Maywood Park (4/15/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SPORTSMASTER STAKE ATTRACTS EIGHT SOPHOMORES
Maywood Park’s 2010 stake schedule gets underway on Friday night as a field of eight three-year-old colt and gelding pacers will face the starting gate in the $9,000 Sportsmaster Stake. Carded as race nine on the 14-race program, this test is restricted to state-bred sophomores.
Southern Sport checks into Maywood Park off a pair of sharp efforts at Balmoral, and the gelded son of Sportmaster figures to be the one to beat for the ownership group of Jim Reynolds, Orange Crush Racing and Terry Rathgeber.
After a decent two-year-old campaign in which he put together a record of 2-3-2 in 13 starts, trainer Kristopher Reynolds sent the bay gelding out ready to roll in his sophomore debut on March 27. Storming right to the front, Southern Sport made every call a winning one as he tripped the timer in a career best of 1:54.2. He then followed up that effort with a big second-place finish behind a very tough winner in the Taurus Bomber Stake at Balmoral. Tim Curtin is scheduled to drive the 8-5 morning line favorite who will start from post position three.
Robert Phillips and Blackfoot Farms' Come Home Honey is winless in 15 career starts, but this gelding has put up several impressive efforts in defeat and he merits strong consideration after drawing the inside starting spot for Friday’s battle.
The homebred son of Final Cheers dropped a heartbreaker at Balmoral Park last week, missing by a nose in 1:54.4. Trained by Phillips, this gelding has been second or third in five of his seven starts this season. Bobby Smolin will handle the driving duties behind the 9-2 morning line choice.
The “wildcard” in this race could be the Jesse DeLong owned and trained Delco Willobee, who is making his sophomore debut after a seven-month hiatus. This good looking son of Ft. Apache Hanover spent his two-year-old season on the fair circuit where he racked up eight wins and three seconds in just 12 starts. After winning his qualifier by 7 ¼ lengths in 1:57 here at Maywood Park, this gelding appears to be ready for bigger and better things this season. John DeLong gets the call to drive Delco Willobee who has drawn post position four. Despite the layoff the pair has been installed as the second choice at 7-2.
Rounding out the field are Charlie Beans, NJ’s Super Charger, Parker Place, Odds On Emanuel and One Chaser.
Post time every Thursday and Friday at Maywood Park is 7:10 pm (central). For more information visit www.maywoodpark.com or call (708) 343-4800.