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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (4/22/08)
Contact: Tom Kelley
WINNING BLADE PULLS OF A SHOCKER IN FOX VALLEY FLAN STAKE
These early season trotting events can often produce some unexpected results and Tuesday’s battle definitely lived up to that as 15-1 outsider Winning Blade rallied in the final strides to post a head decision in 1:58.0.
Taking advantage of some mistakes by the top trotters in this group, this daughter of Valley Victor moved up third over on the final turn for driver Mike Oosting before uncorking a big 28.0 final quarter-mile to go from fifth to first in the lane for her second victory in three starts this season. My Birthday (Sam Widger), who looked like a sure winner at the mid-stretch call after blowing right by the 1-5 favorite Spread The Chips as the field turned for home, was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while another longshot Lil Bit Tuff (Tyler Buter) was a distant third.
The overwhelming favorite Spread The Chips, who was so impressive in her 2008 debut, was tardy at the start of the race and missed the gate by some three or four lengths. After working hard to make her way to the front, the daughter of Band’s Gold Chip tired at the top of the lane and eventually made a break in the stretch to wind up a distanced fifth. So Sexy, another highly regarded filly, made a break behind the gate and was never a threat while finishing last.
The victory was the third in 13 lifetime starts for Winning Blade who is owned by Robert Rietveld, Jack Dorn, Marvin Smit and Paul Gibson. The Ken Collier-trained miss returned $32.00, $16.00 & $13.60 to those lucky enough to have backed her on this night.
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