When My Metallica went to the gate as the overwhelming 1-9 favourite in her Violet pace elimination last week there were still some horseplayers hesitant to jump on the Orange and Blue stake champion’s bandwagon. After all, it was the 2-Year-Old filly’s first race on a half-mile track.
And while My Metallica trains on our oval for her Maywood Park based conditioner and co-owner Tom Harmer, going all out in a pari-mutuel event around these tighter turns could be another matter.
As it turned out, it didn’t matter.
If fact, her driver Tony Morgan said the talented young filly is a rare exception to most pacers when it comes to scooting around turns.
“She’s really good on a half,” said Morgan. “She gets around the turns real good, staying nice and wide in them. Actually the reason she’s so good on a ‘half’ is kind of a backwards thing. While about 95 out of 100 horses run (veer) in the turns and out in the stretches, she runs out in the turns and in on the stretches. So it’s a little different driving her.”
My Metallica’s winning elimination time of 1.54.4 was three-fifths off the track standard and world record set by Aries Conquest in 2003 and that 1.54.1 mark is in jeopardy Wednesday night, especially since the 4-5 morning line favourite drew the coveted one-post for owners Ciara Stable, Michael Polansky and William Johnston III.
“ I didn’t know what the record was and maybe if wasn’t an elimination I would have put her in gear,” said Morgan.
“Tonight (October 5) she could have gone that fast. She kind of lost interest a bit in the lane when she got off by herself. We’ll see what the final holds.”
Morgan had little choice bit to race the talented filly from off the pace in her elimination.
“The filly had never been directly behind the (starting) car before. She had been on the wings. The outside horse was crowding her a little bit, so she would not go up in there (behind the car). She just was real timid. But it worked out She’ll sit out there and idle all day long and not be too aggressive. She’s a real nice filly and has a good mouth on her. When you ask her she’ll go. She doesn’t hang when she gets to them. She’ll shoot right on by and keep on going.”
Peine Bubbles was also an impressive winner in her elimination, romping by almost seven lengths in 1.55.1 for Illinois owners Mark Turchik and Odds On Racing and trainer by Robin Schadt, and there was a bit of excitement in driver Tim Tetrick’s voice after the filly’s wire-to-wire victory, also her first on a half-miler.
“She had been fighting some sickness problems but it looks like they got that all cleared up. She raced great, like she did earlier in the summer at Springfield and Hawthorne,” said the 23-Year-Old Tetrick, who is in a tight race with Morgan for the Maywood Park driving title.
“This filly is great gaited and you can drive this filly with two fingers,” continued Tetrick.
I wasn’t necessarily looking for the front in her elimination but she had it in about two steps. She probably races best off a trip because she can give you a big move. She was tossing in 26 and change last quarters earlier at Hawthorne before she got sick. In her Orange and Blue elimination and on Super Night in her (O&B) consolation she just wasn’t at 100 per cent.”
The final draw, however, could have gone a lot more favourable for Peine Bubbles (4-1), who will leave from post six.
Second elimination winner (1.57) Rhyme Or Reason (9-2) did fare very well when she drew the two-slot for Illinois co-owners Bonnie and Joy Hutchinson Junior and trainer Homer Hochstetler. That’s a big plus for the young filly who raced wide much of the way last week and struggled some when she wasn’t on the straight-aways.
“She had a little trouble with the turns,” said her driver Andy Miller. "It was her first start on a half and hopefully she’ll gain some experience from it.”
Rachel’s Rich (10-1, Mike Oosting), Free (12-1, Dean Magee), Street Dancer (15-1, Dale Hiteman), Justina Jones (20-1) and Little Sweetheart (15-1, Dave Magee) complete the ninth race field.
Courtesy Of Mike Paradise, Publicity Director, Maywood Park