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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (12/4/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
FT. APACHE ANNIE WINS $12,000 FOX VALLEY MEMORY STAKE
The Illinois conceived and foaled filly and mare pacing set stepped into the spotlight on a frigid Sunday night at Balmoral Park as a field of nine distaffers met in the $12,000 Fox Valley Memory Stake.
The top three-year-old filly in the state Street Dancer grabbed all the attention coming into this race but when the smoke cleared it was Robert Venable’s Ft. Apache Annie who emerged with a three-quarter length decision in 1:53.2.
As has become her style, the daughter of Ft. Apache Hanover was well back in the early going, casually pacing along in seventh while Filly Finale (Lavern Hostetler) and Join The Party (Josh Sutton) battled for command through an opening quarter in 27.4.
Street Dancer was lurking right behind the top two as they moved down the backside. After those two settled their early rivalry this year’s Cinderella Stake winner quickly moved to the front for driver Ryan Anderson. Looking comfortable on the front end Street Dancer led the ladies through a half-mile in 57.0.
Moving around the final bend Street Dancer continued to show the way but a live outer flow was beginning to bring a bevy of challengers. Longshot Indy Pendent Bay (Nick Clegg) was leading the first-over charge pulling alongside the pace setter as they rolled by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.1. Early leader Filly Finale was trapped down on the pylons at this point while driver Todd Warren had Ft. Apache Annie perfectly positioned in a second over spot in fourth.
Through the stretch the tough as nails Street Dancer was all out to try and maintain her advantage. Warren then tipped Ft. Apache Annie off her cover and the Alex Adam trainee was starting to find her best stride. Pulling alongside the 3-5 favorite with an eighth of a mile to go Ft. Apache Annie blew by her main rival with a wicked 26.4 final split to take home the top honors. Street Dancer was a very respectable second against this “older” company while Fox Valley Fussy (Mike Oosting) rallied late to be third.
This four-year-old has put together a solid season in 2006 under the watchful eye of conditioner Alex Adam while competing against the top Open Filly & Mare pacing group here at Balmoral Park. Sunday’s win runs her record to 4-8-2 in 23 starts with earnings of almost $50,000. Dispatched as the second choice in the wagering off those solid “Open” efforts Ft. Apache Annie returned $7.60, $3.00 & $2.40.
The win was driver Todd Warren’s 1,999th of his career.
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