Day At The Track

Sophomores star in state-bred battles

05:06 PM 27 Apr 2013 NZST
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Crankin' It Up (2) Big Zipper (4)
Crankin' It Up (2) - Scored by a nose in 1:53.2
Big Zipper (4) - Holding on by a neck in 1:55.3 for driver Bobby Smolin

Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-olds were back in the spotlight on Friday, April 26th at Maywood Park as a pair of $12,000 stake battles shared top billing on the 14-race harness racing program.

Pacing fillies kicked things off with a field of seven sent postward in the Desperate Lady Stake. Using her high turn of early speed to perfection on the half-mile oval, the Robert Phillips owned and trained Big Zipper shot right to the top and made every call a winning one, holding on by a neck in 1:55.3 for driver Bobby Smolin.

Hustled to the front from post position five by Smolin, the daughter of Big Green Machine-Secret Dial carved out splits of 28.1, 57.3 & 1:26.0 while going relatively unchallenged.

Through the stretch the speedy filly dug in gamely as a pocket sitting Incredible Filly (Dave Magee) tried in vain to get to her before running out of time. Zumba (Casey Leonard) finished a fast closing third, just a half-length behind in the thrilling finish.

The win was the sixth in 12 starts this season for Big Zipper who returned $3.20, $2.40 & $2.80 while upping her career bankroll to $39,395.

The “boys” were in action in the Taser Gun Stake later in the night and this battle also provided a blanket finish as the Brett Wilfong trained Crankin’ It Up came bobbing and weaving through horses in the lane to score by a nose in 1:53.2. The win was the first in 12 lifetime starts for the son of Skydancer Hanover-Crime Scene.

Big Brad (Robert Smolin) was sent to the front from post four to open things up and he proceeded to lead the field through splits of 28.0 & 56.3.

Heavily favored Shotgun Shack (Mike Oosting) then came calling as the field moved towards the three-quarter-mile mark putting a head in front as the field moved by that station in 1:24.2.

Through the lane Shotgun Shack continued to show the way but the field was zeroing on the favorite as they fanned out for the stretch drive. That’s when driver Kyle Wilfong made the winning move with Crankin’ It Up who had been shuffled to last in the field of six, maneuvering his charge off the pylons and splitting a tight seam between horses.

Flying home in 28.1 the bay gelding then ducked back to the inside after getting around several horses, eventually nailing the victory in the last stride. Shotgun Shack was forced to settle for the runner-up role while Silver Devil (Todd Warren), who had followed Shotgun Shack’s every move was third. Just 2 ¼ lengths separated the six starters in the race at the wire.

Overlooked in the wagering because of the bagel in the win column Crankin’ It Up returned a healthy $31.80, $5.80 & $5.00 to his backers while moving his career bankroll up to $15,291 for owners Lynn & Barbara Wilfong and Brett & Candice Wilfong.


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