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Illinois Freshmen Tested At Maywood

Published: June 27, 2015 12:37 am ET

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After opening their careers on the mile oval at Balmoral Park, this season’s two-year-old pacing crop had their first tests on the tight turns of a half-mile oval as Maywood Park played host to a pair of Illinois conceived and foaled stake events on Friday night.

With a total of 12 freshmen pacing colts dropped in the box, the Enzo The Baker Stake was split into a pair of $4,000 divisions. The girls were also in action on the sloppy track Friday night as a field of seven was sent postward in the $5,000 Juxtaposition Stake.

In the opening division of the Enzo The Baker, the Kay Willis-owned Dan D Dune rolled to an impressive six and a quarter length victory in 1:59 for driver Mike Oosting.

Content to save ground in third while Sagebrush Sid (Pat Curtin) led the field through splits of :30.2 and 1:00, Oosting pounced on the pacesetter as the pair raced head and head by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.4.

Quickly opening up an insurmountable edge around the final turn, the gelded son of Duneside Perch—Witch Hanover continued to widen his margin through the lane in route to his first career win. Eddie Eddie Eddie (Clifton Bell), who was forced wide by a breaking horse on the final bend, still managed to rally in time for the place money while Dakota Road (Robert Smolin) salvaged the show dough despite a miscue in that last turn.

Hammered at the betting windows, the Nelson Willis-trained Dan D Dune, who was a $9,500 Classic Yearling purchase, returned $3.20, $2.10 and $2.10.

The second division produced a wire-to-wire performance as Stephen Mc MacKin, Marilyn Kelly and Lorna Roush’s Wondrous Sport used the inside starting spot to perfection, leading every step of the way as he reported home with a one and a half-length victory in 1:59.

Given a confident steer by driver Casey Leonard, the gelded son of Sportsmaster—Wondrous Grace shot right to the front from the pole position, putting up splits of :29.3, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2 while relatively unchallenged on the front end.

With plenty still in reserve, the Gary Rath trainee kept his rivals at bay through the lane with a :28.3 final quarter to notch his maiden-breaking victory. Sagebrush Sam (Kyle Husted) enjoyed a perfect two-hole trip, but was no match for the winner while Fox Valley Aramon (Todd Warren) saved ground throughout the mile to finish third.

The second choice in the wagering, Wondrous Sport returned $5.20, $4.00 and $3.20 while opening his account.

The Juxtaposition Stake figured to be a showdown between Lexington Lady and Fox Valleytiramisu, who had traded first and second-place finishes in their first two meetings, and it proved to be just that with Lexington Lady getting the better of her main rival on this night as she cruised to a four-length victory in 1:57.2 for driver Brian Carpenter.

Gunned right to the top from post five, the Hosea Williams-owned and trained miss rattled off splits of :27.3, :57 and 1:27.3 while Fox Valleytiramisu sat right on her back. These two were some 10 to 12 lengths in front of the rest of the fillies for most of the mile and things were no different in the late going as the daughter of Lexington Legend—Stephie Kay drew off in the lane for her second straight stakes win. Fox Valleytiramisu (Robert Smolin) was a clear cut second while Burry Me Inthesand (Gary Rath) was a distant third, 11-1/2 lengths behind the winner.

Looking like quite the bargain buy for her proud owner/trainer, the $2,500 Illinois Classic Yearling purchase returned $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10 while running her record to 2-1-0 in 3 lifetime starts with earnings of $6,000.

(Maywood Park)

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