Orange and Blue colt champion Froggy Turner and 7-1 longshot Willie The Kid were convincing front-end winners in the respective $7,500 elimination divisions of the Cardinal two-year-old state bred stake Friday night at Maywood Park.
Froggy Turner's first elimination victory with Dave Magee at his lines in 1:54 flat equaled the season's mark for a freshman colt on a half-mile track, while Jason Dillander drove Willie The Kid's to his triumph only two-fifths of a second slower.
Both are sons of Illinois stallion.
Also making the Friday October 5 freshman championship with $60,000 on the line were the second through fifth place finishers in their respective eliminations: Littlebitoflife, Harness My Fury, Too Much Pepper and Omaha Survivor in the first split, along with Mucho Sleazy, Jolly Lester, Ricks Big G and Little Pedro from the second.
Froggy Turner had to work a bit to get the lead in the fifth race first elimination, taking command coming out of the first turn from Harness My Fury however after a quick :27.2 first quarter Magee was able to get away with a :29.3 second panel breather.
The leader put away a bid from Chevie Classic Rod with a :28.4 third quarter and the heavy 2-5 favorite proceeded to coast home in :28.1 for a two and one-quarter margin a late closing Littlebitoflife (Ryan Anderson).
It was one more length back to the show horse Harness My Fury.
"Froggy Turner won easy here tonight," Magee noted. "This horse is a big striding, easy-going horse that just eats up ground. He has no problem getting around a half-miler."
Froggy Turned won for the seventh time in 12 first season starts for Illinoisans Sandra Dyer, Carol Rieken, James Stieren and Luke Gaule and trainer Tom Simmons. It was Froggy Turner's Maywood Park debut and is first start since his September 15 O&B Championship on Super Night at Balmoral.
Dillander timed Willie The Kid perfectly at the start from the two-slot and the Tom Harmer trainee shot out to a quick lead before the first turn and he never looked back, cutting fractions of :28.3, :57.4 and 1:26, turning in a :28.2 final panel for his one and one-quarter length win over the 3-2 public's choice Mucho Sleazy, who raced first up much of the way.
"This horse is very quick and tends to get pretty fired up, so we've been working at keeping him relaxed," Dillander said. "He trains here, so it makes sense that he'd get around the track really well. He won rather easily."
Willie The Kid was also making his first start at Maywood Park and the win ended a four-race losing streak. Owned by Michael Polansky of Loudonville, NY, Willie The Kid is now 2-for-10 on the campaign.
Driver Mike Oosting was satisfied with Mucho Sleazy's second place performance.
"Our goal tonight was to make the final and we accomplished that," Oosting noted.
"He made a break in his Super Night elim and so now we've been working on keeping him settled and not letting him get too worked up. He was much better here tonight, even though I had to baby him a little."
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