Maywood Park (7/1/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
$30,000 COOK COUNTY STAKE DRAWS EIGHT STATE BREDS
The veterans of the Illinois conceived and foaled racing wars will be on display on Friday, July 2 as Redbud Stable and Michael McNeelyís Thisbigdogwilfight leads a field of eight older state-bred pacers to the gate for the featured $30,000 Cook County Stake.
Fresh off a seasonal best of 1:50.3 while taking the Free For All at Balmoral Park, the gelded seven-year-old has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite from his inside starting spot. The Jim Eaton-trained son of The Big Dog has been virtually unstoppable this season, winning seven of nine starts while adding another $40,468 to his account. A warrior throughout his racing career, Thisbigdogwilfight boasts 42 lifetime wins and more than $800,000 in earnings.
James Gormanís Well To Do Guru has been one of the few pacers to knock off Thisbigdogwilfight in 2010, a feat he accomplished in the $30,000 Broadway Preview Stake at Balmoral Park on June 19. The six-year-old son of Richess Hanover came roaring down the lane that night to win by three-quarters of a length in a career best of 1:49.3 for driver Casey Leonard. A model of consistency throughout his career, the Terry Leonard-trained gelding has been on the board in 52 of 80 lifetime starts while banking over $251,000.
Rounding out the field for the Cook County Stake are Sports Fanatic, Omaha Survivor, The Quiet Mon, Fort Silky and My Boy Luke.
$7,000 ENZO THE BAKER STAKE ON TAP AS WELL
Co-featured on Fridayís card are a pair of $7,000 Enzo The Baker stake splits, which have drawn a total of 12 Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacers.
The opening division has been carded as race two on the card and Kay Willis and Sawgrass Farms' Filled With Wonder will look to make it two in a row to open his career after winning a division of the Wicked Brew Stake at Balmoral Park on June 20. The gelded son of Cole Muffler-Broadway Surprise unleashed a wicked 26.3 final quarter to stop the clock in 1:56.3 in that victory.
In the nightcap, which goes as the seventh race, the Bruce Pacitti-trained Little Pauli will be in search of his third win in four career starts. The speedy son of Park Place-Vocalist opened up his career with victories in divisions of the Jimmy Sunshine and Bingo Johnnie Stakes before dropping a tough photo to Filled With Wonder in the Wicked Brew.