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King Mufasa Reigns Over Cardinal Rivals

Published: May 29, 2013 10:32 pm ET

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Illinois conceived and foaled trotters grabbed the headlines on Wednesday, May 29 at Balmoral Park as a field of nine diagonally gaited sophomore colts squared off in the $50,800 Cardinal Stakes.

After tasting defeat for the first time in 2013 last week, William Wright and Mystical Marker Farms' King Mufasa returned to his winning ways on Wednesday night cruising to an easy three-length victory in 1:56 for driver Mike Oosting.

Getting away fourth as entrymate Powerful Poe (Todd Warren) was zipped to the front, Oosting was content to save ground at the pylons while Powerful Poe strolled through an opening quarter in :30.

Moving to the outside, the gelded son of Powerful Emotion-Foxy N Diamonds was rolling into second as the field reached the half-mile mark in :58.1.

“I could tell Todd was trying to shut things down on the front end and I didn’t want to take a chance at getting my horse trapped on the inside,” said Oosting. “Going into the race I pretty much figured I was going to have to be first up and I didn’t want Powerful Poe getting away from us so I really wasn’t worried about trying to flush some cover.”

Heading around the bend, King Mufasa continued to draw closer to the pacesetter, moving to within a head as the two reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.1.

“At the top of the stretch I felt pretty confident because I really hadn’t asked him to do much,” explained Oosting. “You can brush him to the front if you want, but I know Todd’s horse has a pretty good turn of speed and I didn’t want to get hooked up in a battle with him so I just let my horse float up to him.”

Quickly zipping by a tiring Powerful Poe as the field moved through the lane, King Mufasa began to put daylight between himself and the rest of the field. Using his long powerful strides to seal the deal, the Mike Brink trainee was on cruise control the rest of the way as he reported home with his third win in four starts this year. Fox Valley Camo (Jamaica Patton) shook loose late to rally for the place money while Powerful Commander (Dean Magee) was third.

In the winner’s circle, Oosting had high praise for the big, brown gelding.

“He was just perfect out there tonight,” marveled Balmoral’s leading driver. “I probably didn’t need to pull the plugs on him but just to be safe I pulled them with about a sixteenth of a mile to go and he just dropped about six inches and took off again. Mike [Brink] has done a great job keeping him 'quiet' this season and you can basically drive him with two fingers now. If he keeps up like this it’s going to be a fun year with this one.”

Bet like defeat was out of the question as part of the Mystical Marker Farms entry, King Mufasa returned $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10 while upping his bankroll to $48,902.

(Balmoral Park)


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