Rucker Aquires a Game One
The top overnight horses on the circuit will slug it out in our Saturday night feature ninth race $21,500 Invitational Handicap. Assigned the outside No. 10 post by Racing Secretary Billy Perkins is last week’s Invite winner Armbro Acquire, a recent addition to the strong Ken Rucker Stable.
“He’s lame but he’s game,” said Rucker after watching the seven-year-old veteran grind out a winning 1:50.4 mile last weekend. “He’s just a tough old horse who has his (physical) problems but throws them away when he gets behind the gate.”
Armbro Acquire spent the first six months of the year at The Meadowlands for Monticello, NY owner Robert Buckles. The Canadian bred gelding rattled off four consecutive victories earlier in the year at the New Jersey track when he raced at price tags from $75,000 to $83,500.
“Armbro Acquire is a classy horse that (trainer) John McDermott sent to me. They really like the horse and didn’t want to lose him in a $50,000 claimer. They didn’t want to hike him up and race him over his head, either,” said Rucker. “The horse is one of their favorites. He doesn’t have very many starts left here because he’s due for a break. They thought that maybe we can race him here (in Chicago) where he would be competitive, pick up some checks, and help pay the bills. “
The Rustler Hanover offspring probably paid off more than a couple of bills when he picked-up the $10,750 winner’s share of the $21,500 purse, rallying from seventh at the half-mile marker with driver Mike Oosting to post a half-length victory in 1:50.4, coming up in a quick :26.1 last panel.
“My horse raced all the way to the wire tonight,” said Oosting. “I was after him to make sure he didn’t stop but I didn’t have too much doubt through the lane.”
Armbro Acquire owns a 1:49.2 career mark and has banked $655,851. His most productive season came in 2003 as a three-year-old season (he didn’t start at age two) when he earned 264,299, winning a $222,000 Ontario stake at Mohawk and twice finishing second in $96,000 ONSS at Windsor and Woodbine..
Back to take on Armbro Acquire is Robert Silberberg’s Manhardt, who raced a game second last week, battling Make It Brief most of the way for trainer Jim Eaton. “My horse raced real well,” said driver Brent Holland. “The horse (Make It Brief)`in the two-hole made a break and it kind of cost us too, but my horse hung tough and kept fighting.”
Joining the fray tonight is the Prairie State’s next millionaire My Boy David with $973,573 on his card. Now four, the son of Cole Muffler was named 2006 Illinois Horse of the Year after pulling down $610,075 for Schaumburg, IL owner Shirley Le Vin with wins on Super Night (Langley Final) at Balmoral and the DuQuoin (Dudley Hanover) Championship. The Homer Hochstetler trainee was runner-up in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace and also was second best in the Windy City Pace, the American National, the Maywood Pace, Hawthorne’s Hothead Final, and third in the $450,000 Hoosier Cup.
My Boy David will start from post eight with Life Guard On Duty and Armbro Acquire to his right. The first seven slots belong to Jo Pa’s Bench Mark, Pacific Oak, Brown Bottle Flu, Prince Vince, Go Warrior Go, Shark Time and Manhardt, in that order.