Day At The Track

Cardinal Trot looks like a two-horse race

08:17 AM 29 Oct 2014 NZDT
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RT Habenero, harness racing
RT Habenero and Dave Magee
David Baum Photo

Jake Quaider and RT Habenero, two late blooming freshmen trotters, will get an abundant amount of the public’s wagering money in Wednesday’s $40,200 Violet Final for ICF 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Balmoral Park with the absence of division leader Fox Valley Qatar who is in Louisiana for the winter.

Jake Quaider (programmed 8-5 )and RT Habenero (2-1) have traded victories in their last two starts with the former overtaking the latter in last week’s Cardinal Prep after RT Habenero ended Fox Valley Qatar’s eight-race unbeaten streak in the $97,000 Lincoln Land Final earlier this month and Jake Quaider third-best.

RT Habenero was winless in his first five career starts for trainer Robert Taylor. The Tennessee native shares ownership of the Armbro Tropicana gelding with Illinoisans Taylor and Robert Rietveld of Bourbonnais.

After a non-threating fourth in a division of the Darn Safe at Du Quoin Taylor turned over the lines of RT Habenero to National Hall of Famer Dave Magee and the horse won 2 of his next 5 outings including the Lincoln Land crown, the biggest plum in the division, and was second in the three other starts.

Jake Quaider has been 1, 2 or 3 in 6 of his 7 career starts and the only time he wasn’t in a Trifecta wager was his fourth place finish in the $73,000 American National when he ended-up only two lengths behind the winner Iron.

After the American National owners Quaid Racing of Evergreen Park, IL switched barns with the Photo Color gelding, going from the Erv Miller Stable to the Balmoral Park based conditioner Nelson Willis.

Two and 1/2 weeks after being shuffled back in the Lincoln Land and ending up third, Jake Quaider uncorked a strong :28.1 last panel in last week’s prep, zooming past the front-stepping RT Habenero, winning by almost two lengths in 1:58 flat with regular driver Casey Leonard..

“Casey gets along very well with the horse and he told me the horse was really, really good in that prep race,” said Willis. “Casey said that was the best he’s been in a while.

“Jake Quaider is a nice little horse who has been lightly raced. Erv (Miller) had him prior to me and he didn’t race him a lot, I haven’t made many changes on the colt, just a little here and there. He seems to be headed in the right direction in the late part of his season.

Jake Quaider is out of the Credit Winner broodmare Grace Elizabeth, making him a half-brother to the former ICF stakes champion Maevey Gravy who chalked up almost $180,000 in his first two seasons for Quaid Racing in 2011 and 2012.

Maevey Gravy captured the Lady Lincoln Land Final at two when she raced out of the Roger Welch Stable. As a 3-year-old under the tutelage of trainer Erv Miller she won a Hanover and both State Fair championships.

Captain Greedy (J D Finn) winner of 9 races in his first season including a division of Du Quoin’s Darn Safe, landed the one-post in the Wednesday feature and is the morning line 5-1 third choice.

Looking to pull off an upset in the fifth race headliner are Arc’s Conquest (12-1, Ryan Anderson), Powerful Above All (6-1, Todd Warren), Southern Special (12-1, Travis Seekman) and Vick Valor (15-1, Mike Brink).

by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

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