Day At The Track

Maywood's Goxos stake will be action-packed

06:04 PM 17 May 2013 NZST
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Friday evening's $12,000 Gosox stake, a stepping stone to next month's $100,000 Maywood Pace, lured a field of nine harness racing 3-year-old ICF colts or geldings headed up by a three-horse entry of Sawgrass Farms contenders.

Shotgun Shack (p.p. 5), winner of Maywood's April 12 Sportsmaster stake for trainer Nelson Willis will have entry-mates Fox Valley Norman and Greg And Flex starting inside of him. Both Perry Smith trainees are making their sophomore debuts.

The three-horse entry will open as the heavy 6-5 morning line favorites.

Greg And Flex (Tim Curtin) earned just under $50,000 as a freshman. He won his Orange & Blue elimination and had third place finishes in a Hanover and the Springfield Final.

Fox Valley Norman (John De Long) banked $33,572 in his in his first campaign and won his Cardinal elimination at Maywood.

Fox Valley Action, the division champion as a 2-year-old when he raked in over $170,000 for Wisconsin owners Bo and Bill De Long, will have his work cut out for him Friday with the 8-hole and a trailing horse (Big Brad).

Fox Valley Action is the 5-2 second programmed choice.

"Action" posted a 1:53.4 victory in his season debut last Saturday for trainer Roger Welch.

"The race couldn't have gone any better for his first season start," said winning driver Todd Warren. "They went to a slow half, I got pulled along second over, and I was able to race him down the stretch.

"When I called on him in the lane he delivered (:27.1 last quarter). The horse also finished well (:26.4 and 27 flat) in his two Balmoral qualifiers getting ready for his first start."

Fox Valley Action was first or second in 11 of 14 freshman starts and came away with both State Fair championships, as well as the $55,000 Cardinal at Maywood. The Sportsmaster offspring was second on Super Night in the $250,000 Orange & Blue Final.

The first two slots in the fifth race Gosox will be manned by Innocent Victim (8-1, Kyle Wilfong) and Middle Aged Crazy (15-1, Casey Leonard). First-time Lasix user Silver Devil (8-1, Dale Hiteman) and Party Cove (30-1, Mike Rogers) have posts 6 and 7, in that order.

Big Brad (9-2, Bobby Smolin), who starts from the second tier behind Innocent Victim, won Balmoral's Taurus Bomber stake in early April and had third place finishes as a 2-year-old in Balmoral's American National and Orange and Blue and Maywood's Abe Lincoln and Cardinal stakes.

The Maywood Colt Pace Final is Friday, June 21 with eliminations, if needed, a week earlier on June 14, the same night as the $100,000 Maywood Filly Pace.

By Mike Paradise

The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

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