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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (9/12/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
YOUNGSTERS SHINE IN LINCOLN LAND & LADY LINCOLN LAND ELIMS
Illinois’ two-year-old trotting set splashed into the spotlight on Tuesday night at Balmoral Park as the Crete oval played host to the Lincoln Land and Lady Lincoln Land Stake eliminations. A total of 21 freshmen trotting fillies were dropped in the box for the Lady Lincoln Land necessitating a trio of $12,500 preliminaries. On the colt side of the docket 18 diagonally gaited youngsters were entered precipitating a pair of $12,500 tussles.
In the first of the three Lady Lincoln Land eliminations Blackfoot Farm’s Mogo On The Gogogo rallied in the final strides to win by a head in 1:59.2 over a sloppy track.
Nicely handled by catch-driver Jason Dillander, this daughter of Valley Victor left quickly from post position six and was able to tuck into the garden spot as JC Josie (Homer Hochstetler) showed the way by the opening quarter in 29.4.
Saving ground the entire way Dillander was able to keep his filly fresh while JC Josie had to first fight off the challenge of Fox Valley Deja (Rick Schrock) and then Valley Lucy (Andy Miller) as the field moved through middle splits of 59.4 & 1:30.3.
Dillander then maneuvered Mogo On The Gogogo to the outside of a battling JC Josie and Valley Lucy with just an eighth of a mile to go. Chewing up ground while the top two continued to slug it out, Mogo On The Gogogo finally poked a head in front just steps from the wire. Valley Lucy, the 6-5 favorite of the betting public, was a game second while JC Josie was a hard fought third. Dream Of Victoria (Mike Oosting) was fourth and will go into the draw for the chance to compete in the $123,000 final next week. The win was the third in six career starts for the John Butenschoen trainee.
In the second division Joseph Mullins Maple Grove Native, the overwhelming 3-5 favorite in the race, rewarded her legion of backers with an easy 8 ½ length romp in 1:58.3.
Whisked away from post position five by driver Sam Widger, the Mullins homebred trotted through fractions of 28.3, 58.4 & 1:29.0 while under a tight hold the entire way.
In the lane Maple Grove Native seemed to find another gear, sprinting away from her foes with a 29.3 final split. Candy Gram (Tom Graham Jr.), the longest shot on the board at 70-1, followed the winner’s every move but could not match strides with her when it counted and was forced to settle for a much improved second place finish. Tuf’s Gift (Buddy Simpson) rallied late to finish third almost 10 lengths behind the winner. Fox Valley Payback (Dale Hiteman) was fourth. The leader in the division is now four for six in her career with earnings of just over $35,000.
In the nightcap Sawgrass Farms Fox Valley Lapdanz gave Sam Widger a driving double in the Lady Lincoln Land elims as she trotted away to a 2 ¼ length victory in 2:00.0.
Confidently handled by her pilot, the 3-5 choice of the wagering public left no doubt as to who was the best in this field. Trotting right to the front from post position five this good looking chestnut reeled off splits of 29.3, 1:00.3 and 1:31.1.
With those leisurely fractions under her belt the Nelson Willis trainee was on cruise control, holding her rivals at bay with a 28.4 final quarter, while under no urging whatsoever from Widger. Gumcorner Flo (Connel Willis) turned a pocket-sitting trip into a second place check while Victor’s Phantom (Andy Miller) came on late for the show dough. Lady Marmalade (Ryan Anderson) finished fourth and will need the luck of the draw in order to gain a spot in the rich final.
In the first of two Lincoln Land elimination battles Jerry Acton and Thomas & Nancy Carey’s Longbeach Victor held off the late bid of 6-5 favorite Wildmanty to win by a hard fought neck in a career best of 2:00.3.
Sent off at odds of 7-1 Longbeach Victor was the beneficiary of a miscue by Red On The Head (Ryan Anderson) in the first turn. With the field scattered because of the break Longbeach Victor was on top by some eight lengths as he passed the opening station in 29.3.
With the big lead driver Brandon Simpson then tapped the breaks on the Curtis Carey trainee, taking the field through middle splits of 59.4 & 1:30.3.
Heading for home Longbeach Victor was still standing tall as the favorite pulled from the pocket. Hooking up from the eighth pole on these two raced as a team all the way to the wire with Longbeach Victor prevailing after the hard fought stretch duel. Lofty Game (Mike Oosting) came on late to finish a distant third some 7 ½ lengths behind. Also gaining spots in the final were Red On The Head and Steamin Stanley.
Handling him as if he were head and shoulders above this group, driver-trainer Craig Banks pointed his charge right for the top from post position five.
In complete command throughout the mile the gelded son of Brilliant Victory rattled off fractions of 29.3, 59.4 & 1:30.3 while under no pressure whatsoever.
Through the lane the issue was never in doubt as this speedy youngster reported home in a laugher. The win was the 11th in 13 career starts for Oxford Brilliance. Vapor Maker (Brent Holland) followed the winner all the way while finishing second while Sweet Willie (Dean Magee) finished five lengths back in third. Road Trippin (John D. Finn) and No Jokin (Ryan Anderson) finished fourth and fifth respectively making it into the $120,000 final next week.
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