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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (5/23/08)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SATURDAY CARD FILLED WITH STAKES
The fast-paced action gets started in race three as a field of six filly and mare pacers meet in the $25,000 Loyal Opposition Stake.
Paul Bertucci’s tough as nails mare Bobs Minute Maid has been installed as the overwhelming 6-5 favorite as she looks to make it two in a row after winning the F&M Open in a seasonal best of 1:52.1 last week. The Mike Oosting trained and driven eight-year-old has 27 lifetime wins and more than $331,000 in earnings on her card.
Next in line is the $49,900 Violet Stake Final for three-year-old trotting fillies which goes as race four.
This appears to be one of the most wide open events of the night with Herman Wheeler’s My Birthday, an elimination winner in a lifetime best of 1:57 last week, drawing the slight favoritism from her inside starting spot. Others who figure to take plenty of action are: Tina & Patrick Graham’s Spread The Chips who won the Trotting Tilly Stake earlier this season and was just a neck back in last week’s action; Connie Hochstetler’s Campaign Wife, who dropped a heartbreaking photo last week; and Sawgrass Farms Judy Luns, who rallied in the final strides to win her elimination in a career best of 1:58.0.
The action keeps rolling in race five as a field of 10 Illinois conceived and foaled sophomore pacing fillies square off in the $50,700 Violet Stake Final.
This figures to be a rematch between the Erv Miller trained Westside Gritty and Joel Smith’s Kennans Kelli.
Westside Gritty got the better of her rival last week, taking advantage of a pocket-sitting trip before exploding in the lane to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. The previous week Kennans Kelli knocked off Westside Gritty, going wire to wire to win an ISOBA Stake, in 1:52.2. Elimination winner Renovation (1:52.3) also figures to garner some support at the windows and she could wind up as the beneficiary if a speed duel develops between the top two.
Mike Silber and Roger Welch’s Spirit Lifter has been installed as the 3-1 favorite as he comes into the race looking for his third straight win at Balmoral Park. The striking chestnut has really blossomed into a fine trotter after not starting as a two-year-old and he’s now won five of his eight starts this season.
Turndorf Racing’s Maxter finally broke into the win column last week and he did so impressively, scoring in a lifetime best of 1:56.2 for driver Ryan Anderson. The Roger Welch trainee has eight lifetime wins and more than $172,000 on his card and he is a close second choice in the morning line at 7-2.
Race seven puts sophomore pacing colts in the spotlight as a field of 10 will square off in the $50,500 Cardinal Stake Final.
Engel Stable’s two-year-old champion Mucho Sleazy returned to the local scene last week, and he picked up right where he left off with an impressive wire to wire score in 1:52.1. This Berry’s Creek elimination winner has been on the board in 17 of 21 lifetime starts while earning just over $200,000 for his connections. Starting from post position one, Mucho Sleazy is the 5-2 morning line favorite in this encounter.
Clyde Stevens' Chevie Classic Rod was also an impressive elimination winner last week, roaring home in 26.3 to stop the clock in career best of 1:52. Another one to keep an eye on in this encounter is Lets Getit Started, who uncorked a 25.4 final split to rally for second behind Chevie Classic Rod in last week’s elimination action.
Last but not least is the $40,000 Big Tom Stake which has been programmed as race seven on this action-filled card.
Shirley LeVin’s My Boy David is the 6-5 morning line favorite among this field of five, after finishing a game second behind Booze Cruzin in a blistering 1:49.0 last week. The Homer Hochstetler trainee has been a money-making machine for his connections, hitting the board in 61 of 85 lifetime starts while earning $1,110,564.
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