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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (9/23/07)
Contact: Tom Kelley
ACTION APLENTY ON SUNDAY NIGHT!
State-bred trotting colts were the main focus on a busy Sunday night at Balmoral Park as a total of 20 two-year-olds slugged it out in a pair of $12,500 Lincoln Land Stake Eliminations. The top five finishers in each division get the chance to return next Sunday for the $129,000 final.
In the opening split Fox Valley Standardbreds and Jim Edgarís Fox Valley Odyssey pulled off a minor upset holding off the late kick of division leader Maxter (Dave Magee) to win by 1 ĺ lengths in a lifetime best of 1:58.1.
After getting a golden two-hole trip for most of the mile, driver Jason Dillander pulled from the pocket nearing the top of the stretch. After blowing right by the pace setting Heís A Little Man, the John Butenschoen trainee opened up an insurmountable four-length advantage by the mid-stretch call, then held on gamely to post his third win in his last four starts. Maxter was forced to settle for the runner-up role while Rtprimetime (Nelson Willis) finished third. Also gaining spots in the final were Tropicana Ron (Randy Jacobs) and Thunder Basin (Del Chupp).
In the second division Jerry D. & J.D. Grahamís Fox Valley Thor came storming first over to grab the top prize for driver Ryan Anderson in 1:58.3.
Sitting in mid-pack for the opening half-mile, the Pamela Coleman trainee rolled up without cover on the far turn, blew by the pace setting Mystical Patches (Brandon Simpson) at the top of the lane and then held safe to win by a half-length over a fast closing Valley Speed (Henry Lunsford). Favored Red Rover (Robert Taylor) was shuffled back on the turn but still managed to shake loose late for the show dough. Mood Man (Mike Oosting) and Kan Jamaicamecrazy (Mike Cox) will also move on to the final next week.
Freshman pacing fillies were featured as well on Sunday night with a total of 16 youngsters meeting in a pair of $10,000 Thrifty Way Stake splits.
In the opener Al Johnsonís Ali Cat finally reverted back to her early season form with a sparkling come-from-behind win in 1:54.4 for driver Mike Oosting.
Getting a perfect steer from the crafty veteran, the Roger Welch-trained miss moved up second over on the final bend then stormed by her rivals in the final eighth of a mile in route to a one-length verdict. Lalique Lady (Brent Holland), a Filly Orange & Blue Elimination winner, wound up as the bridesmaid while Parklane Starlet (Dale Hiteman) rallied late to finish third.
In the nightcap Windy City Farm and Angie Nessaís Windy City Paige turned in a gritty performance to win by a half-length in a lifetime best of 1:55.1.
Confidently driven by Ryan Anderson, this Cole Muffler filly moved up first over for the final 5/8th of a mile, wore down the early leaders and then drew clear for her fourth win in 16 starts this year. Heavily favored Mokey (Dave Magee) had to settle for second money on this night while Blue True Blue (Homer Hochstetler) turned a ground-saving trip into a third place check.
Sophomore trotting fillies were also in action as a field of six went postward in the $17,000 Lady Ann Reed Consolation which was carded as a non-wagering event.
Taking home top honors in this affair was John Carver, Ron Phillipís and Bruce Harmeningís Tableau in a career best of 1:58.0. Overcoming a tough first over trip for driver Jamaica Patton, the Ron Phillips-trained miss wore down the pace setting Vapor Rises (Brandon Simpson) in the lane to win by a half-length. Vapor Rises held on for second while Playmate Bunnie (Jason Dillander) was third, five lengths behind the winner.
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