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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (9/9/08)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Starcelona and driver Brent Holland cruised to victory in 1:58 in the second of three American National Stake eliminations for two-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday night.
Freshman trotters were the focus of attention on Tuesday night at Balmoral Park as American National Stake Eliminations for diagonally gaited fillies and colts were contested.

With a total of 21 fillies dropped into the entry a box, a trio of elimination tussles were scheduled for ladies. The top three finishers in each of the $13,900 preliminaries, along with one fourth-place finisher (drawn by lot), will get the chance to battle it out next Tuesday for a purse of $97,000.

In the first elimination, Brittany Farms Musical Mystery benefited from the disqualification of race winner B Nikki (John Campbell) to take home the top honors in 1:59.2.

With Mike Lachance in the bike, the homebred daughter of Cantab Hall-Musical Victory carved out splits of 30.0, 1:00.2 & 1:30.4 before grudgingly giving way to B Nikki in the final sixteenth of a mile. Unfortunately for that filly and her connections, the judges ruled that Campbell had interfered with a first over Jeansandatshirt, causing her to make a break, while trying to secure racing room in mid-stretch.

After the DQ, which saw B Nicki moved from first to fifth, Possess Me (Brent Holland) was moved up to second while Talkaboutjoy (Brandon Simpson) was moved from fourth to third. Jeansandatshirt was moved up to fourth.

Musical Mystery, who is under the guidance of conditioner Ron Gurfein, now sports a record of 1-2-2 through her first five career starts with earnings of $14,420.

There was much less drama in the middle elimination as Perretti Racing Stables & Black Horse Racing’s Starcelona blew by her rivals in the late going to win by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:58.0.

Patiently handled by Brent Holland, the homebred daughter of Muscles Yankee-My Starlet was able to save ground for the opening five-eighths of a mile as Sienna Belle (Homer Hochstetler) rolled through fractions of 28.3, 58.4 & 1:28.2.

Moving outside to follow the cover of what had been a pocket sitting Evening Prayer (D.R. Ackerman), at the top of the lane the Erv Miller-trained miss swept by her foes with a 28.4 final split to earn the victory. Evening Prayer was second while One Tough Girl (John Campbell) was third. Eagle Bette (Mike Oosting) was fourth. Dancing Filly, the 1-2 favorite in the race, made a break just before the start and was never a threat as she wound up sixth in the field of seven.

Fresh off a win in DuQuoin in the Hayes Memorial, Starcelona is now 2-0-0 in three lifetime starts with earnings of $33,210.

The final elimination provided the biggest upset of the night as 11-1 outsider Deedee’s Destiny parlayed a perfect second over trip into a neck victory in 1:57.0.

Saving ground while trotting in mid-pack as Tropical Caprice (Dave Magee) and Wedding Dress (John Campbell) took turns on the lead, driver Sam Widger moved his filly to the outside after opening splits of 29.4 & 58.1.

With the field beginning to bunch up as the fillies reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.3, Deedee’s Destiny was fourth and just three lengths off the leader as the field turned for home.

Setting sail for the wire, this daughter of Muscles Yankee-Odessa Drummond, who was a $30,000 Lexington purchase, picked off one rival after another as she trotted home in 28.4 for her first career victory. Wedding Dress, another longshot at 18-1 who had been plagued by breaking problems, was able to mind her manners as she turned in a solid effort to finish second. Tropical Caprice held on for third while Fox Valley Strata (Tyler Buter) was fourth.

Under the watchful eye of conditioner John Butenschoen, Deedee’s Destiny now has a record of 1-0-2 in six career starts with earnings of $11,166 for Kenneth & Jana Rucker.

Definer and driver Tyler Buter came flying through the stretch to set a new track record of 1:57.1 for a two-year-old gelding trotter in the first American National Stake elimination.
On the colt side of the docket a total of 19 youngsters were entered, splitting the eliminations into a pair of $17,100 battles. The top five finishers in each division will be back next week to go for $106,000 in the final.

The first elimination produced a new track record for a two-year-old gelding trotter, as the Illinois bred Definer came flying through the lane to win by a half-length in 1:57.1. The previous mark of 1:57.2 had been held jointly by Kennans Max (2003) & Vapor Maker (2006).

Using a nice second over trip, driver Tyler Buter positioned the son of Armbro Tropicana-Sue’s Sweet Shery in fourth in as Magic Carpet Ride (Dewayne Minor) rolled through splits of 28.4, 59.0 & 1:28.2.

Tipping three-wide off his cover at the top of the stretch, the Ken Collier trainee then uncorked a 28.1 final quarter as he rolled by rivals to win for the sixth time in eight career starts. Even Better Odds (John Campbell), who provided the live cover for the winner, was a game second while Magic Carpet Ride held on for third. Dr. McDreamy (Homer Hochstetler) overcame a miscue in the first turn to finish fourth while entry mate Southwind Tager (Brandon Simpson) earned a spot in the final with a fifth place finish.

With a sparkling record of 6-0-2 in his eight trips postward, this year’s Darn Safe Stake winner now boasts earnings of $53,530.

Swan For All
Swan For All in rein to driver Andy Miller established a new track record for a two-year-old trotting colt of 1:56 while winning the second of two American National Stake eliminations for freshman trotting colts.
The action wrapped up with another track record as the lightly raced but highly regarded Swan For All shattered the previous track record for a two-year-old trotting colt with a two-length triumph in 1:56.0. The old mark had been set in 2007 by Muscle Mass.

Perfectly handled by driver Andy Miller, this $300,000 Harrisburg purchase who is a son of Andover Hall-Swan Lake left alertly from post four and was on the lead as the field reached the opening station in 29.0.

Content to allow a hard charging King Solomon (Mike Oosting) grab control on the backstretch, Swan For All was able to save ground while covered up the rest of the way as King Solomon led the way through middle splits of 57.4 and 1:27.4.

Taking advantage of the passing lane, the Erv Miller trainee, who had only one previous start, came charging through the inside like a seasoned veteran trotting home in 27.4 to pick up the victory. King Solomon held on for second while Be Bullish (Dave Magee) survived a tough first over trip to finish third. Cantabmyway (Mike Lachance) was fourth while the final spot in the final went to fifth place finisher Senator Hall (D.R. Ackerman).

Now a perfect two for two in his brief career, Swan For All has banked $11,550 for the partnership of John Carver and Mystical Marker Farms.

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