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|Balmoral Park (9/15/07)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Super Night Champions Bask in Success
The $120,000 Su Mac Lad Championship
Before He Cheats mowed down a field of nine sophomore trotting rivals to capture the $120,000 Su Mac Lad Championship in a new stakes record time of 1:55 for driver Jason Dillander.
Owned by Samuel Bowie of Lexington, Ky., the 3-year-old Valley Victor gelding notched his 13th career victory in 19 starts. Dirk Simpson trains Before He Cheats, and also conditions the second-place finisher Mystical Banker (Brandon Simpson), while No Jokin (Andy Miller), who led throughout the mile, hung on for third.
“The whole mile was anxious for me, and I was a lot further back then I wanted to be but he’s got a great closing kick,” Dillander said. “About a quarter of a way down the stretch I was pretty confident that he was going to win it.”
Dillander picked up his first Super Night victory in his first Super Night start.
No Jokin’ took the lead from the start through fractions of :28.2, :56.4 and 1:25.3, leading the field single-file style until the end of the final turn. Before He Cheats used a :27.1 final brush to score over his stable mate by two full lengths.
The victory pushed Before He Cheat’s lifetime totals to $140,989.
The $100,000 Lady Ann Reed Final
Star Swagger nailed down her fourth win of the season by capturing the $100,000 Lady Ann Reed Final in 1:57.4 for driver Dale Hiteman. The daughter of Valley Victor bested eight sophomore distaff trotting rivals for trainer Joel Smith and owners Brianna Walton and Paula Smith of Indiana.
“I thought her best races have been coming in the last month,” Hiteman said. “I wasn’t concerned about going first-up, my main objective was to stay clear of any traffic. We got away from the gate fine, and I wasn’t really concerned because she always gives 100 percent all the way to the wire.”
Lady Marmalade (Tim Tetrick) finished second, while Filly Hotspur (Doug Hamilton) closed strongly in the stretch to be third.
Vapor Rises (Brandon Simpson) had led throughout the mile, tripping the timer at the quarter poles in :28.4, :57.3 and 1:27.4 before fading to sixth in the late stretch. The field bunched up quickly on the leader midway down the stretch as Star Swagger cut between Lady Marmalade and Lovely Louann to take the victory.
Star Swagger’s win pushed her career earnings to $97,003.
The $125,000 Ann Vonian Final
Bow Wow Wine captured the $125,000 Ann Vonian Championship for driver Brandon Simpson in 1:52, giving the 26-year-old reinsman his first Super Night crown Saturday night at Balmoral Park.
The 4-year-old daughter of The Big Dog is owned by Sheryl Erickson and trained by her husband Tim. It is the only horse they own, even though both have been involved with harness horses their entire lives. Sheryl has been a caretaker for most of her life, while Tim has worked as a second trainer for Joe Anderson and Robin Schadt, to name just a few.
“This is absolutely awesome and Tim and Sheryl have done a great job with her,” Brandon said. “When she hits the lane she does it all on her own and really digs in. Tonight, turning for home, I just turned her loose and I felt pretty confident at the point. She did it all on her own.”
Nanny Withafanny (Tim Tetrick) left hard from post four and took the field through fractions of :27 and :56. The field bunched up on the leader with Free (Sam Widger) the first to pull after leaving from post ten. Free was parallel with the leader to the 1:24.3 three-quarters and looked to pull away from the tiring Nanny Withafanny, but then Bow Wow Wine absolutely exploded in the lane to win by a length. Free was second and Bobs Minute Maid (Mike Oosting) got up for third.
The victory pushed Bow Wow Wine’s season earnings to $77,943 and her career winnings to $171,569.
$174,000 Grandma Ann Championship
The victory was the fifth championship drive for Anderson, and it was the 11th victory of the year for Sportsfancy, pushing her seasonal earnings to $267,660 and her career earnings to $391,858.
“The fractions were very hot very early and there was a big gap behind me, but I knew I could take the lead anytime I wanted to,” Anderson said. “I was pretty confident turning for home, because those guys had burned their horses up, and I knew the Sportsfancy thing would take over at that point.”
Parking Place (Sam Widger) left hard from the ten-hole and led the field to a bruising :26.4 first quarter, followed by Faith Leigh (Brent Holland), with Sportsfancy in an easy third for Anderson. It wasn’t until past the :54.3 half that Anderson pulled his charge, storming to the outside of the leaders at the 1:23.1 three-quarter mile marker. From there, Sportsfancy just drew away to win by over four lengths for her young driver.
“She’s very good right now,” Hochstetler said. “Ryan’s done a great job of keeping her in the game all year. We were shooting for this win tonight and it’s worked out well for us. Sportsfancy is a very sound mare and she’s getting better and better as far as versatility.”
$260,000 Orange & Blue Filly Championship
Kelly’s Keepsake and driver Andy Miller took the lead at the half and never looked back, drawing away by nearly four lengths in 1:53.2 to win the $260,000 Orange & Blue Championship at Balmoral Park.
The freshman daughter of Sportsmaster picked up her fourth win in 13 starts for trainer Erv Miller and owners Jack & Peggy Hood, Mystical Marker Farms LLC and Kenneth Duffy.
“I moved her up on the backside and got to the front and she just coasted the rest of the way,” driver Andy Miller said.
Venusinbluejeans (Marcus Miller) saw trainer Miller pick up second money, while the Richard Schrock-trained She’s So Hot nailed show honors.
“She raced flat earlier in the year at Chicago and has had some tying-up issues among other things,” trainer Erv Miller. “Last week we had her rigged up a little long. She was getting in a little too much, so tonight we took the Murphy Blind off her.”
Kelly’s Keepsake now has $164,539 in career earnings.
$125,000 Dan Patch Championship
“This horse amazes me, I never thought we’d win one Dan Patch, let alone three,” Farely said. “If I race him every two weeks, I don’t need to train him, I just jog him. He takes good care of himself in between starts. He’s been good to us and we’ll be good to him. When he shows us he can’t compete with these kinds of horses or one notch lower, than we’ll stop with him.”
My Boy David (Ryan Anderson) took the early lead to the :27 first quarter, followed by Thisbigdogwilfight (Dave Magee) who made a slight break through the first turn chasing the leader. Going to the :53.4 half King Johnny put a head in front and then cleared to the lead to the 1:21.3, before brushing home in :28.2.
“It’s great to be back — it’s a great city, a great town and I’m glad to be here,” Tetrick said. “This horse had to work to get to the front. Dave (Magee) made it tough on me. I didn’t want to shut him down. A :53 half is a very big half at Balmoral Park, and most horses can’t win off a fast half like that. He’s just a classic horse and when you call on him turning for home, that’s where he does his best work. You keep yelling at him and he’ll keep on pacing. Two feet after the wire, you can ask him to stop and he’s ready to sit down. You don’t find a lot of horses like him. He’s got physical problems and just keeps getting better year after year. He’s a freak.
King Johnny’s career earnings now stand at $345,461, while his season bankroll is $74,960.
$170,000 Pete Langley Memorial Championship
All Is Saidanddone took the $170,000 Pete Langley Memorial Championship in 1:52.3 for driver Andy Miller and trainer Ervin Miller in wire-to-wire fashion.
“It was a little tight there and I didn’t know if we won it or not, but he stuck his nose out in front at the wire,” driver Andy Miller said. “The horse likes to leave a lot so I left hard with him. He’s better off a cover, but we got a cheap middle half and just sprinted for home. There were horses everywhere near the wire, but he hung on to win and that’s all that counts.”
Late in the lane, horses began to gang up on the leader after fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25.1.
All Is Saidanddone picked up his seventh win in 20 starts and pushed his career earnings to $125,097. Nelson Herschberger of Tuscola, Ill., owns the 3-year-old Cole Muffler gelding.
$270,000 Orange & Blue Championship
Magee got away near the back of the pack as Choros C (Todd Warren) and Omaha Survivor (Tim Tetrick) battled to the :27.2 first quarter and through the :55 half. Going to the 1:23.1 Chevie Classic Rod (Andy Miller) battled with Omaha Survivor, with Magee third-over from the top of the stretch to the wire. Magee came on with Froggy Turner, urging his charge late in the lane to just nip Jolly Lester (Dale Hiteman), another Tom Simmons trainee.
“This is a good colt and I was glad I finally drew outside with ihim. He was pretty fresh coming off the last turn,” Magee said. “I wasn’t real thrilled with my position in the final turn, but I thought if the horses on the front end faltered, I’d be in good shape. He’s a very pleasurable horse to drive. He’s very handy for a big-gaited colt. I was concerned when Dale came at me because he has a very nice colt and he hadn’t been used either. My colt was out there by himself and was kind of looking around and I had to chase him pretty good.”
The victory was Froggy Turner’s sixth in 11 starts and pushed his lifetime earnings to $141,835 and gave the winning Magee his 24th Super Night championship steer.
The handle for Super Night was $2,406,164.
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