Balmoral Park (5/1/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SPECIAL JOE PROVES BEST IN RAMBLING WILLIE STAKE
A compact but classy field of six Illinois conceived and foaled pacers headed to the track for Saturday’s $14,000 Rambling Willie Stake on Saturday night at Balmoral Park. When the dust settled it was Patricia Kreischer’s crafty veteran Special Joe toting home top honors as he scored by 1 ¾ lengths in a speedy 1:52.0.
|Special Joe and driver John Roberts proved best in Saturday's $14,000 Rambling Willie Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled pacers.|
Sent to the front as the field moved around the opening turn by driver John Roberts, the six-year-old gelding led the field through an opening split in 27.1.
Roberts then elected to let a hard charging Fort Silky (Marcus Miller) grab command on the backside and that pacer then proceeded to step through middle splits of 54.0 and 1:22.4.
With the outer flow struggling to get into contention, a game Fort Silky prepared for the challenge of Special Joe who had slipped out of the pocket and was gaining ground on the outside of the leader. Well To Do Guru (Casey Leonard), who had also enjoyed a perfect ground saving trip, was also gaining ground in the passing lane as the threesome began to pull away from their rivals.
Gamely wearing down a determined Fort Silky, Special Joe grabbed command in the final sixteenth of a mile and then held off the late bid of Well To Do Guru to notch his second win in 12 starts this year. Well To Do Guru was second while Fort Silky held on for third.
Overlooked at the windows after struggling to find the charmed circle this season, the Gary Kreischer-trained son of Jody’s Cam won for the 31st time in his career while pushing his bankroll up to $252,113.