Maywood Park (4/16/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
FOX VALLEY MERCURY MAKES SOPHOMORE DEBUT A WINNING ONE IN SPORTSMASTER STAKE
The 2011 stakes season at Maywood Park kicked off on Friday night and the $9,000 Sportsmaster Stake did not lack for action or adventure as three of the six participants made breaks over the sloppy track and second place finisher Fox Valley Libero managed to draw the wrath of the judges. Meanwhile, through the entire goings on behind him Connie, Homer and Jay Hochstetlerís Fox Valley Mercury wound up making every call a winning one as he splashed to a 1 ľ length triumph in 2:00.4 to open his second season on a winning note in the three-year-old state-bred event.
|Fox Valley Mercury and driver-trainer Homer Hochstetler had no trouble negotiating a sloppy track as he rolled to an easy 1 1/4 length victory in Friday's $9,000 Sportsmaster Stake at Maywood Park.|
Hustled away from post position two by driver-trainer Homer Hochstetler, Fox Valley Mercury led the field through an opening quarter in 30.2.
Meanwhile after determining that Hochstetler was not going to give up the lead at that point, driver Brian Carpenter tried to maneuver Fox Valley Libero into the two-hole, interfering with Rockin Rumble (Marcus Miller) who was knocked off stride.
Continuing to splash along over the sloppy track, Fox Valley Mercury rattled off middle splits of 1:00.1 and 1:31.1. During that time Battle Tested (Kyle Husted), who had been sitting third through the mile, went off-stride costing him any chance of being a factor.
With the field moving around the final turn a hard charging AJ Getís The Money (John De Long), who was rolling up on the outside of horses with a full head of steam, made a nasty break taking himself out of the race.
That left Fox Valley Mercury all alone on the front end and with plenty left in reserve the gelded son of Incredible Finale-Miss Bootsy cruised under the wire with his fifth win career win in 13 starts. Fox Valley Libero finished second but was disqualified and placed third for causing interference to Rockin Rumble at the quarter pole. Rockin Rumble, who wound up pacing a big mile to recover and finish third, was then moved up to the place spot.
The second choice in the wagering, Fox Valley Mercury returned $7.20, $3.40 and $2.20 while running his career bankroll up to $55,047 for the Hochstetlers.