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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Maywood Park (6/27/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
WHAT IT MEANS TAKES MAYWOOD PACE IN A STUNNER
Content to sit back and watch the proceedings as My Boy Luke (Josh Sutton) and Smellthecolornine (Marcus Miller) battled through a brutal opening quarter in 26.3, Oosting had his charge perfectly positioned in third some three-lengths behind the embattled leaders.
Heading to the half-mile marker driver Sam Widger decided to send Jamboree on his way from fourth, and that colt was able to stick ahead in front of My Boy Luke as the field reached the mid-way point in a blazing 54.3. Smellthecolornine was still right there in third while Oosting and What It Means continued to save ground in fourth, now almost six lengths behind the top pair.
“I knew that those top few had been going way too fast and that they were going to have a tough time hanging on off those kinds of splits,” said Oosting. “At that point I was just hoping to be able to find a way off the pylons because I knew I still had some horse left.”
As the field moved down the backside for the final time My Boy Luke continued to show the way as Jamboree tried in vain to get to him while first over. A gapping Smellthecolornine was struggling to get into striking position while at the pylons, which forced Oosting to move the son of Cole Muffler-Charged To The Max to the outside as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:22.4.
Quickly slipping three wide for clear sailing, What It Means began to make up ground on the leg-weary leaders while moving around the final turn.
“My horse felt pretty good at that point but I still wasn’t sure he was going to have the burst he needed to get to the front,” Oosting explained. “Coming around the last turn I thought we could definitely be second but I could also see that a few of those other colts around us were struggling to get home.”
Continuing to grind his way towards the front, What It Means set his sights squarely on the pace setting My Boy Luke, finally overtaking the game Roger Welch trainee with about 50 yards to go and then drawing clear in the final strides for the victory. My Boy Luke held on for second while Park Lane Deputy (Dale Hiteman) rallied from seventh at the three-quarter-mile mark to finish a hard luck third just a length behind the winner.
Unraced at two, What It Means started his career on the east coast for conditioner Erv Miller. The $40,000 Cottonwood yearling purchase is not the most imposing sight on the track but he still manages to get the job done according to his conditioner.
“He’s not the biggest or the strongest horse you’ll see out there and he doesn’t have the biggest burst of speed but he does a good job of carrying his speed the entire way,” said Miller. “I think because of his size he’s a perfect fit for the smaller size tracks like a half or five-eighths.”
Plans call for What It Means to spend the summer months campaigning on the Illinois circuit in the state-bred ranks. The win was the fourth in 12 starts this season for What It Means, who also has three seconds and two thirds to his credit with earnings of $77,162.
After a third place finish in last week’s elimination action, What It Means was sent off at odds of 9-1 returning $21.20, $7.00 and $5.60.
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