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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (9/30/08)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Southern Rocketop
Southern Rocketop
The biggest stake of the season for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old trotting colts turned into nothing more than a stroll in the park for division leader Southern Rocketop as the track record holder completely dismantled eight rivals en route to a 14 3/4 length victory in the $120,000 Lincoln Land Stake on Tuesday night.

As per his usual style the son of Psychic Spirit-Summer In The City came flying away from post position four with Brian Carpenter at the controls, and he was comfortably in front as he moved by the opening station in a brisk 27.3.

“At that point I really didn’t know who was on my back,” said Carpenter. “I just knew I wanted to be in control of the situation.”

Despite the fact that it was one of the top contenders in the race, Be Bullish (Dave Magee) who was sitting right on his back, Carpenter was able to get a bit of a breather as they trotted to the half-mile mark in 57.0.

“My horse did a great job of relaxing in that second quarter and that’s a credit to trainer Monique Bernardi,” explained the winning reinseman. “She’s worked and worked with this horse and he’s just perfect now.”

Stepping on the gas as the field headed around the final turn, Southern Rocketop began to pull away from Be Bullish. Then disaster struck for that gelding as he made a break midway around the final bend leaving Southern Rocketop with a 14-length advantage as he strolled by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.3.

Carpenter knew that if he applied pressure on the rest of the field they were going to be in trouble. “My horse was completely relaxed and I could have gone another easy quarter there but I figured it was time to start taking some horses out of the race so I asked him to trot a bit and he responded beautifully,” he explained.

With the issue no longer in doubt and Carpenter sitting chilly in the bike through the stretch, this magnificent gelding cruised under the wire in 1:55.1. Definer (Tyler Buter) rallied late to nip Be Bullish, who did a nice job of recovering from the miscue, for the place honors.

Asked if the pride of owner Claude Powers could have lowered the track standard he set last week of 1:54.4, there was no doubt about Carpenter’s answer to that question.

“I never asked him for a thing down the stretch and he was only 2/5th’s of a second off his record from last week,” said a beaming Carpenter. “If I had wanted him to he could have destroyed that record. There was still plenty left in the tank when we finished up tonight.”

With the win Southern Rocketop now boasts a record 8-1-0 in 12 career starts with earnings of $134,780. Bet to the near exclusion of his rivals the 1-5 favorite returned $2.60, $2.10 & $2.10.

Dr. McDreamy
Dr. McDreamy
In the $19,000 Lincoln Land Consolation Connie Hochstetler and Bruce & Dean Alexander’s good looking youngster Dr. McDreamy (American Native-Colors of the Wind), the runner-up in this year’s American National, made amends for his disappointing performance in last week’s elimination as he destroyed six rivals by 6 ¼ lengths in a lifetime best of 1:55.2.

The girls will have their turn to shine on Wednesday night as a full field of 10 two-year-old trotting fillies meets in the $133,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake. Carded as the ninth race on an 11-race program which gets underway at 7:20 pm, this test figures to be a wide-open affair featuring elimination winners Miss Vickie (7-2) and Queen Creek (6-1) as well as division stalwarts Fox Valley Lover (4-1) and Tropical Caprice (9-5).

For more information call (708) 672-1414 or visit




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