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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (9/8/07)
Contact: Tom Kelley
COUNTDOWN TO SUPER NIGHT UNDERWAY
A total of 31 freshman pacing fillies were dropped into the box for the Filly Orange & Blue leading to four elimination divisions. The top two finishers in each battle along with two third place finishers (drawn by lot) received the chance to battle for the big bucks next Saturday.
In the first elimination provisional driver Marcus Miller looked like a seasoned veteran as he guided Omer Miller’s Venusinbluejeans to an impressive 1 ¾ length victory in a career best of 1:53.3. Perfectly positioned in the pocket through the opening 5/8ths of a mile, the Erv Miller trainee vacated the garden spot nearing the top of the stretch. Effortlessly blowing by the pace setter in the lane, Venusinbluejeans was never seriously challenged as she cruised to her second win in seven career starts. Impressive Char (Sam Widger), a 40-1 outsider, overcame post position eight to rally for second while Mokey (Brent Holland) shook loose late to be third.
The second elimination was a real shocker as Its A Stretch Stable’s Westside Gritty blew by division leader She’s So Hot (Dave Magee) and the highly regarded Kelly’s Keepsake (Andy Miller) in the final sixteenth of a mile to win by a neck in 1:53.2. Taking advantage of a ground saving journey in third while She’s So Hot and Kelly’s Keepsake battled, driver Jason Dillander maneuvered the John Butenschoen trainee off the pylons in mid-stretch, and the lightly raced daughter of Sportsmaster responded beautifully roaring home in 26.4 to win for the third time in six starts. Kelly’s Keepsake held on for second while She’s So Hot wound up third and will need the luck of the draw in order to make the final.
Trainer Erv Miller posted another elimination score in the third division as Ron Michelon & Bert Hochsprung’s Lalique Lady used the passing lane to perfection while posting a half-length victory in 1:54.4. After setting the pace for the opening half-mile, driver Brent Holland then elected to let a hard charging Don’tmakemelaugh (Dave Magee) take control on the final bend. Content to sit in the garden spot the rest of the way the daughter of Art’s Conquest found clearance in the late stages and gradually wore down the leader for her fourth win in 13 appearances. Don’tmakemelaugh was a hard-fought second while Incredible Love (Dale Hiteman) was 4 ¼ lengths back in third.
The final Filly Orange & Blue elimination resulted in another favorite biting the dust as Jerone Waddell’s Biding My Time posted a front-stepping three-quarter length score in 1:53.1. Sent to the front by driver Mike Oosting as the field settled onto the backside, this rapidly developing youngster held firm the rest of the way as she recorded her second win in just four career trips postward. Dingy’s Model (Sam Widger) followed the winner’s every move but was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role, while Amazing Marker (Ryan Anderson), the 4-5 favorite in the field, was a non-threatening third.
The previous mark for a three-year-old pacing filly of 1:50.3 was set back in 2000 by Apple Of My Eye.
The second division of the Grandma Ann provided the upset of the night as 46-1 shot Trendy L emerged from a tightly knit group in deep stretch to win by a widening neck in a career best of 1:52.4. Brilliantly handled by Ryan Anderson, the Timothy Barbre-trained sophomore managed to save ground the entire way despite starting from post position 10. With the early leaders struggling to get home, Anderson somehow managed to find room for his filly in mid-stretch and last year’s third-place finisher in the Filly Orange & Blue did the rest as she flew home in 27.1 to reward her backers with a $94.20 win mutuel. Kiss Of Heaven (Andy Miller), the 1-2 favorite in the wagering, rallied for second while Perdido (Todd Warren) came on late for the show dough. There For Me (Brent Holland) moved on to the final with a fourth place finish while Looking At You (Dean Magee) earned the final spot by finishing fifth.
A total of 18 sophomore pacing colts were entered for the Pete Langley Memorial, necessitating a pair of elimination battles. Once again the top five finishers in each division return next week for the lucrative final.
The upsets continued in the opening split as Robert Silberberg & John Schwarz Jr’s Kings Road turned a perfect two-hole trip into a half-length triumph while stopping the clock in a lifetime best of 1:51.1. Gunned away from the gate by driver Dale Hiteman, this Sportsmaster gelding sat right on the back of All Is Saidanddone (Andy Miller) every step of the way. With plenty left in reserve after the golden trip, the Jim Eaton trainee was well within himself as he paced right by the leader in the final sixteenth of a mile to record his third win of the season. All Is Saidanddone held on for second while Fox Valley Curahee (Ryan Anderson) took advantage of an inside trip to finish third. Mahdi (Brent Holland) and Arthur B Skipalong (Del Chupp) also earned spots in the final.
With 31 two-year-old pacing colts entered for the Orange & Blue, a quartet of elimination battles were needed. Just like their female counterparts the top two finishers in each race along with two third place finishers (drawn by lot) get the opportunity to battle for the richest race on Super Night.
In the second division, Clyde Stevens homebred Chevie Classic Rod posted his ninth win of the season as he prevailed by a hard-fought head in 1:52.0. Quarter-moved to the top by driver Andy Miller, the Ronnie Guhy trainee then gamely held off a big late rally from Lets Getit Started (Jason Dillander) to earn top honors. Longshot What’sittoyougrant (Jamaica Patton) was a solid third despite a tough first over trip.
It was bombs away in the third division as 30-1 shot Choros C gave owner Chris Choros the thrill of a lifetime with an exciting come from behind win in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Content to save ground, driver Todd Warren and the Ronnie Gillespie trainee appeared to be hopelessly locked in as the field turned for home. Warren then worked some magic maneuvering his charge to the outside of horses with an eighth of a mile to go. Gobbling up the leaders with long fluid strides, this son of Sportsmaster posted a blistering 26.2 final split to win by a long neck. Froggy Turner (Dave Magee) looked like a winner in mid-stretch but was forced to settle for the runner-up role while Littlebitoflife (Ryan Anderson) was a distant third.
The final elimination of the night was turned into a runaway as Ciara Stables and Michael Polansky’s highly regarded youngster Omaha Survivor romped to a 7 ½ length victory in 1:53.3. Taking advantage of miscues by several of the top contenders in the race, the Tom Harmer trainee grabbed control on the far turn and the issue was never in doubt from that point on as he strolled to his third win in six career starts. Woody’s Shark Bite (Andy Miller) overcame a nasty break after the quarter to rally for second while Three Five Seven (Ryan Anderson) was third.
The parade of longshots in the early races resulted in a second straight Pick 5 carryover. Just over $14,000 will be added to Sunday’s Pick 5 pool and track officials are estimating the Sunday night pool to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $35,000.
Super Night elimination action continues on Sunday with older pacers competing for spots in the Ann Vonian and Dan Patch, while sophomore trotting colts square off in a pair of Su Mac Lad eliminations. No eliminations were needed for the Lady Ann Reed. Sunday’s action gets underway at 6:30 p.m.
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