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Father-Son Duo Sweeps Cardinal Stakes

Published: June 1, 2013 2:42 pm ET

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Friday’s Cardinal Stake at Maywood Park turned into the Terry and Casey Leonard show as the father-son duo teamed up to take a pair of $28,534 divisions of the Cardinal Stake for older state-bred pacers.

With a total of 16 participants dropped into the entry box, the race was split into two divisions, which were carded as races nine and 10 on the 14-race program.

In the first division John Prentice and Neva Jane Ikeler’s Fort Silky continued his big 2013 campaign with a wire-to-wire one-length victory in 1:53.4.

Zipped right to the front from post position two by driver Casey Leonard, the seven-year-old son of Ft Apache Hanover cruised through splits of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:25.2 while unchallenged on the front end.

With plenty in reserve, the Terry Leonard trainee kept the pocket-sitting Uncle Smoothie (Brian Carpenter) at bay through the stretch for his eighth victory of the year. Uncle Smoothie was clearly second-best on this night while Gibbs (Todd Warren) used a nice ground saving trip to get the show dough.

Now boasting a record of 8-5-1 in 17 starts this year -- most of which have come against the Invitational company at Balmoral Park -- Fort Silky has run his seasonal earnings up to $105,151 and he now sports a whopping $402,295 in career earnings.

With no show wagering on the race, Fort Silky returned just $2.20 and $2.10.

The winning combination struck again in the second division, this time in a completely different fashion as the Terry Leonard-owned and trained Whirlwindiplomacy rallied from out of the clouds to win by a widening length in 1:54.

Saddled with post position seven in the field of eight, driver Casey Leonard immediately ducked to last as NJs Big Deal (Ryan Anderson), Drive Em Cowboy (Kyle Wilfong) and Urawomanizer (John Roberts) battled three across the track through a wicked :26.3 opening quarter.

The battle for position continued to rage on as NJs Big Deal lead the way by the half-mile mark in :54.4.

At that point, Leonard moved his charge to the outside where the four-year-old son of Dashing Diplomat began to work his way towards the embattled leaders while racing three-wide down the backstretch.

With a hard-charging September Road (Todd Warren) taking command of the proceedings, the pacers hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.3.

Through the stretch, the tough early duel began to take its toll on the early leaders while a fit and fresh Whirlwindiplomacy began to pick off one rival after another. Bobbing and weaving his way through traffic, Whirlwindiplomacy cruised right by the pacesetters reporting home with his seventh victory of the year. NJs Big Deal held on gamely to finish second while September Road was third.

Sent off at 9-1 due in large part to his outside starting spot, Whirlwindiplomacy returned $20, $10.20 and $5. This one-time $8,000 claimer now has seven wins, two seconds and three thirds in 16 starts this year with earnings of $39,251.

(Maywood Park)

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