With the $20,000 Maywood Pacing Series bonus already wrapped up, as expected Thisbigdogwilfight goes for a series sweep in Friday night’s $40,000 Associates stake.
What wasn’t anticipated was two surprising entrants—Booze Cruzin and King Johnny—who will also compete in the seventh race feature.
For Booze Cruzin, our recent Windy City Pace champion, this will be the three-year-old’s first start out of his division against older horses. While the venerable King Johnny has battled Thisbigdogwilfight on several occasions, this will be their first meeting on a half-mile track.
In fact, this is only the second time King Johnny has ever raced at Maywood Park. Now nine, you have to go all the way back to 2003 when the Chuck Fairley trainee was a five-year-old for his only other outing on the Chicago circuit’s half-miler. He finished sixth that night in a conditioned pace.
To say that this will be a rare start on a half-mile track for King Johnny would be an understatement. The only other times he has raced on small tracks came in a trio of starts on Illinois fair tracks with Fairley as a three-year-old in 2001, along with his only two races as a freshman in 2000 for the Tex Moats Stable. Moats shared ownership of the Kingston offspring then with fellow Illinoisans Steve Newcom and Terrance Duffy.
In his eighth racing season King Johnny is making only in 92nd career start, that’s an average of just 11.5 races per year. He’s gunning for his 30th career victory and two of those wins came with back-to-back victories in the Dan Patch on Super Nights the past two years. King Johnny has been 1, 2 or 3 in 63 per cent of his career starts.
After winning only 1 of 14 starts as a freshman, Booze Cruzin has bounced back with a sensational second season for trainer Joe Seekman, posting 9 wins in 22 starts and 3-year-olds earnings of $323,447 for Broekhuis Stables of Holland, MI. In addition to his $205,000 Windy City Pace triumph, the son of Art’s Conquest took the $50,400 Cardinal Final (Balmoral), the $61,500 Master Shawn (Hawthorne), the $36,500 Horsemen (Indianapolis), the $30,000 Dudley (DuQuoin), and comes off a runner-up finish in the $275,000 American National.
Thisbigdogwilfight is 3-for-3 this season at Maywood, having won an ICF Open here in April, the $40,000 Cook County stake in June and the $40,000 Egyptian stake in early October. Among his nine other season wins were victories in the $92,000 Carey Memorial (Hawthorne) stake, the $40,000(Balmoral) stake, his Dan Patch elimination and four Free For Alls at Balmoral. He has $224,348 on his card for Illinois owners Rosebud Stable (Frankfort) and Michael McNeely (Normal).
Thisbigdogwilfight (Dave Magee, p.p.1) and his entry mate Third Day (Brent Holland, p.p. 7) will open the 3-2 morning line favorites. King Johnnie (Trace Tetrick, p.p. 5) is at 2-1, while Booze Cruzin (Sam Widger, p.p.3) is 5-2. The field is complete with Fox Valley Snaffle (8-1, Mike Oosting), Kennans Josh (10-1, Ryan Anderson) and One(20-1, Todd Warren).
Sportsfancy Giggles The Clown Favorite
With a treasure of stake victories to her credit this season, Sportsfancy and regular driver Ryan Anderson is the heavy 4-5 favorite to add Friday night’s $15,000 Giggles The Clown to her portfolio.
Sportsfancy will leave from post four in the fourth race co-feature when she takes on Kiss Of Heaven (5-2), Nancy Irene (20-1), Fox Valley Glitz (6-1), Utopianne (6-1) and Past The Evidence (10-1).
Sportsfancy has yet to lose this season at Maywood Park. She captured the $100,000 Maywood Filly Pace in June when she was in the Homer Hochstetletler Stable. She was sold to Larry Baron of Horsham, PA only days before she captured our October 12 Cinderella in a stakes record time of 1:52.3. One week later she won an ISOBA stake here for trainer John Butenschoen.
Thefilly earlier took the $49,000 Violet and the $29,800 Hanover at Balmoral. She swept through the Determination Plus Series at Hawthorne before her $174,000 Grandma Ann Championship on Super Night at Balmoral. A sluggish start proved costly earlier this month when she came on to be third in the $206,000 American National. She holds Balmoral’s track record for a sophomore filly with her 1:50.2 Grandma Ann elimination mile.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity