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'Guru' Continues Mastery Over Illinois Set

Published: April 8, 2012 1:29 am ET

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James Gorman’s prized pacer Well To Do Guru continued his mastery of the state-bred set in Illinois on Saturday night as he picked up his first win of the 2012 season knocking off six rivals by a length in the $17,000 Song Cycle Stake. The final time was 1:51.

After two very encouraging “preps” against the top “open” pacers on the grounds in the Invitational Handicap, the gelded son of Richess Hanover was ready to roll on Saturday storming right to the front and making every call a winning one as he scored for the 33rd time in his illustrious career.

In control of the proceedings throughout, the Terry Leonard trainee effortlessly rattled off splits of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:24.3.

“We raced him off the pace in those first couple of starts to get him ready for this,” explained Leonard. “Once you do that with him a few times then he acts like he really wants to be put into a race early which is what I did with him tonight. He’s such a professional out there that he basically drives himself.”

After repelling a first over bid from Thisbigdogwilfight (Mike Oosting), Well To Do Guru sprinted away from the pocket-sitting Special Joe (Marcus Miller) and the issue was never in doubt as he opened his 2012 account. Special Joe was second while Fox Valley Yukon (Kyle Wilfong) overcame stalling cover to rally for the show dough.

The 2011 Horse of the Year in Illinois returned $2.40, $2.20 and $2.10 while increasing his lifetime bankroll to $566,312 for his proud connections.

When asked what was next for the eight-year-old gelding, Leonard stated that they will stick with their usual game plan.

“He’ll get next week off, then go in an Invitational if it’s available. Then he’ll be ready for the next ICF aged stake, which is the Rambling Willie here at Balmoral on April 28th,” said Leonard. “That type of plan has worked very well for him so I don’t see us getting away from it.”

There will be no live racing on Sunday night at Balmoral Park due to the Easter holiday. Live racing resumes at the Crete track on Wednesday, April 11 with post time at 7:10 p.m. (cent).

(Balmoral Park)

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