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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (9/11/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SUPER NIGHT ELIMS CONCLUDE
Eliminations for the final four Super Night Stakes took place on Sunday night at Balmoral Park. Headlining the Sunday night action were preliminaries for the Ann Vonian Stake, Dan Patch Stake, Su Mac Lad and Lady Ann Reed.
With a total of 18 filly and mare pacers entered for this event a pair of $12,500 eliminations were needed. The top five finishers in each division will get the chance to return on Illinois' richest night of harness racing where they will battle for a purse of $120,000.
There were no surprises in the first elimination as Daniel Waxman’s Loyal Opposition made it look easy with a two-length decision in 1:51.4.
Fresh off her win in the Fairy Godmother Stake on August 26, the defending champ in this event was parked through an opening quarter in 27.2. Confidently making her way to the top for driver Andy Miller the six-year-old daughter of Cole Muffler then cruised through splits of 56 & 1:24.1. The issue was never in doubt as the lifetime winner of more than $2.7 million then flew home in 27.2 while keeping her rivals at bay. Ft. Apache Annie (Sam Widger) uncorked a big late move from eighth to be the bridesmaid. Filly Finale (Lavern Hostetler), a 74-1 outsider, took advantage of a perfect two-hole trip behind the winner to get the show dough. Bob’s Minute Maid (Mike Oosting) will move on to the final with her fourth place finish as will Red White Blues (Todd Warren) who finished fifth.
The second elimination was also taken by the odds on favorite in the race as Z Tam Racing and David McCaffrey’s Oneinamilliongirl held on gamely to win by a hard fought neck in 1:52.2.
Content to let others slug it out in the early going driver Tim Tetrick had Oneinamilliongirl positioned in fifth at the pylons as the field rolled through an opening quarter in 27.3. The McCaffrey trainee then powered to the top as she led the way past the half-mile mark in 55.0. Continuing her momentum the seven-year-old Cole Muffler mare continued to call the shots taking the field to three-quarters in 1:23.3. In the lane it appeared as though Oneinamilliongirl had put away the first over bid of Sleazebiscuit (Brent Holland) as she stepped away to a two-length lead. That wasn’t the case though as a game Sleazebiscuit continued to give the favorite players some anxious moments only to fall a neck short at the wire. EZ Fortune (Sam Widger) flashed a nice closing kick to take third, just three-quarters of a length behind the top pair. A Very Nice Horse (Jim Taggart Jr.) overcame post position nine and will move on to the final by virtue of a fourth place finish while the final spot went to Arizona Helen (Ryan Anderson) who finished fifth.
The state's top older pacers met in a pair of $12,500 Dan Patch eliminations. A total of 20 veterans were entered for this stake with the top five in each of the 10-horse fields gaining the chance to go for $125,000 next Saturday.
In the opener Gordon & Claudia Wright’s Gar once again showed off his potent closing kick as he flew home in 27.0 to win by a widening three-quarters of a length in a career best of 1:50.3.
Taking advantage of the inside starting spot in this race driver Tim Tetrick had the five-year-old much closer than normal to the early pace, positioning his charge in third while Brian And Kellie (Andy Miller) whacked out splits of 28.0 & 55.3. Heading around the final turn Tetrick decided it was time to go and moved Gar to the outside. Ranging alongside the pace setter as they moved by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:23.2, the top two set sail for home. Hooked up in a stretch-long duel Gar wore down the pacesetter with a sixteenth of a mile to go, drawing away to his sixth win of the season for trainer Quinton Barbre. Brian And Kellie was a game second while Incredible Art (Ryan Anderson) did a nice job of overcoming a miscue behind the gate to finish 4 ½ lengths back in third. The Long Goodbye (Sam Widger) & Prince Vince (Mike Oosting) will also head into the final.
The second elimination provided the most impressive mile of the night as Clark and Marlene Fairley’s King Johnny gave notice that he’s all set to defend his 2005 Dan Patch title with a three-quarter length victory in a lifetime best of 1:49.2.
The defending champion was perfectly handled by driver Tim Tetrick who elected not to rush the eight-year-old in the early stages of the race. Sitting in seventh as Iron Courage (Ryan Anderson), Constant Change (Dale Hiteman) and Go Warrior Go (Dave Magee) all took turns on the engine Tetrick moved his charge second over as the field raced through splits of 28.0 & 55.0. Biding his time on the outside while in the perfect striking spot, King Johnny was just 1 ½ lengths off of Go Warrior Go as the field moved by the three-quarter mile mark in a brisk 1:22.1. Tipping three deep off his cover, King Johnny quickly began to swallow up the embattled leaders. Moving powerfully on the far outside, the Clark Fairley-trained gelding unleashed a wicked 27.0 final quarter to leave his rivals in the dust. Go Warrior Go held on for second while Constant Change was third. Fox Valley Snaffle (Mike Oosting) and Ithinki’msomebody(Brent Holland) also gained spots in the final.
SU MAC LAD
Sophomore trotting colts were the focus of attention in a pair of $12,500 Su Mac Lad Stake eliminations. A total of 14 diagonally gaited specialists were dropped into the box for this event, with the top five finishers in each division moving on to the $115,000 finale.
The first division featured division leader Litigator, but the 2-5 favorite came up a bit short on this night as James & Donna Murphy’s Valley Sport overcame a tough first over journey to win by a neck in a career best of 1:56.1. That time shaved more than five seconds off this gelding’s previous mark.
Getting away fourth in the field of seven, Hall Of Famer Dave Magee was perfectly content to watch the early action as Fox Valley Hotrod (Tim Tetrick) stormed through an opening quarter in 28.4. Once the pace slowed on the backside Magee then maneuvered his charge to the outside and he was sitting right alongside the pace setter as they moved by the halfway station in 59.0. The speed picked up again on the far turn as Fox Valley Hotrod was all out while trying to fend off the bid of Valley Sport.
Through the lane the heated battle finally began to take its toll on Fox Valley Hotrod. Earlivic (Homer Hochstetler), who had enjoyed a pocket sitting journey the entire way, had dead aim on the leader while a determined Valley Sport would not go away on the outside of horses. Digging in with all he could muster the Dale Bartley trained Valley Sport was finally able to get a neck in front of Earlivic in the closing strides as he proved victorious for the ninth time in 20 starts this year. Earlivic was a hard trying second while Litigator rallied to be third after spotting the field more than 10 lengths in the early going. Maha Rushi (Dale Hiteman) turned a ground saving trip into a fourth place finish and a spot in the final. Fox Valley Hotrod finished fifth and will also move on to next week’s action.
The favorite also came up short in the second division of this stake as Delbert Seat’s Crown Vic turned a perfect two-hole trip into a 1 ¾ length triumph. The final time of 1:57.2 was a new life mark for this gelded son of Valley Victor.
Using the inside post perfectly Dave Magee put his charge right on the helmet of driver Andy Miller, who sent 4-5 favorite Adam Gram right to the front. Strolling through leisurely splits of 28.2, 59.1 & 1:29, positions remained unchanged between the top two. The pace setter began to falter a bit with an eighth of a mile to go and Magee quickly pounced on his opportunity. Finding his best stride when it counted most Crown Vic went right by the favorite as he scored for the third time this year. Dancing Offtoplay (Sam Widger) rallied nicely to finish second while Adam Gram held on for third. Golf Central (Homer Hochstetler) was fourth while Go Merrily Along gave driver-trainer Trenton Watson his first Super Night starter with a fifth place finish.
LADY ANN REED
With just 13 sophomore trotting fillies entered for this stake a field of 10 ladies were sent out to battle in this $12,500 test. The top seven finishers in the race get the chance to join Go Go Gabby, Victors Finesse and Miss Imperial, all of whom received byes by virtue of their earnings, in the $117,000 final.
When the smoke cleared from this battle it was Paula Smith, Ken Spurlock, James Runyan and Tripoli Stable’s Fox Valley Shimmy who emerged victorious with a resounding 6 ¾ length victory in a career best of 1:56.2.
Confidently handled by driver Dale Hiteman, the even-money favorite was pointed right for the top from post position seven. Parked through an opening quarter in 29.2 the daughter of International Chip finally cleared to the lead as the ladies moved down the backstretch. Never looking back the Amanda Smith trainee extended her margin at each call as she trotted comfortably through middle splits of 58.0 & 1:27.1.
With her sights set on the finish line this good looking filly then reeled off a 29.1 final quarter leaving no doubt who was the best on this night. Kendal Has Panache (Dave Magee) followed the winner every step of the way but was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role. Hi-Tri did a nice job of overcoming post position 10 to finish third. Also moving on to the final will be the fourth through seventh place finishers Peaceful Victory (Mike Oosting), Fox Valley Stinger (Brent Holland), Queen Victoria K (Dirk Simpson) and Mystical Taya (Andy Miller).
Next Saturday’s 17th edition of Super Night will feature eight championship tilts and six consolation events. With more than $1.5 million in purse money up for grabs all the action gets underway with a special 7:00 p.m. post time.
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