Melrose Park, IL --- Illinois’ top older pacers were back in action on Friday (Aug. 30) at Maywood Park as a field of eight classy veterans squared off in the $30,000 Egyptian Stake.
|Maywood Park photo|
|John De Long guided Uncle Smoothie to an impressive victory in Friday's $30,000 Egyptian Stake.|
When the smoke cleared it was Sawgrass Farms' Uncle Smoothie who emerged victorious as the 4-year-old gelding shot right by the pace setting NJ’s Big Deal on the backstretch en route to a 1-1/2 length victory in a blistering 1:52 over a track that was rated as “good” after a nasty storm rolled through the area earlier in the night.
Confidently handled by driver John De Long, the son of Sportsmaster pulled from the three hole after watching NJ’s Big Deal (Mike Cox) and heavily favored Fort Silky (Casey Leonard) battle through splits of :26.3 and :56.1.
In full stride heading down the backstretch for the final time, the Nelson Willis trainee blew right by NJ’s Big Deal, essentially getting the “jump” on division leader Fort Silky while that gelding was forced to wait for racing room as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.
The issue was never really in doubt from that point on as Uncle Smoothie continued strong to the wire for his third win in 16 starts this season. Fort Silky was forced to settle for the runner-up role while NJ’s Big Deal finished a distant third, 12 lengths behind the winner.
Sent off as the 7-2 third choice in the wagering, Uncle Smoothie returned $9.60, $3.80 and $2.40 while moving his career bankroll up to $242,251.
Friday’s $1 Pick-4 wager was not hit so there will be a very healthy carryover of $12,271 into next Thursday’s (Sept. 5) pool. The Pick-4 is held on races 9-12 on Thursday’s Maywood card.