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Monday, May 30, 2016

Wiggle It Jiggleit, and what more can you say?

by Pete Lawrence, VFTRG Contributor

Back in the days when I covered lots of big races live, there were two horses I saw win so many times, I just ran out of things to say about them.

One was Jake And Elwood, whose era was the early 1990s, and the other was Mystic Park, whose giant year was 1982.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, who yesterday won the $200,000 Dorothy Mullin Invitational at Harrah's Philly - in an all-age track-record 1:47-3/5, his sixth victory in nine starts this year - is another horse like that right now.

He's got 28 wins the past two years - I've seen about 20 of them, either live or by video feed - and while I've never been commissioned to write about him, that's probably a good thing, since this reigning Horse of the Year has about exhausted the dictionary (In articles written by other people, not me).

He sat an unhurried pocket today, in rein to Montrell Teague, pulled past the half to hook pace-setting Rockin' Ron (Matt Kakaley), then put that rival away down the lane.

Rockeyed Optimist (Brett Miller) was third.

The winner's circle presentation was uneventful, a blessing for groom "Big Mike" Taylor, owner George Teague and trainer of record Clyde Francis.

WIJI's winner's circle appearances often don't go smoothly, but this one wasn't bad. Wiggle It Jiggleit only hopped up and down a few times.

Tame, by his standards.

There has been much speculation about the quality, at least at the top, of this year's free-for-all pacing crop.

Wiggle It Jiggleit probably holds the top spot there right now, but it's going to be fun to see him hook up with Always B. Miki, who may actually be faster, strictly speaking, on a mile track.

Add to that mix Freaky Feet Pete, who has beaten Wiggle It Jiggleit in Indiana, Sunday's place horse, Rockin' Ron, who beat WIJI two weeks ago at Flamboro Downs and who gave him a tussle yesterday - and several others - and this could be quite a FFA year.

P.S. - For the sake of transparency, I was not at Harrah's Chester/Philly Sunday. I stayed home to watch the Elitlopp on my desktop, watched the Chester races from here, too.

PPS - We must also mention the wonderful performance by Obrigado (Mark MacDonald, 1:52) in the $200K Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational Trot. Co-owned by trainer Paul Kelley, SRF Stable, Higgins & Stable 45, Obrigado beat Il Sogno Dream (Scott Zeron) and Maestro Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick). Sadly, Shake It Cerry and J.L.Cruze jumped during the race, and Bee A Magician was scratched. But the first-place check still spends the same.

PPPS - The tertiary feature at Chester was the $200K Betsy Ross Mares Invite, won by Venus Delight (Tim Tetrick, 1:50-4/5) over Katie Said (Brett Miller) and Sell A Bit N. (Jordan Stratton).

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