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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Maywood Park (7/3/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
$40,000 COOK COUNTY STAKE TONIGHT
Track and World Record holder Thisbigdogwillfight has drawn the far outside post in the Cook County but this six-year-old gelding is back at the top of his game and has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite. The gelded son of The Big Dog has won his last two at Balmoral Park, taking the $40,000 Broadway Preview Stake in 1:50.1 and then following that up with a 1:49.1 clocking in last Saturdayís Free For All. The pride of owners Michael Mcneely and the Redbud Stable has a whopping 32 lifetime victories and more than $657,000 in earnings to his credit. The Jim Eaton trainee became a World Record holder right here at Maywood Park when he blazed home in 1:50.3 during his four-year-old season in 2007.
Engel Stables Mucho Sleazy has been the victim of some poor racing luck in his first two starts back on the local scene, and the 7-2 second choice figures to give the top pick a stiff challenge with a trouble-free trip. The four-year-old son of Sportsmaster has been at the top of his division in each of his first two seasons, taking multiple state-bred and open stake events while putting up a mark of 1:48 during his sophomore season, which is just a tick off the World Record of 1:47.4 that is held by another Illinois bred My Boy David. With 15 lifetime victories and almost $720,000 in career earnings, the Paul Stafford-trained gelding is the richest pacer in this field which has combined for more than $3.2 million in lifetime earnings. Mucho Sleazy will start from post position three.
Rounding out the field for the Cook County Stake are Audience Of One, Fox Valley Gambler, Kashitin, Booze Cruzin, I Can Only Imagine, Dylan Rocks and Well To Do Guru.
Freshmen pacing colts will also be in the spotlight tonight as a field of eight youngsters will meet in the $10,000 Enzo The Baker Stake, which is named in honor of the ill-fated 2008 Orange & Blue Stake winner.
Among those going postward in this event are: stakes winners JVís Bad Boy, who captured a division of the Jimmy Sunshine in his career debut; Fort Hamilton, who toted home top honors in the Bingo Johnnie Stake; and Nash Gram, who is fresh off a victory in the Wicked Brew Stake and is the co-holder of the fastest mile of the year by a two-year-old gelding. Another starter in the race, Yermanos, is also a co-holder of the national season's mark for a two-year-old pacing colt with a clocking of 1:55.0 in his last start.
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