Melrose Park, IL --- A pair of Illinois conceived and foaled stakes, each with jackpots in excess of $50,000 shared top billing on Friday night’s Maywood program as a field of eight 2-year-old colt pacers squared off in the $55,000 Cardinal Stake while their female counterparts slugged it out in the $51,000 Violet Stake.
Maywood Park photo Fox Valley Action tried to put a stamp on divisional honors with an impressive front stepping score in the $55,000 Cardinal Stake for driver Todd Warren.
Confidently handled by driver Todd Warren the gelded son of Sportsmaster-Anything You Ask used a power sweep from fourth to first on the backside to grab control from Bazooka (Mike Oosting) as the field moved by an opening quarter in 28.3.
In control of the proceedings Fox Valley Action continued to show the way through middle splits of 56.3 & 1:24.2 while battling a persistent Collet Hotspur (John Roberts) the entire way.
Despite Collet Hotspur managing to stick a neck in front Warren never panicked and Fox Valley Action responded beautifully regaining control as the field reached the top of the lane. The Roger Welch trainee then began to draw away from his rivals pacing home gamely to notch his fifth win of the season. Collet Hotspur survived an inquiry to hold on to the place honors while Big Brad (Robert Smolin) overcame a traffic filled trip to finish third.
With the victory Fox Valley Action now boasts a freshman record of 5-5-1in 11 starts with earnings of $165,788.
Sent off as the 4-5 favorite Fox Valley Action returned $3.80, $2.40 & $2.10.
In the $51,000 Violet Chris Choros’ State State Liz pulled off the mild upset as she scored by a hard fought head in 1:58.1 despite having some equipment issues due to a headpole that came loose just after the start.
Zipped away from post position seven by driver Robert Smolin the daughter of Final Cheers-Pleasepassthejelly easily crossed over to the front before the field reached the first turn. Tapping the brakes a bit after grabbing command Smolin was able to get away with splits of 29.3 & 1:00 before Thank You Doc (Dean Magee) came calling as the field headed for the half-mile mark.
Continuing to battle as the field moved down the backstretch State Street Liz maintained a slight advantage over Thank You Doc while Auniqueaquistion (Mike Oosting) spied all the action from a perfect pocket seat as the fillies moved by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.
After putting away Thank You Doc a game State Street Liz then managed to hold off one final bid in the passing lane from Auniqueaquistion to notch her fifth win this season. Auniqueaquistion was a hard luck second while Thank You Doc was forced to settle for third.
The Bob Phillips trained miss now sports five wins and four seconds in 10 starts with earnings of $56,625.
Despite winning an elimination for this stake last week State Street Liz returned a healthy $15.80, $5.80 & $3.60.