Jo Pa's Bench Mark powered his way to the front and it paid off with another victory at Maywood Park Friday night. The eight-year-old veteran posted a head decision for Hall of Fame driver Dave Magee with a 1:53.3 clocking in the $12,300 featured conditioned pace.
The Kimberly Roth trainee won for the fifth time-all with Magee-in 14 starts season starts on the Chicago circuit's half-miler. Jo Pa's Bench Mark is 1-for-15 for the year in his races at Balmoral and Hawthorne.
"He's always been good at Maywood, especially when he gets a break and sometimes he doesn't even need that here," said Magee. "He was relaxed tonight before he got to the front. He knows his job and he seems to enjoy it. He's tough."
Jo Pa's Bench Mark shot out from the three-slot however Fox Valley Whiz (Sam Widger) and Live Out Loud (Mike Oosting) did the same from posts, respectively. The winner was three-deep in the first turn and didn't get the top until the quarter mile pole following a snappy :26.4 quarter.
"I knew he would have to work hard to get to the front and I wasn't sure he could get there tonight. But I knew he could go 26 and change on this track, so it could have been suicidal if they tried to keep him out," said Magee smiling.
Magee was able to back down the 5-2 second choice to a :29 flat second panel. Robin of Locksley (Brent Holland) was alongside the pacesetter at the :55.4 half-mile marker and two lengths behind at the three-quarters (1:24.3) with Indy Dreamer (Del Chupp) making a bold three-wide move.
Magee got after Jo Pa's Bench Mark($5.60) in the lane and the son of Tyler's Mark had enough left to hold off the Dave McCaffrey trained entry that went off as the 4-5 favorites. The pocket horse Live Out Loud edged out his stablemate for the second place money, a head behind the winner and a head better than Indy Dreamer.
Friday's victory boosted Jo Pa's Bench Mark's season earnings to $51,764 for Rock And Roll Stable Inc. (Chicago, IL) and Michael and Laura Lee of Bridgeport, IL. His career bank account now stands at $563,633.
irector of publicity