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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (5/19/08)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Spirit Lifter
Michael Silber's Spirit Lifter continued his early season dominance with another impressive come from behind victory for Mike Oosting in Sunday's Cardinal eliminations.
As was the case on Saturday night it was the Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old crop that took center stage on Sunday but this time it was colt and filly trotters competing in Cardinal and Violet Stake elimination action. And just like last Sunday conditioner Roger Welch enjoyed another big night with his diagonally gaited trainees, sending out three of the four eliminations winners.

With 14 colts and geldings dropped into the box for the Cardinal this stake was split into a pair of $7,500 eliminations. The top five finishers in each split get the chance to return for the $49,400 final which will be part of a big 14-card next Saturday night (May 24).

In the opener Michael Silber & Roger Welch’s striking chestnut Spirit Lifter continued to shine in his first season of action, posting an impressive come from behind score in a career equaling best of 1:57.2.

Gradually chewing up ground after getting away next to last in the field of seven drivers, Mike Ousting had Spirit Lifter in high gear as the field reached the top of the lane.

Sitting third on the outside as the field headed for home, the gelded son of Wilson Wyoming reeled off a 27.4 final quarter as he blew right by his rivals for a 2 ¼ length triumph. Mystical Zone (Brandon Simpson) followed the winner's cover to get the second place check while Fox Valley Love Ya (Dale Hiteman) parlayed a ground saving trip into a third place finish. Tropicana’s Star (Brent Holland) was fourth while Rtprimetime (Ryan Anderson) was fifth after setting the early fractions.

Continuing to flourish under the care of Amy Welch and the guidance of driver Mike Oosting, Spirit Lifter has now won five of his seven starts this year while banking $20,318.

Maxter rallied up the inside for driver Ryan Anderson to capture the second of two Cardinal Stake eliminations on Sunday night.
In the second elimination it was another California-owned sophomore who toted home top honors, as Turndorf Racing’s Maxter broke an 0 for 4 streak this year with a determined half-length decision in a lifetime best of 1:56.2.

After grabbing early control of the race, driver Ryan Anderson then elected to let his rivals battle it up front while he stayed glued to the pylons. After securing racing room up in the inside in the late going, the Roger Welch-trained son of Valley Victor charged home in 27.3 to knock off a game Mood Man (Mike Oosting), who also hails from the Welch barn. Fox Valley Odyssey (Dave Magee) held on for third after setting most of the fractions while the final two spots went to Spirit Warrior (Brian Carpenter) and Extravagant Matter (Sam Widger).

One of the top two-year-olds in the state last season, Maxter now boasts a career record of eight wins, eight seconds and three thirds in 22 starts with earnings of $172,690.

Judy Luns
Judy Luns (inside) rallied in the final strides to edge out a game Campaign Wife in the first of two Violet Stake eliminations on Sunday night.
A total of 14 sophomore fillies were entered for the Violet eliminations, meaning that once again the top five finishers in two $7,500 preliminaries will be back on Saturday for the $50,800 final.

In the first division Sawgrass Farms Judy Luns proved that she has the talent to be a factor among this group when she minds her racing manners, as she rallied from far back to win by a nose in a lifetime best of 1:58.0.

Content to sit well off the hot early fractions that were being put up by favored Spread The Chips (Brandon Simpson), driver Brent Holland had Judy Luns sitting in fifth some 14 lengths behind the leader as the field reached the top of the stretch. With the embattled leaders starting to get very leg weary, the Roger Welch trained miss then began gobbling up ground as she rallied in the closing strides to get the victory. Campaign Wife (Homer Hochstetler) turned in a solid effort to finish second while Spread The Chips was just a neck back in third. Plenary (Tyler Buter) finished fourth and Lil Bit Tuff (Sam Widger) was fifth.

After a frustrating two-year-old season in which she was plagued by breaking problems but still managed to bank over $36,000 while winning twice, this daughter of Valley Victor in now 1 for 3 in 2008.

My Birthday
My Birthday gave driver Sam Widger his 2,992nd career victory by taking the second of two Violet Stake eliminations on Sunday night.
In the nightcap it was the Herman Wheeler owned and trained My Birthday’s turn to shine as she rolled to a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:57.0 for driver Sam Widger, who is now just eight victories shy of the 3,000 win plateau.

Taking advantage of a perfect steer by Widger, My Birthday left alertly, found a good early spot near the front, and then proceeded to save ground the rest of the way before rallying in the final sixteenth of a mile to get the victory. Fox Valley Shannon (Ryan Anderson), who carved out most of the fractions, held on well to finish second while Winning Blade (Mike Oosting) was third. Cardinal Speedy (Tyler Buter) was a distant fourth in the race while the final spot in the final went to fifth place finisher Victoria Hall (Brent Holland).

With Sunday’s win the daughter of Smokey Legend now has five career victories in 19 starts with earnings of $29,257.




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