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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (7/29/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
STARS OF SUMMER SHINE AT BALMORAL
With more than $700,000 in purse money on the line Balmoral Park’s 1st ever Stars Of Summer program brought out Illinois' best trotters and pacers. Some of the country’s top three-year-old pacing colts were also on hand to contest the featured event of the evening, the $272,000 American National Stake Final. With parties galore, a big BBQ on the apron and a Harley Davidson motorcycle giveaway, a large throng of fans filled up the Crete plant.
Filly trotters kicked off the action as a field of 10 two-year-olds battled in the $50,000 Fox Valley Evita Stake.
The issue was never in doubt in this one as 20-1 longshot Bandelin stepped right to the top and made every call a winning one in 2:01.2. Given a perfect rating by driver Dale Hiteman, the Jerry Logan trained miss strolled through fractions of 29.4, 59.1 & 1:31.1 as she reported home with a one length decision. Fox Valley Smoothy (Dave Magee) followed the winner’s every step but was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Dream Of Victoria (Mike Oosting) overcame an early miscue to come charging home with the show honors.
The win was the second in seven career starts for this daughter of Band’s Gold Chip. With the $25,000 winner’s check this filly now boasts earnings of $33,445 for owners Jerry and Helen Logan. Bandelin returned $43.60, $17.40 & $13.00 while keying a $1,384 trifecta payout.
There was no such upset on the male side of the two-year-old trotting docket as Lavern Hostetler and Phil Wiley’s promising colt New Balance continued to shine with an easy 3 ½ length triumph in 1:59.1 in the $50,000 Plesac Stake.
Taking advantage of a perfect ground-saving trip as Wildmanty (Ron Marsh) put up splits of 30.0, 58.4 & 1:29.1, driver-trainer Lavern Hostetler maneuvered this son of Valley Victor to the outside in mid-stretch and the colt responded splendidly as he charged past the pace setter for the win. Wildmanty turned in a solid effort to be second while No Jokin (Dave Magee) rallied to finish third.
New Balance now sports a record of two wins and two seconds in five career starts with earnings of $56,575. Bet to the exclusion of his rivals New Balance returned $3.00, $2.40 & $2.10.
Next up was the $50,000 Incredible Tillie Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies. The betting public was also right on in this affair as Stanley Miller’s Orgami Rose, the 6-5 favorite from her inside starting spot, dispatched of nine rivals with an impressive 3 ¼ score in a career best of 1:54.2.
Getting away third as Apache Trick (Mike Oosting) charged through an opening quarter in 28.1, driver Sam Widger had Orgami Rose out and rolling on the backside. The Stanley Miller trainee quickly swept into the lead as the field hit the half-mile mark in 56.0. Moving around the final turn with her long powerful strides this daughter of Armbro Mackintosh was in complete command as she flew by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:26.1. Opening up an insurmountable five-length advantage by the mid-stretch call Orgami Rose was well in hand to her to pilot as she cruised under the finish line. Fox Valley Backoff (Dean Magee) rallied from eighth at the top of the stretch to finish a strong second while Alwaysabetterway (Andy Miller) shook loose late to be third.
Orgami Rose returned $4.60, $3.40 & $3.00 to her backers as she won for the second time in four lifetime starts. The homebred chestnut ran her bankroll up to $29,316 with the victory.
A sophomore tussle was next on tap as a full field of 10 pacing fillies met in the $50,000 Loyal Opposition Stake. The top two fillies in the division, Free and Street Dancer, have had quite a rivalry this season and Saturday night was no different as these two rock solid ladies hooked up in a thrilling stretch duel with Robert LeRoy’s Free nosing out Street Dancer in a career best of 1:52.
Floating away from post position two for driver Sam Widger, Free was placed in fourth as Street Dancer worked hard to get to the top as the field hit the quarter in 27.2. A confident Widger then pulled the right line on the Stanley Miller trainee and she quickly engaged the winner as they hit the half in 55.4. Battling neck and neck around the final bend these two were on even terms as the paced by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:24.4.
Trading blows throughout the stretch Free finally stuck a head in front. A game Street Dancer then fought back nudging her nose in front with a sixteenth of a mile to go. Free was not finished though, coming on once again in the final stride to get up for the win. Street Dancer was a valiant second while Sherri On Ice (Brent Holland) was third.
Enjoying a huge second season Free has put up 10 wins and five seconds in 16 starts with earnings of $107,785. The second choice in the wagering returned $6.00, $3.80 & $3.00.
Despite a second place finish in last week’s elimination action, the son of Jenna’s Beach Boy was dispatched at odds of 21-1 when the wagering closed.
Life Guard On Duty came away in sixth as Thisbigdogwilfight (Ryan Anderson) went gunning for lead from the inside post. Fox Valley Tribal (Tim Tetrick) was right on his heels in second and Jereme’s Jet was pacing in third as the field hit the quarter in 26.1.
Jereme’s Jet, the 3-5 favorite in the race off an impressive elimination score, quickly grabbed command as the field headed down the backstretch. That advantage was short lived however as Andy Miller had My Boy David moving like a locomotive on the outside and that gelding swept into the lead as the field hit the halfway point in 53.0. That left Jereme’s Jet back in second; Thisbigdogwillfight was third while a first over Lifeguard On Duty was first over in fourth.
“It really wasn’t the trip I wanted,” said an amazed Widger. “I never expected my cover to clear that quickly which me left stuck out there for a long way.”
With My Boy David leading the way around the far turn Widger continued to grind it out with Life Guard On Duty, working his way up to second, as they passed the three-quarter-mile pole in a blistering 1:20.2.
In the stretch My Boy David was still holding firm to a 1 ¾ length advantage. Life Guard On Duty was all out while trying to cut into the leader’s margin while Jereme’s Jet patiently awaited the passing lane in third.
“Even though we were out for so long I still thought I had enough horse to get there,” explained Widger. “This is a talented horse and he never stopped digging in.”
With the top three separated by less than a length and only a sixteenth of a mile to go Life Guard On Duty dug down gallantly and found more. Collaring the pace setting My Boy David in the final yards, the lightly raced son of Jenna’s Beach Boy paced by his rivals in the closing yards to get the hard fought victory. My Boy David was a game second while Jereme’s Jet had to settle for a third place check.
In the winner’s circle a very happy Widger was thoroughly impressed by his charge. “Even though he had been in with easier for most of the year he showed that there are bigger and better things ahead for him,” said Widger. This was the third American National Three-Year-Old Colt pace victory for the veteran reinsman. “Each one of those victories came when I picked up the catch drive because somebody else had picked off that horse,” he exclaimed. “I’ve made a nice career in this race off of taking second and third choices!”
After going winless in 11 starts as a two-year-old, the Todd La Fountaine trainee has put together an impressive slate of four wins and two seconds in six starts, with earnings of more than $141,000.
Life Guard On Duty rewarded those who backed him with hefty mutuels of $45.40, $14.60 & $6.00 while keying a $1.071.60 trifecta.
Back into the state-bred ranks and also back on the trot for race seven on the exciting card a field of eight diagonally gaited sophomore fillies went postward in the $50,000 Fox Valley Flan Stake.
As they’ve done for most of this season, Victor’s Finesse and Go Go Gabby battled tooth and nail to the wire with the former prevailing by a half-length in 1:56.2.
Despite leaving from post position eight, driver Brent Holland gunned Victor’s Finesse away from the gate and the Erv Miller trainee settled into the pocket behind the pace setting Go Go Gabby as that filly led the field through an opening split in 28.2.
Positions remained unchanged as the ladies worked their way through middle splits of 57.1 and 1:27.0.
Moving through the lane Go Go Gabby was holding firm in the top spot. Victor’s Finesse was still stalking the pace setter and was getting ready to pounce from the pocket. With Holland tugging on the right line Victor’s Finesse rolled up alongside her nemesis, finally collaring that filly in the closing stages, to get the victory. Go Go Gabby was an honorable second while 75-1 longshot Miss Sashi finished third.
Owned by Vandalay Stables Victor’s Finesse now has four wins and two seconds in her first six starts as a sophomore. After earning $238,760 last season, Saturday’s victory helped boost this daughter of Valley Victor’s career bankroll up to $286,385. Dispatched as the second choice by the betting public Victor’s Finesse paid $10.40, $3.40 & $3.00.
The Illinois conceived and foaled action continued with three-year-old colt pacers competing in the $50,000 Incredible Finale Stake.
With the top three colts in the division competing in the American National, this race figured to be up for grabs. When the smoke cleared it was Engel Stables, Rucker Stables and Don Van Witzenburg’s Isn’t That Crazy who had people shaking their heads as he proved victorious in 1:51.4.
Kept well away from a torrid pace, driver Dale Hiteman had Isn’t That Crazy pacing in sixth as Pujols (Tim Tetrick) ripped through an opening quarter in 25.4. Third Day (Brent Holland) then swept into command, continuing the wicked pace as he moved through splits of 53.2 & 1:21.3.
Pacing through the lane Third Day continued to show the way by just over a length. The back of the pack was beginning to get into the game though and in the final strides it was Isn’t That Crazy getting a neck in front of Third Day. More Than A Story (Andy Miller) came from far back to get the show dough.
The Ken Rucker trainee took advantage of the absence of the top three in the division to post his third win in 15 starts this year. The $25,000 payday pushed this gelded son of Cole Muffler’s seasonal earnings over the $37,000 mark. Coupled in the wagering with Fox Valley Cruiser, Isn’t That Crazy paid $14.20, $5.20 & $3.80.
The $50,000 Kadabra Stake for three-year-old trotting colts turned into a romp in the park as Phillip Rietveld’s Litigator strolled home with an impressive 5 ¾ length romp for driver Ryan Anderson.
Handled much more aggressively after getting shuffled to last in the Brandenburg Stake the previous week Anderson gunned his charge right to the top as the field settled onto the backstretch after an opening quarter in 29.1. The issue was never in doubt from that point on as the Roger Welch trainee trotted through splits of 57.4 & 1:27.3 while pulling away from his rivals.
Opening up a big six length advantage by the mid-stretch call this son of Valley Victor was on cruise control as he tripped the timer in a career best of 1:56.4. Crown Vic (Dave Magee) chased the winner every step of the way but was relegated to the runner-up role on this night. Earlivic (Homer Hochstetler) turned in a nice effort despite a tough trip to take the show honors.
On top of this division all season long Litigator now sports a record of seven wins and one second in 10 starts this year. The bay gelding has also racked up $143,410 in career earnings for his connections. Bet to the exclusion of his eight rivals Litigator returned $3.00, $2.20 & $2.10.
Trotters were featured in the next event as a field of 10 lined up for the 1 ½ mile Mikes A Mystery Stake which carried a purse of $15,000.
This long distance affair turned into a thrilling stretch duel with Robert Rietveld and Paul Gibson’s Victor’s Pursuit charging from seventh to first in the lane for the victory.
Content to trot near the back of the pack after drawing the outside starting spot, driver Dave Magee showed his Hall of Fame patience with this four-year-old daughter of Valley Victor.
After watching the lead change hands several times throughout the course of this extended distance test Magee unleashed his charge in the lane where she trotted right by her rivals for a 1 ¼ triumph. Another distaffer, Arcola (Mike Oosting), took advantage of a ground saving trip the entire way to be the bridesmaid while The Vicster (Tim Tetrick) was a solid third after grabbing a short lead in mid-stretch.
Last year’s top sophomore trotting filly here in the Prairie State, this Roger Welch trained miss won for the sixth time in 13 appearances this year. The win also pushed this rock-solid lady's bankroll over the $255,000 plateau. Even with the poor post Victor’s Pursuit was well backed at the windows returning $9.40, $5.40 & $3.20.
Aged pacers took on the starring role in the night’s 12th race as a field of six faced the starting gate for the $20,000 Big Tom Stake.
This race provided yet another breathtaking finish as Sawgrass Farm’s Incredible Art rallied in the final strides to register a neck verdict in a blazing 1:50.4.
Sitting last in the compact field as Apache Hotspur tore through fractions of 26.1, 55.1 & 1:22.1 driver Mike Oosting had the Nelson Willis trainee saving ground the entire way. After securing racing room with an eighth of a mile to go the five-year-old gelding uncorked a 27.0 final panel to notch his third win in 20 starts this year. The son of Incredible Finale returned $7.20, $3.00 & $2.20 while eclipsing the $100,000 mark in career earnings with the victory.
The 14th and final event of the night featured this season’s two-year-old colt pacing crop as a full field of 10 was sent to the gate for the $50,000 Mini Me Stake.
This division has produced some very impressive early season efforts and Saturday night’s race was no different as Desyllas Racing, Larry Breed, William Beck and Benita Simmons Glass Pack left his rivals in the dust with a resounding four length victory in a blazing 1:51.4.
Handled perfectly by driver Dale Hiteman the son of Cole Muffler was able to settle in fifth after leaving from post position eight. Chasing YZ Two Fifty who took the field through an opening quarter in 27.3, the Tom Simmons trainee was on the move as the field settled onto the backstretch. Quickly gobbling up ground, Glass Pack had moved right alongside the pace setter, as they reached the half in 55.4. Heading around the final bend Glass Pack blew right by YZ Two Fifty and was firmly in command as he passed the three-quarter-mile marker in 1:23.1.
Setting sail for home this good looking youngster proceeded to pace a final split in 28.3 while under no urging from his pilot and as he rolled under the wire with his fifth win in as many attempts. Incredibly Rich (Dean Magee) rallied to be the runner-up while YZ Two Fifty held on for third.
The undefeated Glass Pack returned $4.20, $3.00 & $2.40 while running his bankroll up to $32,787.
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