Day At The Track

An old face returns for Maywood trot special

05:17 AM 21 Dec 2014 NZDT
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Ken Rucker, harness racing
Ken Rucker (on left) owns Big Boy Lloyd

On Saturday night the circuit’s Invitational returns to Maywood Park for the first time in three weeks while the 2008 Springfield Review stake trot champion competes in Illinois for the first time in six years.

Big Boy Lloyd, now just days away from his being a 10-year-old, will go postward in Saturday’s $11,000 “Winner’s Over” Trot for owner Ken Rucker, who is back in town with the season closing of Pocono and Chester in Pennsylvania.

Big Boy Lloyd took the Springfield Review under the care of Rucker in 2008 and a few years later was bought by Ken. The Dream Vacation gelding has earned over $600,000 in his career racing out of the Rucker stable and that’s despite missing two full years of racing.

“He suffered a leg injury in the summer of 2012,” said his Balmoral Park trainer Catrina Rucker. “We qualified him a year later and while he qualified he good, we didn’t like the way he came out of it and my husband felt that he needed more time off. The horse had been so good for us Ken wanted to give him all time he needed to come back 100 per cent.

“The horse didn’t start racing again until the July this past summer, so he was off two full years. He did well in Pennsylvania, making over $47,000 in a half-season of racing and now he’s back home in Illinois with some of our other horses Ken brought back.”

Big Boy Lloyd’s best year in purse earnings was in 2009 as a 4-year-old when he banked over $208,000 and was a frequent Open winner on the Pennsylvania circuit.

As a 5-year-old he picked-up checks at the Meadowlands in the Su Mac Lad Series and Final against the likes of Lucky Jim (1:50.1, $1.9 million), Arch Madness (1:50.2, $4.2 million) and Enough Talk (1:49.3, $1.8 million), the 1-2-3 finalists finishers.

Todd Warren gets the catch-drive behind Big Boy Lloyd in Saturday’s eighth race trot when he opens as the 6-1 fourth choice in the morning line behind the streaking Fox Valley Veto (3-1, John De Long), winner of the last trio of  “Winner’s Over” trot; Justice Jet (7-2, Ryan Anderson) and Master of Excuses (9-1, Mike Oosting).

Ants Iner Pants (12-1), Time Outa Jail (10-1), Repeat Your ABC’s (15-1), Salutation Hanover (12-1) and Surclasser (12-1) complete the competitive field.

James Behrendt’s Ice Scrapper (p.p. 7, Brian Carpenter), who has finished first or second in his last six starts, is the 5-2 programmed choice in the $15,000 fifth race Invite where he’ll try to avenge a defeat to Artache Hanover, who is 2-for-2 on the local scene since being shipped to town by trainer Jim Eaton.

Artache Hanover (pp 6, Sam Widger) will be coupled with Mosse Terror (Mike Oosting). Both seasoned pacers are owned by Robert Silberberg of Farmington Hills, Michigan and are the 7-2 early third choices.

Best Man Hanover (pp 4, Todd Warren) is the 3-1 second choice. The first three slots will be manned by Time To Roll (5-1, Dave Magee), Firstclassallthway (8-1, John Delong) and Fort Silky (8-2 Casey Leonard) with posts 1, 2, 3, respectively.

The third headliner of the evening is the $11,000 “Winner’s Over” for filly and mare pacers with last week’s beaten favorite Always’s About Katey (pp 1, Todd Warren) the 2-1 first-flash favorite.

Early Xmas Gift: The longshot $25.00 winner The Bruzilian Blur (Bobby Smolin) was my top 11th race selection last night at Maywood Park.

by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

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