Hawthorne Racecourse (10/27/12)
Contact: Jim Miller
THE PIZZA MAN DELIVERS
STICKNEY, IL – Midwest Thoroughbred Inc.’s The Pizza Man, trained by Roger Brueggemann, unleashed a commanding performance in Saturday’s 16th running of the Buck’s Boy Handicap, a mile and a sixteenth race on the turf, carrying a purse of $125,000 Added. This race was restricted to Illinois registered, and/or foaled.
Ridden by Florent Geroux, The Pizza Man won by a comfortable two and a quarter lengths over longshot (74.60-1) Star of Paradise. It was another length and three-quarters back to Ice Climber.
Geroux had The Pizza Man well off the brisk pace set by Uno Pecador, pretty much hugging the rail all the way around. They had only one runner beat around the far turn but when Geroux guided The Pizza Man to the outside, they just took off. They had a half-length lead by midstretch and drew clear.
This was the third straight Illinois Handicap victory for the team of Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc, Roger Brueggemann and Florent Geroux. They took both the Powerless Handicap and the Lightning Jet last weekend.
“I had a perfect trip,” said reinsman Geroux. “It looked like there was going to be a lot of pace and it worked out that way. I just put my horse on the fence and tried to save as much ground as I could. When I swung him out, he just took off. He is just getting better and better. I do want to thank Seth Martinez. He used to ride the horse and he gave me some information about him and I probably won the race because of that.”
Chris Block, trainer of beaten favorite Suntracer: "It was a little too soft for him, I was a little bit worried about that going into the race. I could see when he went around the turn on the backside, he wasn't striding out like he usually does. He was on soft turf before and he really didn't handle it real well, back when he was a three year old. I'm guessing it was kind of the same situation today. It also might have been a little quick back. He ran an awfully big race two weeks ago in the Grade III Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap."
They ran the mile and a sixteenth over yielding turf in 1:46.55 after fractions of :23.92, :48.75, 1:14.17 and 1:39.80.
The Pizza Man, the lone 3-year-old in the field, earned $65,600 for the win. His lifetime earnings stand at $218,729.
The Pizza Man paid $7.60, $5.00 and $3.60.
Star of Paradise returned $43.60 and $12.00.
Ice Climber paid $4.40.
PEYOTE PATTY GOES OUT A WINNER
The defending champion of the Illini Princess Handicap, Timothy J Keeley’s Peyote Patty, successfully defended her title. It was also the last race of her career. This was the 35th running of the $125,000 Added race. It was contested at a mile and a sixteenth on yielding turf and was restricted to runners who are Illinois Registered, Conceived and/or Foaled.
Rider Jeffrey Sanchez rode her perfectly. Like The Pizza Man in the Buck’s Boy Handicap, Peyote Patty was sent to ride the rail and save ground, though she raced closer to the pace than The Pizza Man in the prior stakes race. She was moved out a little sooner and didn’t go as wide but she didn’t need to. She grabbed command midstretch, drew off to a four-length lead, and held on to score by three and three-quarter lengths.
Late running Kepi finished second, six and a half lengths in front of Mourette, the uncoupled stablemate of Peyote Patty. Kepi closed very well but Peyote Patty had gotten the jump on her and never let up.
They ran the mile and a sixteenth in 1:46.46 with fractions of :23.50, :48.69, 1:14.38 and 1:39.93.
Chris Block, the trainer of Peyote Patty had mixed feelings after the victory. “This was her swan song so this win was really special. What a mare! Mr. Keeley (Timothy J Keeley) called me a couple of years ago and wanted me to take over her training. Steve Fridley did a fantastic job with her before I got her so I really can’t take much credit. He had her ready to go when she came to me. This mare has a lot of heart. This was a pretty special race for all of us involved with her because when you have a mare like this, who runs as hard as she has, it’s tough to watch her go out. But for her to go out like this was pretty neat.
“To get her over the $500,000 mark was really something. I didn’t even realize that she could do it until a couple of hours ago. We’ll see what kind of broodmare she’s going to make but my money is on that she’ll make a good one.”
Peyote Patty earned $68,880 to finish her career with $538,343. She won 11 times in 27 races and won on turf, dirt, and Polytrack.
Peyote Patty paid $8.00, $4.40, and $3.80. Kepi paid $4.40 and $3.20. Mourette returned $5.80.
Live racing at Hawthorne takes place five days a week and concludes Sunday, December 30. Live racing will be conducted every Wednesday-Sunday. First post daily is 2:10 pm. Hawthorne Race Course is located in Stickney IL at 3501 S. Laramie Ave. For information on live racing or groups at Hawthorne Race Course, contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700 or visit Hawthorne online at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.