Maywood Park (11/17/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
ILLINOIS-BRED STAR SEEKS VICTORY IN ABE LINCOLN STAKE
After pulling off an upset at 11-1 in last week’s $121,100 American National Stake at Balmoral Park it would only seem fitting if Erv Miller Stable, Leland Mathias and Omer Miller’s Illinois-bred sensation Crime Of Passion could pull off a repeat performance in Friday’s $127,800 Abe Lincoln Stake at Maywood Park.
|Crime Of Passion winning the American National 2yo colt pace|
The striking roan gelding has been one of the more dominant two-year-olds in the Prairie State all season long amassing a record of six wins, four seconds and three thirds while earning $172,023 but last week’s victory proved that he’s more than capable of handling “open” company when he’s at best as well.
“He hit a little rough patch there right around Super Night but it looks like he’s found his form again and it’s coming at just the right time for these big money open stakes,” said driver Marcus Miller after capturing the American National.
The roan gelding gave a hint of things to come this season when he spotted the field a good 15 lengths in his career debut back in the Wicked Brew Stake on June 19 and still managed to rally in time to win by a neck with a blistering 26.0 final quarter.
Under the guidance of conditioner Ervin Miller the gelded son of Armbro Mackintosh-Broadway Passion continued his march through the Illinois conceived and foaled ranks, eventually taking a career best of 1:51.2 while capturing a $45,000 Illinois State Fair Stake at Springfield in August. He would later go on to capture the Governor’s Cup at DuQuoin as well.
After another big stretch-rushing win in his Super Night elimination for the Orange & Blue Stake, Crime Of Passion came up empty on Super Night finishing fifth and eventually being disqualified to eighth as the 1-5 favorite in the rich final.
A pair of third place finishes followed in the Cardinal at Maywood Park and a minor state-bred event at Balmoral Park before the gelding was shipped to Indiana Downs for the Circle City, where he finished a strong second.
After a third place finish in his American National elimination the public overlooked the late-rushing roan in the final after he drew post position eight. Overcoming a speed bias and a stiff 30 mph headwind in the stretch, Crime Of Passion rallied from mid-pack to post his biggest win to date last week as he stopped the clock in 1:54.3 in the rough conditions.
“He’s always at his best when he has some horses to chase and that’s the way the trip worked out for us in that race,” said Miller. “When this horse is good he can be very good and I’m hoping he’ll carry that over to the Abe Lincoln Stake.”
In order to post back-to-back scores Crime Of Passion will have to overcome another obstacle after drawing post position 11, meaning he’ll start three deep in the second tier on the half-mile oval at Maywood.
“That’s definitely going to be interesting and quite a challenge,” laughed Miller who currently leads the driver standings at both Maywood and Balmoral and ranks seventh in wins among all drivers in North America. “I think there was a race here last year or the year before where they had an overflow field and I won that from the 10-hole so who knows, maybe it will all work out.”