,” Roger replied with a laugh. “It couldn’t have worked out much better than it did. I’m real happy with the draw.”

Since this will be the first start on a half-mile track for both of Welch’s freshman pacers I wondered if they would have been better off racing in last week’s elimination.

“I wasn’t asked if I wanted to take the bye but if they did call I would have taken it,” said Roger. “Both horses have been raced hard and could have used another week off. They’ve trained up in Wisconsin on a half-mile farm track they both get around a small track very well. They were real strong on the half training.”

Todd Warren again chose to drive Earndawg just as he did on Super Night when the son of Sportsmaster was three lengths the best in the $186,000 O & B Championship.

“Todd’s son Ridge will drive King Of The Swamp in the Cardinal,” said Roger. “I entered him with Dale Hiteman listed to drive but he’s in Indiana Friday.”

Earndawg and King Of The Swamp, programmed as the heavy even-money Cardinal favorites, both have some major stakes still ahead on their schedule before they’re shutdown for the winter.

“They’ve got the American National coming up next week at Balmoral and they are also eligible to the Abe Lincoln at Maywood on Windy City Night.”

Both horses are listed among the nomination lists under the names they sold at the 2013 Walker’s Sale. Earndawg, a $30,000 procurment, was Fox Valley Padre. King Of The Swamp, a $85,000 purchase, was originally named Fox Valley Flame.

The luck of the draw for the Cardinal wasn’t kind to Du Quoin’s Governor’s Cup champ Lucpark (4-1, Dave Magee) who has the track’s dreaded 8-hole (5.2 winning percentage) in his Maywood debut. It wasn’t much better for O&B runner-up Dupage’s Z Tam (3-1, Casey Leonard) who has the six (8.7% clip). However unlike the other seven Cardinal finalists the Dave McCaffrey trainee is based at Maywood and does his training on the half-miler.

Cardinal elimination winner The Big Sleazy (6-1, Kyle Wilfong) did o.k. when he landed the five-post. Inside of him are longshots Casey At Bat (p.p. 2, 15-1, Dean Magee) and C Note (p.p. 3, 12-1, Travis Seekman). Mighty Hot Shot (30-1, John De Long) will try to get his maiden win from the seven.

The Cardinal will be preceded by the $43m6000 Violet for ICF freshman pacing fillies. Morning line favoritism went to the three inside horses—Angel Demon (5-2, Todd Warren), Lyrics Fall (9-2, Bobby Smolin) and Sportsmuffler (9-5, John De Long)/

They’ll be tested by Fox Valley Charm (10-1, Kyle Wilfong), Girls Hunt Too (15-1, Casey Leonard), Luvniecestopoeces (8-1, Brian Carpenter) and Duneside Perttie (12-1, Dave Magee).

by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: