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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (8/5/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
WESTWARD VISION IN A THRILLER
Taking advantage of some major post relief Par IV Stables, Terry Ryan, Dennis Hauck and Ron Lathamís Westward Vision held on to win by the slimmest of noses in 1:50.0.
Masterfully using the inside starting spot, driver Dave Magee gunned his gelding right to the lead as the starting gate sped away. Entrymate Go Warrior Go (Darcy Pletcher) came winging away from post position eight and Magee was more than happy to let his stablemate take command as the field hit the opening station in 27.2.
After settling onto the backstretch, Magee had Westward Vision out and rolling again and the seven-year-old quickly swept back into the lead. With his entrymate sitting right on his back Westward Vision cruised by the half-mile mark in 55.0.
Pacing around the final turn Westward Vision continued to hold firm to a 1 Ĺ length advantage. General Challenge (Sam Widger) was leading up the outer flow as he moved into second, while Go Warrior Go was starting to gap at the pylons in third as the field reached the three-quarter-mile station in 1:23.0.
Setting sail for home, Westward Vision quickly opened up a two length advantage. As the field moved inside the eighth-pole General Challenge was starting to stall while a second over Incredible Art (Ryan Anderson) was gobbling up ground in a hurry. Coming to the wire an all out Westward Vision was able to keep a nostril in front of the fast closing Incredible Art. Abouttolosecontrol (Brent Holland), who upset this group last week at 18-1, shook loose late to rally for the show dough.
Claimed this spring for a tag of $17,500, Westward Vision continues to be a steal for trainer Darcy Pletcher. Now boasting a record of 10 wins, one second and six thirds in 20 starts this season the son of Western Hanover has earned over $92,000 for his connections.
Sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the wagering, Westward Vision returned $5.20, $3.80 & $3.20. Combined with the 28-1 Incredible Art in the place spot the $2 exacta returned a healthy $107.20.
Despite having to be used hard at two different points in the mile, the Ken Rucker trained five-year-old still hade enough left to collar the pace setting Make My Day (Sam Widger) in the final strides.
This son of Arturo has 15 wins over the past two seasons and Saturday nightís first place check helped push his bankroll to $343,000 for owners Jordan Sklut, Rucker Stables and Centaur Stables.
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