Mrs Grant Seven and Brother Vinny used front end tactics to capture their respective $10,000 elimination races Friday night for next week's $100,000 championships of the Maywood Colt and Filly Paces.
Driver Del Chupp was behind Mrs Seven Grant for the initial time in the single elimination fifth race for state-bred pacing fillies and his pre-race strategy paid off when the 3-2 public's choice made it two-for-two this season at Maywood Park, this time in 1:55.2 on a sloppy racing surface that was pelted by a downpour an hour earlier.
"This was the first time I drove her however I saw that she won an ICF stake at Maywood Park earlier here on the front end, so that was my game plan going into this race," said Chupp. "I was concerned that we got stung a little in the early going but when they came her she fought off the two-horse (Makin A Statement) and raced game. Mrs Seven Grant is a big filly but she gets over the half really well."
Mrs Grant Seven ($5.00) had to battle Looking For You (Brent Holland) hard in the early going and took the lead before a :28 first quarter. Enroute to her :57.1 half, Makin A Statement (Robert Smolin) made a big move to overtake the pacesetter but Mrs Grant Seven put her away on the backside and had a one and one-quarter length lead at the 1:25.3 three-quarter pole. A :29.4 last panel was enough to give the Guy Calvert trained filly a three and one-quarter length win over the runner-up pocket pacer Looking At You.
t was another two-plus lengths to the show horse Orgami Rose (Sam Widger).
Also making the $100,000 Maywood Filly Pace Final were Pass The Evidence, Fox Valley Sarong and Colette, the respective fourth, fifth and sixth place finishers. Earning byes into the distaff championship were Faith Leigh and Sportsfancy, the two highest money earners among the 10 fillies entered.
Owned by Rattlesnake Ranch Inc of Dumont, Colorado, Mrs Grant Seven will sport a season record of 3 wins, 1 second and 1 third in 8 starts into the filly showdown.
Eight ICF colts and geldings squared off to determine the challengers against last season's 2006 Illinois Freshman pacer of the Year Home Bed Advantage, who earned a bye into the $100,000 Maywood Final, and at the end of another 1:55.2 mile in the slop, it was Brother Vinny ($6.40) holding on by a half-length for Engle Stable of Buffalo Grove, IL and trainer Ken Rucker.
Last week's Cardinal stake champion Booze Cruzin (Ryan Anderson) nosed out a game first up One(Sam Widger) for the second spot. Also advancing were the fourth through seventh place finishers-Cole Combustion, Mahdi, Sneaky P Skipalong and Richess Kingup One (Sam Widger) for the second spot. Also advancing were the fourth through seventh place finishers-Cole Combustion, Mahdi, Sneaky P Skipalong and Richess King
"Brother Vinny was real sick last week when we raced him hard but we didn't know it," said his winning driver Mike Oosting. "The horse came out of that race real fatigued, so he got a lot of time off this week. He raced pretty good tonight but he still got a little leg weary. Hopefully he'll be stronger for the final."
Both of Friday's elimination winners were sired by.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity