Balmoral Park (9/15/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Well To Do Guru Seeks to Maintain Dominance in Aged Ranks
By Tom Krish
Well To Do Guru is a seven year-old. The Richess Hanover gelding who is out of a Guru mare, Guru’s Girl, is the pride of the Terry Leonard stable. A look at his numbers will make it abundantly clear that Well To Do Guru is a ‘well to do’ horse. The James P Gorman-owned gelding has made 114 starts. He has won 27 times, been second 27 times and has taken the third spot 20 times. The bankroll stands at $453,708. The Tony Maurello Pace, once known as the Dan Patch, is for horses three-years-old and up and carries a $120,000 purse. There is a deserving favorite in the Tony Maurello and it is the venerable Well To Do Guru.
|Well To Do Guru|
“This year probably has been his best year. It is not finished yet. He has been consistent. His numbers are remarkable. It has been wonderful taking care of him. He is not a nervous horse. His temperament is what makes him special. As a baby, he had a breaking problem. Talking of physical problems, he has had some on and off but nothing serious enough to affect his racing. We have had a schedule that has not imposed a burden on him,” Terry Leonard told me.
In 17 starts in 2011, Well To Do Guru has won eight races. In the Illinois-bred ranks, the Terry Leonard ward has been unstoppable. On August 26, two races back, Well To Do Guru was the 10 to 2 favorite in Maywood Park’s Egyptian Stake. Hitting the front and setting fast fractions, Well To Do Guru came home a four-length winner. In the Maurello elimination on September 10, the second favorite at 9/5 when pitted against Power Of A Moment, the 2009 Orange & Blue (colts and geldings) champion, Well To Do Guru took charge as the gate opened. A 27.3 first quarter was followed by a 57.1 half. That was the breather that Casey Leonard must have been praying for. Racing past the three-quarter mark in 1:24.4, Well To Do Guru stayed on to win by two comfortable lengths in 1:51.
“We’ll race him as long as he stays healthy and races competitively. Nothing is set in stone. Mr Gorman’s willingness to sit through difficult times has made my job easy. He makes the decisions and I do the training. Casey, my son, understands Well To Do Guru very well and it has been a great partnership,” Terry Leonard averred.
I want you, the fans, to know what Casey Leonard thinks. “Well To Do Guru has tremendous speed. He is an easy horse to drive,” Casey began.
I asked Casey why, in recent races, he has elected to set the fractions. “At one time, he was quite effective racing off the pace. In the recent past, he has been dominant in his division. I realized I needed to use his speed to advantage. Everything has worked out well. I won the elimination easily in 1:51. Yes, we could go faster in the final. If necessary, I’ll be quite prepared to rally from behind. If I win, this will be my first win in a major Super Night event.”
Doubletrouble, winner of the Tony Maurello Pace in 2010, is back to defend his title. After trying the greener pastures out East, Doubletrouble, Brian Carpenter up, won his elimination in taking style.
Power Of A Moment headed the beaten brigade in Well To Do Guru’s elimination and should be fitter for tonight’s big test. The well-travelled four-year-old carries the Miller banner. Is there a chink in Well To Do Guru’s armor? Can Power Of A Moment find more and turn the tables? Will Doubletrouble be able to make a successful defense? We will find out.
Balmoral Park, Chicagoland’s premier harness horse racing facility will host its biggest night of the year this Saturday, September 17. Aptly titled “Illinois’ Richest Night in Harness Racing,” Illinois bred horses run for over $1.3 million in purse money. Doors will open at 5:30 pm, but Super Night comes with a special post time with the first race going off at 6:30 pm.
For more information visit www.balmoralpark.com or call (708) 672-1414.
About Balmoral Park: Located in Crete, IL just 12 miles south of 80/94; Balmoral Park has been one of the nation's premier horse racing facilities since 1926. Balmoral Park features live racing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking is always free.