06/19/2013 12:41PM

Maywood: Fancy Creek Elusiv looks to rebound in $115,000 Maywood Pace

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Balmoral Park
Fancy Creek Elusiv is the 2-1 morning line choice in race 9 on Friday at Maywood.

Fancy Creek Elusiv didn’t act like the horse that won the $250,000 Orange and Blue in a fight to the Balmoral Park finish line last September.

He wasn’t the horse that won the $57,300 Cardinal by 3 3/4 lengths and was clocked in a career best time of 1:51 3/5 at Balmoral on June 1, bettering by 1/5 of a second his previous best seven nights earlier when he made his 2013 pari-mutuel debut in the eliminations.

This was the fourth-place finisher—a non-threatening 5-length loser--in last weekend’s $10,000 elimination race for Friday night’s $115,000 Maywood Pace for Illinois-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings.

“For sure, he wasn’t himself,” said Fancy Creek Elusiv’s Hall of Fame driver Dave Magee, looking back on the disappointing performance by the 2-5 favorite.

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“He didn’t have an easy trip but we didn’t expect one. The half-mile track takes away some of his speed. He didn’t have the best of posts (No. 5 in a six-horse race) but we won the Cardinal from way outside (post 10) at Balmoral.

“He always has a pretty good finish. He didn’t the other night.”

Fancy Creek Elusiv’s trainer, Nick Giberson, is changing the gelding’s footwear, hoping it will enable the son of Sportsmaster and Elusive Image to be more comfortable when he returns for Friday’s main event at Maywood Park.

“He was struggling over the track (in his elimination) but he’s not quite as handy on a half-mile track as he is on the big track (the mile track at Balmoral) and the track was a little bit deep and a little bit cuppy,” Giberson said. “He might have been protecting himself a little bit because he wasn’t getting over the track quite right.

“We’re going to make a couple of adjustments to help him. The major change is the shoeing.”

Even though Fancy Creek Elusiv’s final time of 1:53 4/5 was a second off the lifetime best time that Crankin’ It Up posted while defeating the former in their elimination race, it was only 1/5 off the clocking of Big Brad (1:53 2/5), who extended his winning streak to three races in the other elimination.

Giberson’s other Maywood Pace finalist, Silver Devil, finished second to Big Brad, losing by a half-length after leading for most of the race.

While Fancy Creek Elusiv was an accomplished 2-year-old with five triumphs, two shows and earnings of $135,281 in 11 outings, Silver Devil didn’t race last year.

“He had a little bone injury and we gave him the proper time to heal,” Giberson said. “He had the talent but I never push my horses. If there’s something wrong, they won’t race. Now, his biggest issue is he’s green. By mid or late summer he’ll be a lot better and he’ll be better next year.”

Silver Devil is trying hard to make up for lost racing time as attested by his 10 starts as a 3-year old. Highlighting the résumé of the gelded son of Duneside Perch and Ambro Wahine are four victories, a second and a third.

He was a veterinarian’s scratch from his Cardinal elimination because of sickness but he returned to action a week later in a non-betting race at the State Fairgrounds in Springfield and won in a 32 1/2-length landslide.

Silver Devil’s other three conquests came at Maywood.

According to Giberson, “He is a little better on the half-mile track. He glides through the turns, which helps him a lot.”

Both Silver Devil (post 8) and Big Brad (alongside in post 7) drew unfavorable starting slots in the Maywood Pace.

Crankin It Up has the rail, while Fancy Creek Elusiv will start from the 4-hole.

In Giberson’s educated opinion, “Fancy Creek Elusiv drew a good spot. When you get the 6, 7 or 8-hole at Maywood you’re pretty much racing for a check. When you race from 1, 2, 3 or 4 you have a good chance to hit the board.”

Completing the field are Mystical Walter (post 2), Colechester (3), Darth Quaider (5) and Fox Valley Norman (6).

The Maywood Pace is race 9 on the 14-race Maywood Program. First post is 8:10pm EST.