By Mike Paradise
When the Walter Paisley Late Closer Series got under way two weeks ago, Princess Oshie came into it as an “under the radar” mare.
Unraced as a freshman and with only modest success as a 3-year-old, the Richard S. Finn trained mare didn’t get a lot of attention going off at 20-1 odds in her initial series leg. The Always A Virgin mare had only two victories in 28 starts in 2017 and banked a little over $11,000.
Meanwhile pre-Walter Paisley favorite, Fox Valley Catwalk, carried a four racing winning streak into the Paisley series, that included a sweep of the Doc Walker winter series. November Rain was another chief threat, taking her Late Closer in mid-February and C Far captured two legs of the same series, was another serious Paisley contender.
Nevertheless, Princess Oshie did race well during the winter, winning a Late Closer series leg and picking up a check in every start for her owners, Walk On Water Stable of Beecher, Illinois. The mare went to Hoosier Park after her layoff and collected two more purse checks.
In her first Paisley start Princes Oshie, closed a ton and dropped a photo to Fox Valley Catwalk. Last week she came from even further back (10 lengths in the lane), to pop at 14-1 odds, with a strong last quarter burst in her career fastest 1:54.4 mile.
“She’s much more mature now than she was as a 3-year-old,” explained her driver and trainer Richard S. Finn. “She was a small immature 2-year-old, so we took her time with her. She’s still a small filly but she’s maturing and has really come around. Now she has the desire to be a racehorse. She really likes to fight it out with other horses down the stretch. I couldn’t be happier with her. She’s had big efforts in both of her series starts. We were in a bad spot last week behind poor cover but she kept digging in.”
Princess Oshie has already made about $3,000 more this year than in her 3-year-old campaign and she could make a substantial deposit to her purse account in the’s $12,200 Paisley final, one of four Late Closer championships on the line Friday.
Tonight she gets a rare start from the inside, when she leaves from post two in a 10-horse field. Fox Valley Catwalk (Tim Curtin), has the six slot, while November Rain (Casey Leonard), had the bad luck to draw the 10-hole.
The one slot belongs to Rockinaroundheaven (Jim Lackey). The three through five posts will be manned by: Island Campaign (Travis Seekman), C Far (Gary Rath) and Real Sheila (Tyler Shehan). Angel Dance (Juan Franco), Wimple’s Dimple (Kyle Wilfong) and Beamer N Bud (Ryan Anderson), have the 7, 8 and 9, respectively.
Three other Late Closer finals are on the second card, with the six-horse field $12,200 Bea Farber going as the second race. Second and first leg winners Totally Pazzazzed (Tim Curtin) and Lous Silver Star (Tyler Sheehan), have the one and two slots, while the three through six, will be manned by Dr Spengler (Curt Grummel), True Detective (Casey Leonard), White Pants Fever (Steve Searle) and Southern Appeal (Juan Franco).
The Brett Wilfong Stable’s Never Say That (pp4, Kyle Wilfong), looks to run the table in the fifth race $12,200 Daryl Busse trot series. The Hoosier Park invader opens at programmed odds of 6-5, when he’s challenged by Big Lou (Casey Leonard), Whata Cantabulous (Kyle Husted), Broadway Mojo (Issac Love), Sunny Sasha (Jared Finn), Casino Cash (Tyler Shehan) and Lous Misty Blue (Tim Curtin).
Also, looking for a series sweep, is the Roshun Trigg Stable’s Ryans Mistress (Juan Franco), in the seventh race Dave Magee championship. The 3-year-old filly secured the outside seven-slot, but she’s come from seventh place in both of her series wins and will be at 9-5 first flash odds.
From the pole position out, you’ll find Ruby Doobie (Gary Rath), Jazzy Bern (Cliff Bell), Fox Valley Eurofic (Jerome Daniels), Frontier Red (Kyle Wilfong), Tempest Heart (Kyle Wilfong), Little Adaline (Ryan Anderson) and Piana (Casey Leonard), in the $12,200 Magee final for 3 or 4-year-old ICF pacing fillies.
The four Late Closer finals will be supported by the ninth race $7,200 Open III Handicap Pace, with a very solid field made up of: I’m An Athlete, Buff’s Image, American Dreamer, Major Bliss, Bettor’s Promise, Terror Of The Nite, He Gone Jack, Best Man Hanover, last week’s Open III winner Gabe Henry and the Open I dropper Feelikearockstar.
“Price Shot” Hits: Thursday’s sixth race 14-1 longshot winner Powerful Temtrist was a Mike Paradise “Price Shot” selection, paying $30.60. Jamaica Patton drove the Gerald Hansen trained trotter, who went off as the second highest odds among the eight starters.