It wasn’t a surprise that the Friday night (December 2) $12,000 Cole Muffler stake winner was trained by Nelson Willis.
However it was a bit of a stunner it wasn’t one of Willis’ three-horse entrants that the betting public sent off at 7-10 odds who proved best. Instead it was the 7-1 price shot Johns My Buddy who captured the Maywood Park feature.
Johns My Buddy rallied for a ½ length victory in the last ICF stake of the season with a quick 1:54.3 clocking on a chilly 23 degree Chicago circuit night. The late-blooming three-year-old raced uncoupled from the other three Willis trainedstarters because of different ownership.
“This horse has really come on the last few weeks,” said winning driver Dale Hiteman after guiding the son ofto his fourth triumph in his last six starts for Streator, IL owner and breeder John Krasnican, Jr. “Nelson (trainer Willis) has nursed him along and he has him really sharp right now. The horse is racing full of confidence.”
Suffern’s Z Tam (Tim Tetrick), who had a pocket journey most of the way, came up the passing lane to be second. The James Jesk and Cynthia Willis owned twosome of Incredible Art (Mike Oosting) and Fox Valley Rumble (Sam Widger) finished second and third, respectively for the Willis Stable, while the pacesetting Apache Shooter (Tony Morgan) held on for fifth, beaten 1 ½ lengths. The third Jesk-Willis entrant Fox Valley Emerald finished seventh in the nine-horse field.
Tetrick left hard with Suffern’s Z Team the six-slot and the Dave McCaffrey trainee to the front right at the rapid 27.1 second opening quarter pole. However, his lead was short-lived. Morgan took Apache Shooter out of the two-hole and back to the front in the second turn. Mike Oosting then had to take Incredible Art out of fourth and race first up through a 55.4s half mile and the 1:25.1 three-quarters with Johns My Buddy on his back.
“Johns My Buddy is a grinder, so I was content to let some of the horses battle it out early,” said Hiteman.
“I just hoping to get my horse into the flow and get brought up. We would take our chances from there. And just like he’s been doing for the last several weeks, this horse just dug in and won again.”
Johns By Buddy had only one triumph in his first 17 season starts however since the second week of October he’s posted four victories and now has $45,698 earned in his second season of racing.
Courtesy Of Mike Paradise, Publicity Director, Maywood Park