Sam Widger nailed down career win No. 2000 in his second drive on Maywood Park’s opening night of its 60th consecutive season, guiding second race winner Kennans Chris to her maiden victory Thursday evening January 12.
The 42-year-old Monee, IL resident hustled Kennans Chris out from the two-slot and the Amanda Smith trained filly never looked back, going wire-to-wire in 2:00 flat for Cedarlake, ID owner and breeder Ken Spurlock.
Widger ended his 2005 season with 288 dash winners, best ever in a single season for the Canton, IL native. Sammy also had 355 seconds and 321 thirds. Horses Widger drove won $2,094,237, the third year in the last six he topped the $2 million plateau.
“I want to thank all the owners and trainers that stuck with me through the years” said Widger. “I’m thankful they hung in there and never gave up on me. I’m fortunate to come off my best year in wins and optimistic for 2006 as well.”
Widger ended up with a driving triple Thursday night.
Widger notched career win 2,001 in the eighth race feature when the 8-5 favorite I’mgonnagetchagood powered past with a three-wide move with Sammy enroute to a 1:56.4 clocking, the four-year-old mare’s fourth triumph in her last six starts for Illinois co-owners Ray Baldwin and trainer Gerald Hansen. Sammy got 2,002 with 11th race winner Cody Little Gal ($6.00), who posted a 1:56.4 clocking.
hursday was an all-Superfecta night (except race 6), the first of a recurring event to be carded every Thursday at the meeting this season. Opening night saw the average Superfecta pay a generous $2,849 on ten races.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity