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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (4/4/08)
Contact: Tom Kelley
BALMORAL READY TO SPRING INTO STAKES ACTION
A field of seven has been entered for the Taurus Bomber with Littlebitoflife Stable’s aptly named Littlebitoflife leading the way as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Last season’s Cardinal Stake winner tuned up for his sophomore debut with a sharp second place finish in his March 26 qualifier at Balmoral, stopping the clock in 1:57.1. The Shawn Nessa trainee hit the board in 10 of 16 starts as a two-year-old while banking over $71,000. Joe Anderson is scheduled to handle the driving duties.
Another to keep an eye on in this event is Gordon & Claudia Wright’s up-and-coming gelding Kinsel who has proven victorious in three of his last four outings. After an uneventful start to his career, the Roger Welch trainee has hit the board in his last five starts, taking a career best of 1:54.4 in his latest triumph. Brent Holland will be at the controls behind this son of Park Place.
On Sunday, April 6 it will be the girls' turn to shine as a field of nine state-bred sophomore pacing fillies square off in the $15,000 Direct Balance Stake.
The stakes action continues on Tuesday, April 8 as we get a look at some of this year’s Illinois conceived and foaled sophomore colt trotting set in the $15,000 Speedy Rodney Stake.
Turndorf Racing LLC’s freshman sensation Maxter will be making his sophomore debut and the Roger Welch trainee has been installed as the 5-2 morning favorite. The seven time winner in 2007 hit the board in 15 of his 17 trips postward, racking up more than $158,000 in earnings in the process. Dave Magee guided this speedy gelding to a pair of third place finishes in his qualifiers and the Hall of Fame reinsman will get the call again on Tuesday.
J.D. Graham, Pam Coleman & Mystical Marker Farms Mystical Zone has caught the eye of many over the past few weeks and this up and coming gelding is a close second choice in the early odds at 3-1. The son of Wilson Wyoming debuted on March 12 with a big come from behind second place finish. Since then the Pam Coleman trainee has rattled off a pair of impressive victories with the latest coming by 6 ½ lengths in a snappy 1:58.3. Regular pilot Mike Oosting will be at the controls behind this youngster.
The week’s worth of state-bred stakes action closes on Wednesday, April 9 with a field of seven three-year-old trotting fillies heading to the gate for the $15,000 Trotting Tilly Stake. This figures to be a wide open event with six of the seven starters making their seasonal debuts. This group also combined to rack up 27 victories during their two-year-old campaigns.
Tops on that list is Tina & Patrick Graham’s Spread The Chips who won 13 of her 20 starts in 2007. The Thomas Grummel-trained miss racked up more than $107,000 in earnings last season and was second against “open” company in the prestigious American National Stake here at Balmoral. Coming off a second place finish in 1:59.3 in her qualifier, Spread The Chips is the 5-2 morning line favorite as she leaves from the inside post position with driver Brandon Simpson in tow.
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