“He’s really done quite well,” said the horse’s trainer, Thomas Graham Jr., who is better known as Buzz. “He always showed talent. Last year as a 2-year-old he got a little hot on us at the end. This year we started to race him from the back and not get him up on the front end at all. That was the key to everything, getting him to race from behind. And he likes doing it.”
In his last 10 starts, Powerful Speed has been no nearer than third when the field reached three-quarters of a mile. He won four of those races and finished on the board eight times. His average final quarter-mile during that span was just more than :27.4 seconds.
|Balmoral Park photo|
|Powerful Speed heads into the Galt Stakes on a three-race winning streak.|
“He’s been good all year, he just had some bad draws and bad luck in the race,” Graham said. “Then he got drawing inside a little bit and the races went the way he likes it, so he’s been very fortunate that way. He’s able to close on them.”
Powerful Speed will start the Galt from post five with driver Todd Warren. He is 6-1 in the morning line. (He has not been favored in any of his last 10 starts.) Multiple-stakes-winner Flex The Muscle, from post four with driver Tim Tetrick for trainer Ray Schnittker, is the 8-5 morning line favorite.
Graham, 39, from Salem, Illinois, bred Powerful Speed with his uncle, Jerry Graham, and his uncle’s son, J.D. Graham. The group also owns the horse, which has won seven of 18 races this year and earned $198,041.
Powerful Speed is a son of stallion Powerful Emotion, owned by Jerry Graham and Kevin Lakomy, and the Grahams’ mare Balto-Slavic, who has since passed away.
Graham says the success of the breeding was “just kind of a lucky deal.” It is fun to note, though, that Powerful Speed’s maternal line includes the broodmare Elizabeth, who produced two Hambletonian winners: Greyhound and Yankee Maid.
Powerful Speed’s clean gait is one of his best attributes.
“From day one he never interfered, so I didn’t have to play with his shoeing at all,” Graham said. “That’s the biggest thing with trotters. It was great from that standpoint.”
Graham and his father typically get eight to 10 horses a year to the races. Graham, who is a third-generation horseman with a degree in geology, is enjoying his best season as a trainer, thanks in large part to Powerful Speed.
“This is the best horse I’ve ever had,” Graham said. “It’s been a very good year. I’m ecstatic over it.”
He enjoys the challenge, and fulfillment of a successful job, provided by harness racing.
“It’s hard to explain,” Graham said. “Just the satisfaction of taking a horse that never had a harness on and getting him to the races and winning. The feeling is pretty much indescribable. It’s kind of a neat deal.”
Here is the Galt field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Super Sonic Flash, Casey Leonard, Jodi Peacock; 2. Earl’s Glider, Peter Wrenn, Peter Wrenn; 3. Flashback, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller; 4. Flex The Muscle, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 5. Powerful Speed, Todd Warren, Thomas Graham Jr.; 6. Waldorf Hall, Frode Fladen, Per Henriksen; 7. Jonah E Hanover, Michael Oosting, Chris Marino; 8. Wolf Creek Pass, Brian Carpenter, Gerald Hansen; 9. Big Sky Revenue, Dale Hiteman, Mark Fransen.
WINDY CITY: One More Laugh, coming off his American-National Stakes win last weekend at Balmoral Park, is the 6-5 favorite in Friday’s $200,000 Windy City Pace at Maywood Park. One More Laugh has won eight of 18 starts, including the million-dollar Meadowlands Pace, and earned $1.44 million this season.
Here is the Windy City Pace field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Aracache Hanover, Douglas McNair, Gregg McNair; 2. Razzle Dazzle, John Campbell, Jerry Silverman; 3. Voomerang, Todd Warren, Roger Welch; 4. Delco Willobee, John DeLong, Jesse DeLong; 5. Stonebridge Tonic, Dave Magee, Gregg McNair; 6. Oneandonly Z Tam, Casey Leonard, David McCaffrey; 7. One More Laugh, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 8. Power Of A Moment, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller.
ABE LINCOLN: Mystic Desire, who also won an American-National last weekend at Balmoral Park, is the 4-5 morning line favorite in Friday’s $116,700 Abe Lincoln Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers at Maywood. The colt has won eight of 12 races and $270,885.
Here is the field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Arockin Hanover, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller; 2. Sporty Gypsy, Michael Oosting, Tom Simmons; 3. Mystic Desire, Tim Tetrick, Shawn Nessa; 4. Ben G, John DeLong, Tom Simmons; 5. Outgraygeous Z Tam, Dave Magee, David McCaffrey; 6. Turn It Up Loud, John Campbell, David McCaffrey; 7. King Z Tam, Casey Leonard, David McCaffrey; 8. He’s So Hot, Dale Hiteman, Roger Welch; 9. Fox Valley Libero, Todd Warren, Nelson Willis.
CINDERELLA: Tiz To Dream (7-5) and Fox Valley Oracle (9-5) are the top choices in Friday’s $76,700 Cinderella Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers at Maywood. Tiz To Dream was third in last week’s Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final, finishing behind Western Silk and Preppy Party Girl. She has won six of 16 races this year and earned $351,354. Fox Valley Oracle was third in the American-National, behind Anndrovette and Put On A Show. She has won two of 19 starts and earned $149,532.
Here is the field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Fox Valley Oracle, Dave Magee, John Butenschoen; 2. Cole Blue, Casey Leonard, Michael Schulfer; 3. Reflexonofperfexon, Dale Hiteman, Jodi Peacock; 4. Like A Realist, Tim Tetrick, Chuck Grubbs; 5. Wendy’s Dragon, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller; 6. Tiz To Dream, Douglas McNair, Gregg McNair.