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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (7/1/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
HOLIDAY WEEKEND GETS OFF WITH A BANG AT BALMORAL
The Independence Day Weekend started in grand style Saturday night at Balmoral Park with a pair of Illinois conceived and foaled stakes sharing top billing along with a $21,500 Free For All.
Sophomore pacing fillies were the first to get things started as a field of eight distaffers went postward in the first of two $8,000 divisions in the Ohyouprettything Stake.
Saddled once again with an outside post, driver Dale Hiteman elected to change tactics this week and was content to sit at the back of the pack as Red White Blues (Dean Magee) sped through opening splits of 27.0 & 54.2.
Things began to get interesting on the final turn as post time favorite Free (Sam Widger) unleashed a first over assault on the tiring leader. At this point Street Dancer had also joined the outer flow and she was just 5 ¾ lengths off the pace setter as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.3.
In the lane Free quickly grabbed command and drew away to a 2 ½ length advantage. A very determined Street Dancer was not about to give up though as she doggedly began to cut into that margin with just a sixteenth of a mile to go. Just strides away from the finish line Street Dancer was able to poke a head in front to nip a game Free. Arizona Helen (Ryan Anderson) shook loose late to land the show dough while My Metallica was fourth.
The Nelson Willis trained daughter of Richess Hanover has been nothing short of spectacular since beginning her racing career in the latter part of the 2005 season. Now sporting a record of nine wins, one second and one third this year, Street Dancer boasts 13 lifetime wins in 17 starts with earnings of $136,655.
Masterfully handled by driver Dave Magee, Peine Bubbles was content to pace near the back of the pack as Join The Party (Todd Warren) and Spanish Rosey (Jason Dillander) traded turns on the engine with the ladies rolling through opening splits of 27.2 & 55.4.
Heading around the final bend Magee had maneuvered Peine Bubbles into a live outer flow and she was sitting second over in third as Just Believe (Ryan Anderson) powered into command as they hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.1.
Through the lane Peine Bubbles continued to cut into her deficit and the Robin Schadt trainee was able to put a head in front by the mid-stretch call. Through the final sixteenth of a mile, the daughter of Ft. Apache Hanover began to widen her margin and she was on cruise control as she reported under the wire with her second victory of the year. Spectacular Cam (Dale Hiteman) rallied late to finish second while Just Believe held on for third.
Peine Bubbles now has five career wins in 16 career starts with earnings of almost $46,000.
Sophomore pacing colts also stepped into the spotlight on Saturday as a field of seven knocked heads in the $8,000 Poplar Byrd Stake.
Handled like he was much the best by driver Brent Holland, Thisbigdogwillfight sped away from post position four and was comfortably in front as he reached the opening station in 27.3.
The Jim Eaton trainee continued to show the way past the half-way mark in 55.4.
A hard charging Isn’t That Crazy (Sam Widger) came flying alongside the pacesetter as the field headed around the far turn and that colt managed to put to put a head in front of the favorite as they raced past the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.4.
Through the lane Thigbigdogwillfight easily rebuffed the challenge of Isn’t That Crazy. A ground saving Wonderful One (Mike Oosting) also tried to get to the leader but that effort was in vain as Thisbigdogwillfight rolled home in 26.2 to get the win. Wonderful One was second while Isn’t That Crazy was third.
After posting just two wins as a two-year-old Thisbigdogwillfight has jumped to the top of the sophomore set with five wins and a second in seven starts this season. The son of The Big Dog also boasts career earnings of $107,536.
The top class of older pacers also excited the large crowd as a full field of 10 lined up behind the gate in the $21,500 Falcon Seelster Free For All.
The “hot” horse in this class prevailed once again as Par IV Stable, Terry Ryan, Dennis Hauck and Ron Latham’s Westward Vision won for the fourth straight week in 1:52.1.
Despite being assigned post position 10, driver Dave Magee hustled the seven-year-old gelding away from the gate. Taking advantage of a breaking horse on the backstretch Magee neatly maneuvered his charge down to the pylons as the field raced by the opening quarter in 27.0.
With a headstrong He Wants It All (Tom Harmer) setting the pace Westward Vision was sitting perfectly in the pocket as the field rolled by the half-mile mark in 56.2.
Around the far turn He Wants It All continued to lead with Westward Vision enjoying the garden trip. Gene Carter (Mike Oosting) was leading up the outer flow while first over in third. Westward Vision’s entrymate Go Warrior Go (Ryan Anderson) was also looming boldly in fourth while racing second over.
In the lane He Wants It all continue to hold firm as Gene Carter drew alongside in second. Go Warrior Go was still gaining ground on the outside third, while Westward Vision awaited the passing lane in fourth. After spotting daylight as the field passed the eighth pole Magee hustled his charge through the inside opening, storming home in 26.2 to win by 1 ¼ lengths. A game He Wants It all hung on for second while Go Warrior Go was third giving conditioner Darcy Pletcher a first and third in the main event.
Plucked from a $17,500 claimer just over two months ago, Westward Vision now sports a record of eight wins, one second and five thirds in 19 starts this year.
Sunday’s program is also filled with stakes events, featuring the Prairie State's newest pacing stars. There will also be a huge fireworks extravaganza right after the final race on Sunday. Post time Sunday is 6:30 p.m.
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