Melrose Park, IL---Continuing to show that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with among this season's Illinois Conceived and Foaled 3-year-old colt pacing set, Paymaq Racing’s Uncle Ugly turned Friday’s (June 20) $92,000 Maywood Pace into nothing more than a stroll in the park as he cruised to a five-length victory in 1:53.3 for driver John De Long.
|Kellie Lachata Photo|
|Uncle Ugly and John De Long were all alone in winning the $92,000 Maywood Pace in 1:53.3.|
Gunned away from post position five by De Long, the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper--Yankee Blue took an early tuck behind longshot Fox Valley Cupid (Robert Smolin) before looping that rival as the two sped by an opening quarter in a brisk 27.1.
“I was a little surprised that horse (Fox Valley Cupid) was able to get away from the gate as quickly as he did,” said De Long. “I never anticipated having to take an early tuck, but I knew that horse was a longshot and I wanted to be in control of things. I waited for things to settle down just a bit then just sent my horse back on his way.”
Rolling along through the heavy humid air, Uncle Ugly proceeded to put up middle splits of 55.2 and 1:23.3 while his rivals struggled to maintain a deteriorating outer flow.
After turning aside a first-over bid from PQ Three (Ryan Anderson) and watching the overwhelming 1-2 favorite Unlocked (Dave Magee) make a break while trying to move up three-wide, De Long and Uncle Ugly began to draw away from the pocket-sitting Fox Valley Cupid as the field moved into the final turn.
“I was a little nervous heading into that last turn because I knew some of Erv’s (Miller) other horses were still looming out there, but my horse just picked up the bit again and really started to dig in,” said a smiling De Long.
Dig in he did, quickly sprinting away from the rest of the field as he left no doubt as to who was the best on this night while cruising under the wire with his fifth win in 10 lifetime starts. Fox Valley Cupid, the 28-1 longshot, did well to hold on for second while Beach Boy Brody (Casey Leonard) overcame a miscue at the half-mile mark to rally for the show dough.
The second choice in the wagering, Uncle Ugly returned $4.80 and $4.80. Show wagering was not allowed on the race. Unraced as a 2-year-old, Uncle Ugly, who was a $19,000 yearling purchase now boasts a record of five wins, two seconds and two thirds in 10 starts with earnings of $84,012 while under the watchful eye of trainer Erv Miller.