After three days of stifling heat and humidity conditions were much different on Thursday night at Maywood Park with winds howling out of the north and temperatures in the low 50's after heavy rains early in the day. That did not slow down the harness racing action though as the 'ladies' of the sport were featured in a $10,000 Filly Maywood Pace elimination with the top seven finishers returning on Friday, June 17th to join Fox Valley Touche in the $101,000 final.
A field of eight Illinois conceived and foaled distaffers also squared off in the $15,000 Filly Newcomers Series Final on the 11-race program.
In the Filly Maywood Pace elimination Patrick Quaid’s Little Maeve picked up her first victory of the year as she charged right to the front for driver Ridge Warren and proceeded to make every call a winning one as she reported home with a one-length victory in 1:56.0.
Confidently handled by Warren the daughter of-R N Labelle was whisked away from post position three finally clearing the even-money favorite Mystical MJ (Marcus Miller) as the field reached the opening station in 28.4.
After gliding over to the pylons the Roger Welch trained miss then proceeded to roll through middle splits of 58.4 & 1:27.4 while fending off a first over challenge from longshot Elisa’s Model who came ranging up first over as the field headed into the far turn.
Putting that rival away with ease Little Maeve still had plenty left in the tank as she kept Mystical MJ at bay while that filly tried to get by her in the passing lane. Cuzimademymindup (Dean Magee) turned a ground saving trip into a third place finish in the race. Also earning spots in the final were Let’s Go Higher, Shake That Thing, Elisa’s Model and Nina Coleada who overcame a break behind the starting gate.
The win was the sixth in 19 lifetime starts for Little Maeve who returned $6.80, $3.20 & $2.80 while pushing her career earnings up to $53,686.
The Filly Newcomers Series provided a shocking upset as 21-year-old provisional driver Tannor Spittler circled the field on the far turn with 32-1 outside Grannie Nannie to post a neck decision in 1:59.1.
Content to sit near the back of the pack as Primrose Path (Brian Carpenter) and Fox Valley Phoebe (Marcus Miller) slugged it out through tough splits of 27.3, 57.1 & 1:27.4 Spittler, who also owns and trains Grannie Nannie, picked up live cover from a first over Dashing Majorette (Casey Leonard) just after the half-mile mark.
Swinging three wide as the field moved around the final turn Grannie Nannie continued to chew up ground in huge chunks as a leg weary Fox Valley Phoebe gave way on the front end. Quickly moving by rivals on the far outside the daughter of-Armbro Soho continued her assault on the leaders gamely sweeping by on the outside and then holding off one last bid by Primrose Path who had to wait for room in the passing lane and wound up second. Fox Valley Phoebe held on for third in the race.
After posting a third and a fourth place finish in the preliminary rounds of the series Grannie Nannie picked a great time to pick up her first win in three starts this season as she returned $67.40, $17.40 & $5.40.
The 32-1 winner threw the Pick 5 wager up for grabs as well with no one correctly selecting all five winners. Because of that there will be a carryover of $960 added to Friday’s Pick 5 pool at Maywood Park.