Maywood Park (10/22/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
FOX VALLEY CLICK ROLLS IN SPEED N THE TUNNEL STAKE
Sophomore trotting fillies grabbed the headlines on Thursday, Oct. 21, as a field of eight diagonally gaited ladies battled in a rare trotting stake over the half-mile oval at Maywoood Park in the $11,800 Speed N The Tunnel Stake as part of the Thursday program.
Once again it was the powerful team of trainer Joel Smith and driver Dale Hiteman who proved best in this event, as Fox Valley Click made every call a winning one by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:59.0.
Taking full advantage of the inside starting spot on the smaller half-mile oval, the daughter of Vaporize-Fancy Creek Photo left quickly and assumed command of the proceedings as the field raced by the opening split in 28.2.
“I knew that my filly loved a smaller track like Maywood because she does all her training on an oval that’s even smaller than this,” said winning driver Dale Hiteman. “Her only problem is getting away from the gate fast enough and when she did that tonight I really liked our chances.”
In command of the proceedings the remainder of the way, the good-looking brown trotter stepped through middle splits of 58.2 and 1:28.2 while maintaining a one-length advantage.
Moving around the final turn with 27-1 outsider Ms Tegan (Todd Warren) sitting right on her back, the Joel Smith trainee simply stepped away from her pocket-riding rival in the late going and was on cruise control the rest of the way as she rolled under the wire with her fourth win in 19 starts this year. Ms Tegan held on for second after her ground-saving trip while Southern Maebelle (Brian Carpenter) did a good job of overcoming the outside starting spot to finish third.
When asked whether he’d like to see more of these state-bred events held on the half-mile oval at Maywood, the veteran reinsman who is rapidly approaching 8,000 victories in his illustrious career made his opinion quite clear.
“People always say they won’t bet trotters on a half-mile track but that’s a bunch of you know what,” said Hiteman. “Most of these horses train on tracks that have tighter turns than the ones here at Maywood so they know how to get around them just fine. Yeah, I’d like to see things changed up a bit and see some of these stakes raced over here where some of these horses that are trained on `bull-rings' would have just as good or an even better chance of winning some of these races!”