Day At The Track

How to earn a dime for a dollar wager

02:39 AM 02 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Earndawg, harness racing
Earndawg and driver Todd Warren
Kellie Lachata Photo

I’ve been a professional handicapper since the early 1970’s and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve made a horse 1 to 9 in my morning line. Saturday night at Balmoral is one of those very infrequent times.

Trainer Roger Welch sends out his dynamic ICF duo of the runaway division leader Earndawg with his stable-late King Of The Swamp (Ryan Welch), this season’s Mini Me champion, in the $10,000 Crete for 2-year-old state bred colt and gelding pacers against a only four foes with two pari-mutuel wins and barely $30,000 in first year earnings between them.

Not surprisingly only Win and Exacta wagering will be offered to avoid Minus Pools nevertheless I expect there will still be one. The morning line odds will start out at 2-5 and they’ll spiral downward from there.

Interestingly, when Bo and Pat De Long bought the two sons of Sportamaster at last year’s Walker Sale, King Of The Swamp was expected to be the better of the two. He sold for $85,000 with his very successful family tree of brothers and sisters like Brian And Kellie (1:50.3), Hot N Sporty (1:50.2), She’s So Hot (1:51.1), He’s Red Hot (1:50.4) and He’s So Hot (1:50.2), among others.

Earndawg, went for $35,000 to the De Long’s and Wisconsinite Ernest Miller when his name was Fox Valley Padre. His dam Pacific Sister produced Mystical MJ (1:51.1).

While King Of The Swamp, alias Fox Valley Flame, captured the Mini Me earlier and has had a productive first year with earnings of over $70,000, Earndawg and his regular driver Todd Warren has had a prodigious year and is a legit candidate for Illinois Horse of the Year Honors.

Earndawg has put almost $210,000 on his card and he took the division’s biggest plum, the $186,000 Colt Orange and Blue Final on Super Night. Since then he’s added Balmoral’s $43,350 Cardinal, Maywood $57,100 Abe Lincoln and a $40, 300 division of Hoosier Park’s Madison to his list of accomplishments, the last two open company stakes.

Oh, he was also second in last month’s Balmoral’s $86,000 American National.

“That Madison stake was a Grand Circuit race with a nice respectful field of colts in there and Earndawg really stepped up at the plate in it,” said Roger. “He finished so strong the way we knew he could, That is his trump card. He was way back and he really came on strong on a cold, windy night with a little misty rain.  It was a big heat.

“Right now, as we speak, Earndawg is so fresh and sound that he’s the sharpest he’s been all year. He was so outstanding in the Orange and Blue and he has stayed that way ever since,”

Taking on Earndawg and his sidekick are (my odds) AJ’s Prince (50-1, Pat Curtin), Casey At Bat (8-1, Dean Magee), Mighty Hot Shot (9-2, Casey Leonard), and Dinky Dune (8-1, Kyle Wilfong).

by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

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