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Illinois County Fairs


Contact: Timothy M. Jones


LB Richey
Rick Schrock on the lead nearing the wire with LB Richey holds off Erv Miller and Pirate Image.
With lightning flashing and menacing in the eastern sky, a ten-race card was sent postward Wednesday evening, as racing got underway at the Brown County Fair in Mt. Sterling, Il.

With two near misses at track records midway through the program, the third time proved to be the charm when Rick Schrock guided LB Richey to a new 2-year-old colt pace record in the tenth race.

Ronnie Gillespie had streaked to the front with Money Mac as the field headed into the first turn, only to go offstride and scatter those following trying to miss the galloping runaway. Rick Schrock sent LB Richey around the breaker, and raced to the 30 second quarter with Erv Miller and Pirate Image in hot pursuit.

Schrock continued on the lead to the half. Following like the Pied Piper in single file were: Miller behind Pirate Image, Money Mac and Gillespie who had regained their gait, and Tom Simmons driving Cole Combustion.

Simmons was the first to pull from the cones going up the backstretch toward three quarters, but couldnít seem to find the gear that could overtake Schrock and LB Richey.

As the field headed for the wire, thundering off the final turn, Miller took dead aim with Pirate Image on LB Richey, but was unable to collar the latter and finished a half length back in the 1:59.2 timed mile. Cole Combustion crossed the wire third.

The new track record erased the 1:59.3 mark set in 2003 by MLís Boy and driver Mike Rogers.

LB Richey is trained by Rick Schrock for owner Kenneth Buck of Denison, Ia. The homebred has won two consecutive starts and earned over $5,000.00 in five trips behind the gate. The 1:59.3 mile was also a new lifetime mark.

Miss Imperial, a 3-year-old filly trotter trained by Ervin Miller, was the first of the near misses at erasing a Brown County Fair track record.

Mike Rogers sent the Imperial Victory sired miss to the lead as the field headed for the half, and was never seriously challenged after that. The 2:02.2 timed mile was only two-fifths of a second off the standard set by Mystical Brook with Dirk Simpson behind in 2003. Kind Of A Legend and Ron Van De Rostyne was second. Mystical Taya and Ervin Miller were third.

Miss Imperial has won five of eight starts in 2006 for the ownership of Jack & Peggy Hood, and D.W. Lakomy. This win pushed her lifetime earnings over the $30,000.00 plateau.

The undefeated, now in eight starts, Mrs Grant Seven piloted by Ronnie Gillespie was the next to fire a warning shot over the bow of a track record.

Mrs Grant Seven, leaving from post one, scorched to the quarter in :29.1, leaving the rest of the field wondering where she disappeared to.

Rick Schrock managed to briefly challenge with EM Michelle just past the half, but this pace for 2-year-old fillies belonged to Gillespie and Mrs Grant Seven.

The Sportsmaster daughter crossed the wire in 2:00.3, a mere two fifths from the mark established in 2003 by Awaring Ledew with Mike Rogers at the helm.

A recent purchase from, but still trained by Gillespie, the Rattlesnake Ranch Inc., of Dumont Co., is the new owner of the talented miss with over $20,000.00 in purses won.

Racing continues on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. (CDT) with twelve races on the program. The highly anticipated Taser Gun Pace is slated for the final race of the evening. Three-time Dan Patch Award winner Loyal Opposition is the favorite, racing from post six in a field of eight competing for a purse of $18,000.00.

Midwestern Illinois Racing Association contests will also be sent postward vying for purses of $12,000.00 (est.).

The Farmers State Bank of Mt. Sterling is sponsoring a free carnival from 6 to 10 p.m.





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