Zilver and Kuya Capture 'McFadden Leg 2 Divisions
Zilver and Kuya stamp themselves as favorites for the $20,000 Final of the McFadden Memorial Sprint Claiming Series
Leg 2 of the McFadden Memorial Sprint Claiming Series featured two big winners at Portland Meadows on Wednesday night. Two divisions of the ‘McFadden were contested at five and one half furlongs. Each division carried a purse of $5,000 and horses competed with a $4,000 claiming price. The action on the track was fast and furious as was the action at the claim box.
The first division of leg 2 was won by Kuya ($7.20) who got a perfect stalking trip just in behind the leaders and took command late to get up under jockey Luis Torres. Sent off as the 5/2 second choice, Kuya was the favorite for most of the wagering but some big late money on Vegas Flyer catapulted him to heavy 3/5 favoritism. Kuya sat back in third as TW Dashboard Lights and Paddy’s Pot’O Gold dueled through a grueling opening quarter mile of 22.51. They were still going at it as the field came into the lane, but Torres guided his runner off the rail and pounced on them, taking command inside the final furlong before winning by a length over a very game TW Dashboard Lights who stayed on well for second. Vegas Flyer closed up to be third, ahead of Paddy’s Pot’O Gold in fourth. Colonel Courtney finished a well beaten fifth. The Final time for the five and one half furlongs was 1:06.28.
Kuya was owned and trained by Howard Gibson who claimed him out of the first leg of the series for $2,500. Kuya was claimed again tonight in a six way shake, going to owners Nick Lowe, Gabriel Russo and David Russo. Nick Lowe will be the trainer. Gibson profited $1,500 off just the claim itself, plus an additional $2,750 for the winner’s share, makes a nice $4,250 profit for the two weeks he had Kuya in his barn.
The second division saw Zilver and Declan Downs hook up right from the start and put on a battle for the entire five and one half furlongs with Zilver prevailing by a hard fought nose. Zilver ($6.80) broke sharp under jockey Marijo Terleski and was immediately tackled by Declan Downs and Mark Anderson. Those two were never separated by more than a neck the entire trip, which was completed by Zilver in 1:05.58. Declan Downs finished second as the 6/5 favorite in the wagering while D Devil could only manage a third place finish. Watch Your Money ran fourth with Golden N Sweet picking up the fifth place spot.
Zilver and his connections have to be happy that he wasn’t claimed given his strong performance for owners Bob and Pat Cosgrove and trainer Jonathan Nance. Nance also will pick up D Devil for the $20,000 series final as his owner Gary Mollgaard claimed D Devil for the $4,000 tag in four way shake. Declan Downs goes back to the barn of Jim Fergason for owners Mike Wilkins and Just Horsen Around. Declan Downs had seven claims in for him.
The $20,000 final is on September 26th. Horses that did not compete in both the first two legs of the series are not eligible. This means all twelve horses that competed in the both legs are eligible for the $20,000 final.
Point Standings after Leg 2
10 points: Zilver
9 points: Kuya
8 points: D Devil
7 points: TW Dashboardlights
7 points: Vegas Flyer
7 points: Declan Downs
4 points: Watch Your Money
3 points: Paddy’s Pot’O Gold
2 points: Tense Bet
1 point: Colonel Courtney
1 point: Golden N Sweet
1 point: Outa Crown (Not Eligible for Final)
0 points: Cougar Bob