It’s the second consecutive evening of Super Night eliminations races on Sunday and if I had to pick out two “Locks” they would be King Mufasa in his Su Mac Lad elim and Mystical Victress in her Lorna Propes division.
Losing to another Illinois bred horse is just something these two talented horses very rarely do.
King Mufasa brings an eight race winning streak into the first race and he’s 10- for 11 since joining theStable for his 3-year-old campaign. The gelding’s lone 2013 loss came against older trotters early in the season when he was prepping for a stake and drew an outside post.
Mystical Victress has lost once to an ICF mare this year, dropping a head decision to Rev Me Up in the $20,000 Sue Fee Stake at Balmoral, and that was the six-year-old mare’s her first loss in state-bred competition since late August of 2010 at Du Quoin in her sophomore campaign.
Mystical Victress had won 11 consecutive races against ICF distaffers going into the Sue Fee stake and currently has strung together four straight victories and three were in open company.
King Mufasa got his eighth straight win at Du Quoin when Skyline Road was disqualified to second when he went on the pace to get past the Mike Brink trainee. It was the third straight time Skyline Road has been DQ’s for switching over to the pace.
King Mufasa didn’t look sharp at all at Du Quoin and I asked Brink if he knew why?
“If I had to come with an excuse I would say it was the race track,” Mike answered. “It wasn’t very good and that wasn’t just my opinion. A lot of trainers felt that way. It was too deep.
“King Mufasa isn’t a big horse and I think he just struggled on that deep track. A horse doesn’t trot in ‘53’ one week and the next start later has trouble going in ’58’ without a reason.
“I had blood work done on him and it all came back clear. He trained really well this week and I think he’ll be just fine for Sunday’s elimination.”-
Brink will depend on his help this weekend at Balmoral while he recuperates from reconstructive shoulder surgery in his in Springfield.
“Four weeks ago this past week a horse I was driving at the Mt. Sterling Fair went down and I busted up my shoulder pretty bad in the accident. The clavicle was broken in four places and the shoulder was pulled out of its socket.
“I’ve got four weeks of physical therapy ahead of me and I’ve been feeling weak so I’ll stay home and take it easy this weekend. Hopefully I’ll feel good enough to go to Balmoral for Super Night.”
Brink is having a career year. The 60-year-old veteran had a season-best high 53 racing wins going into this weekend while his horses have won over $482,000, a single-season best.
Only a fifth place or better finish is needed to make the Su Mac Lad Final. The third race second elim pits the State Fair runner-up Skyline Road (2-1, Marcus Miller), the consistent Dirk Simpson trainee Powerful Poe (7-2, Todd Warren), the Pronto Don third-place finisher Fox Valley Legend (9-2, Dale Hiteman) and seven other ICF hopefuls.
Only the tenth place finisher in the second race Lady Ann Reed elimination won’t move on to the $106,000 final on Super Night. The first nine finishers will advance to meet Divination who drew a bye.
Three fillies, Sara The Spy, Little Ms Chrissy and Just For Fum, all have season earnings higher than Divination but since they haven’t raced since August 24, their trainers declined the bye and elected to partake in Sunday’s single elimination.
Traineraccepted a bye for Divination who stayed sharp for the Lady Ann Reed with a win on September 1 on the Pana fair track.
Mystical Victress needs a third or higher finish to be assured of going after her third consecutive Lorna Propes crown on Super Night. She opens at 8-5 in the second Propes elim.
Tamarac Sassy (Casey Leonard) is the 3-1 programmed choice in the fourth race first split, while Brink’s Just By Design is the 3-1 favorite in the sixth race third elimination.
“Just By Design is very sharp right now,” said Brink. “I call her a perfect ‘horse’ because he can drive her anyway he wants, depending how the race unfolds, just the way Dave likes to compete.”
By Mike Paradise
The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association