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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (4/22/07)
Contact: Tom Kelley
BEFORE HE CHEATS CONTINUES TO ROLL IN IGGY MAGOO STAKE
With this test featuring the return of freshman standouts Oxford Brilliance and Vapor Maker as well as up and coming three-year-olds Before He Cheats, Fox Valley Impulse and Watt A Keeper this race figured to be a slugfest from start to finish.
When the smoke cleared it was Sam Bowie’s early season sensation Before He Cheats who proved best with a sharp 1 ˝ length triumph in 1:59.3.
Content to sit in third as the two-year-old stars Oxford Brilliance (Craig Banks) and Vapor Maker (Homer Hochstetler) showed the way through opening splits of 31.0 and 59.3, driver Jason Dillander decided to make his move heading around the final turn.
Pulling from third midway around the bend the son of Valley Victor quickly made his way towards the front and was just a length behind Oxford Brilliance as they reached the three-quarter-mile station in 1:30.1.
In the lane Oxford Brilliance continued to cling tenaciously to a short lead as Before He Cheats tried to wear him down. A tiring Vapor Maker went off stride while trotting in third allowing Fox Valley Impulse (Mike Oosting) to get through an opening on the inside of horses.
Racing down to the wire a determined Before He Cheats finally put a neck in front and proceeded to draw away in the final strides for the victory. Fox Valley Impulse nipped a game Oxford Brilliance for the place money while Watt A Keeper wound up fourth.
Unraced as a two-year-old, trainer Dirk Simpson has done a magnificent job of having Before He Cheats ready to go in 2007. With eight starts under his belt this season the bay gelding boasts a record of five wins and two seconds with earnings of over $28,000. Well backed at the windows, Before He Cheats returned $4.00, $3.00 & $2.60.
The top class of filly and mare pacers also saw action on Sunday night as a field of eight distaffers was sent postward in the $15,500 co-featured Sea Fiddler Open Pace.
When all was said and done it was Shirley & Arthur Le Vin’s Spectacular Cam striking another blow for the Illinois-bred program as she staved off the late charge of Fox Valley Fussy (Sam Widger) to win by a length in 1:53.0.
After leading the way through an easy opening quarter of 28.2, the Homer Hochstetler trained miss then benefited from a perfect steer by leading reinsman Ryan Anderson.
Electing to sit right on the back of a headstrong Lou Annie (Dave Magee) as that mare rolled through middle splits of 56.3 and 1:25.2, Anderson patiently waited for an opening while skimming the pylons.
Finding room with just over an eighth of a mile to go, the daughter of Park Lane Cam drilled through along the inside and quickly drew clear of her rivals. Under strong urging from her pilot the four-year-old miss then held off Fox Valley Fussy, who had also managed to save ground throughout the mile, to post her sixth win of the season. Fox Valley Fussy settled for the bridesmaid role while Arizona Helen (Jason Dillander) made it a clean sweep for the Illinois-bred ladies by finishing third.
Spectacular Cam now owns a record of six wins, two seconds and two thirds in 14 starts this year with earnings of almost $53,000. Returning mutuels of $9.40, $5.00 & $3.20 Spectacular Cam helped key a healthy trifecta payout of $985.00.
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