The TrackMaster Series for horses with a figure of 74.25 or less is an event designed to give horses of modest talent a chance to race for some bigger purses than they might ordinarily compete for. But the winner of Friday night’s $15,000 series final for trotters at The Meadowlands looks like a horse who could prove to be far better than modest.
Crazy Fool, whose explosive final quarter a week ago led to a shocking 40-1 score in the series’ second and final leg, came right back to win again, but this time, the three-year-old gelded son of Crazy Wow-Winkys Gal had the confidence of the betting public, and despite not getting the best of trips, prevailed with ease to stay unbeaten in two starts this year.
Sent to the gate as the 8-5 favourite, driver Marcus Miller was in no hurry over a surface that saw no horse on the 14-race card win in wire-to-wire fashion, and sat eighth past the half in a third-over flow, racing well back off a contested :57.4 pace.
But Miller remained confident in Crazy Fool.
“[Trainer] Claude [Huckabone III] had him super ready,” said Miller. “He’s still green but they mixed it up just enough.”
Crazy Fool was tipped off his cover at three-quarters, raced three-wide around the final half of the far turn and then sprinted home to collar leader Bet Big On Blue nearing the wire. The pocket-sitting Golden Cross Stone gunned down Bet Big On Blue for the place spot.
Crazy Fool won it by a half-length while completing the mile in 1:56.1 and paid $5.20 to win.
“I imagine he’s heading into the [New York] Sire Stakes,” said Miller. “They’ll probably bump him up [from the Excelsior, where he raced as a two-year-old, to the high-level competition]. He seems like the type of horse who can do it. I wanted to be in range. He’s still figuring out what he has to do but he was charging. He’s a nice horse.”
Crazy Fool is now four-for-10 lifetime – with five second-place finishes – for owners Anne Morgan, Richard Dieck and C.L. Huckabone Jr.
All-source betting totalled $3,250,074, keeping The Big M’s streak of surpassing the magic $3-million mark intact. There have been 20 Friday and Saturday night programs conducted during 2023 and every one has seen wagering exceed $3 million. During 2022, betting went past the $3-million mark 23 times during the 85-program season.
Dave Miller, aka “Purple Jesus”, aka “The Buckeye,” led the driver colony with three victories on the night. Nifty Norman and Edwin Quevedo led the trainers with a pair of winners each.
A carryover of $10,174 led to over $50,000 in “new money” pumped into the 20-cent Pick-6 pot for a grand total of $61,424. After a sequence that saw winner’s odds of 8-5, 9-2, 8-1, 7-2, 1-5 and 7-2, those with all six correct collected $1,584.14.
Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.