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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (10/23/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SPORTSFANCY FROM PILLAR TO POST IN $50,000 SARAH MYERS STAKE
The 2006 edition of the Sarah Myers Stakes continued on Sunday night at Balmoral Park. This time it was the freshman filly pacing set that took center stage as a field of 11 Illinois conceived and foaled ladies slugged it out for a purse of $50,000.
Continuing an impressive late season surge HBH Standardbreds Sportsfancy led from start to finish, prevailing by a hard fought neck, in a career best of 1:54.1.
Fresh off a wire-to-wire score in the $63,700 Violet Stake at Maywood Park last week, driver Ryan Anderson employed the same tactics he used to take that race, sending this speedy filly right to the front from post position three. With nobody willing to challenge the early pacesetter Sportsfancy was comfortably on top as she reached the opening station in 27.3.
Continuing down the backside without opposition Anderson was able to tap the brakes a bit pacing a 29.4 split to lead the field past the half-mile mark in 57.2.
The first challenge came midway around the final bend as Dave Magee moved Orange & Blue Elimination winner Trendy L alongside the pacesetter. Faith Leigh (Jamaica Patton), another O&B Elimination victress, was enjoying a ground-saving pocket trip in third while Colette (Dean Magee), the other half of the Homer Hochstetler trained coupling, was in perfect striking position while second over in fourth as the field raced by the three-quarter-mile pole in 1:26.2.
Through the lane Sportsfancy continued to hold her rivals at bay while getting steady urging from Anderson. Trendy L was gamely trying to cut into the margin while Patton eagerly awaited the passing lane with Faith Leigh.
After putting away the first over bid of Trendy L with a sixteenth of a mile of mile to go Sportsfancy then braced for challenge from the pocket sitting Faith Leigh. Digging in with great determination, Sportsfancy fought off one final bid from Faith Leigh to report home with her fifth win in 13 starts this year. Faith Leigh had to settle for the bridesmaid role while stablemate Colette was third.
After a slow start to her two-year-old season Sportsfancy has come on with a vengeance. Boasting wins in four of her last five outings, the Homer Hochstetler-trained miss has amassed over $70,000 in earnings.
Coming off the big win last week Sportsfancy was sent off as the even-money choice of the betting public returning $4.00, $2.40 & $2.80.
This year’s Sarah Myers Stake action concludes on Tuesday night with two-year-old trotting fillies going for $36,000 while their male counterparts slug it out for a jackpot of $34,000. Post time is 7:20 p.m.
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