Dave Magee, who has been the reigning champion for years on the Chicagoland circuit, is now making a strong bid for the harness racing throne at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Magee scored four wins Friday, April 1 to assist in his push to the top of the driver standings for the three-day opening weekend.
A native of Wisconsin, Magee has raced at Hoosier Park in the past on a limited basis.ier this year, he made the move to Indiana full-time and his decision is paying off.
“After the first night, I wondered if I had made the right move,” said Magee with a smile, who didn’t even hit the board in six races opening night Thursday, March 31. “But it was nice to get those wins Friday. Jim Arledge’s filly (Will Panout) really impressed me in the qualifier, so her win was not a surprise. However, the other three wins were a pleasant surprise.”
Magee piloted four straight winners Friday beginning in the sixth race with the Erin Elliott-trained Smiling Angel. He followed up that effort with wins behind R G Rocket in the seventh and Fox Valley Absolut in the eighth. Will Panout, a three-year-oldfilly, rounded out Magee’s evening with a solid win by one length in a time of 1:57.0.
Magee was back in the winner’s circle Saturday, April 2 behind Queens Boulevard in the fourth race of the night. Magee sat patiently behind Champaign Punch and Ricky Macomber before taking control at the head of the lane and coasting home the winner by four and one-half lengths.
Magee leads the early race for leading driver with five wins. Andy Shetler, who turned in back to back driving double nights Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1, is in second place followed by Ricky Macomber, who has earned three wins. Shetler has a comfortable early lead in the trainer standings with four wins.
A change of scenery was not an easy task for Magee. However, with the recent developments in Chicago with legislation, he felt a change of pace was needed for him personally.
“After they couldn’t get legislation through for Illinois, the racing had deteriorated so much I just felt I needed to make a move to make a living,” said Magee. “I’ve always enjoyed racing at Hoosier Park and they have always treated me fairly. It’s a pleasure to be racing here this year.”
One of the top horses that drew Magee to Hoosier Park this season is the Bobby Brower-trained Allthatglittrsisgold, who will highlight the $24,000 Invitational Pace Tuesday, April 5. The four-year-old Cam’s Card Shark horse recently qualified for Magee at Hoosier Park in 1:52.4. He has three wins in four outings earlier this year at The Meadowlands. Allthatglittrsisgold will start from post eight in the eight-horse lineup for the event, slated as race 10. Post time for the Tuesday evening card at Hoosier Park is 5:30 p.m. EST.