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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (11/2/08)
Contact: Tom Kelley
2008 HANOVER STAKES DRAW TO A CLOSE
In the first division of the colt trot Robert Rietveld, Paul Gibson and Jack Dorn’s Definer continued an impressive freshman campaign with a gritty half-length victory in 1:57.0.
Confidently handled by Tyler Buter, this gelded son of Armbro Tropicana-Sue’s Sweet Shery stormed right to the top after watching both Dr. McDreamy and Simple Game make breaks in the first turn.
Trotting along comfortably on the lead, Buter did a fine job of rating his charge through splits of 28.4, 58.1 & 1:27.2.
“He really felt good all the way tonight,” said Buter. “Even when Homer’s horse (Dr. McDreamy) came charging up alongside us he just picked up the bit and continued right on for me.”
With his main rival right at his throat Definer set sail for home. Showing the same grit and determination he exhibited in last week’s Sarah Myers Stake win here at Balmoral, the Kenny Collier trainee continued to hold Dr. McDreamy at bay throughout the stretch-long battle while getting very little urging from his pilot. Sargent Volo (Brooke Nickells) turned a pocket sitting trip into the third place check.
“My horse is such a smart horse you don’t need to hit him,” explained Buter. “He knows what needs to be done and he’s got no problem giving you everything he’s got each time he hits the track.”
With the win Definer now boasts an impressive record of 8-3-2 in 14 starts with earnings of $131,177.
Eased away from the inside starting spot, driver DR Ackerman allowed a fast leaving Rompaway Beau (Don Harmon) to gain control heading into the first turn. That advantage was short lived however as Ackerman pulled his colt from the pocket and charged to the top as the field reached the opening quarter in 29.1.
“I just wanted to see how things were going to unfold,” explained Ackerman. “Once Donnie made the lead it looked like he wanted somebody to cover him up so I figured it was time for me to go.”
Without much of challenge through leisurely middle splits of 58.3 & 1:28.4, Judge Joe turned for home with a 1 ¼ length advantage over an uncovered Be Bullish (Homer Hochstetler).
In hand throughout the lane Judge Joe continued to hold off his rivals as he reported home with a three-quarter length victory. Keystone Wildcat (Brandon Simpson) rallied late to finish second while Be Bullish was third.
In the winner’s circle a confident Ackerman was singing the praises of this highly regarded son of Credit Winner-Judge Judy, who now sports a record of 7-4-1 in 12 starts with earnings of $310,575.
“He did everything perfectly tonight,” said the proud pilot. “Once he made the lead he relaxed, then he picked it up on his own when the other horses came to him. I could have gone around there three more times and they wouldn’t have caught him.”
After having a very busy workload the past two months which has included stops in New York, Kentucky, Canada and Illinois, Ackerman is still thinking about sending his colt to the Breeders Crown later this month.
“You always hope you don’t take a nice two-year-old like this just one start too long,” he explained. “His races in Canada were probably two of his best though and he was awfully sharp tonight. I guess I’ll have to sit down and have a long talk with his owner,” he joked.
Using the inside starting spot perfectly, driver Josh Sutton sent the daughter of Valley Victor-Writtenonthewind right to the front where she proceeded to cruise through splits of 29.1, 58.1 & 1:27.3.
“She’s always very aggressive behind the gate so I had been leaving with her and then letting somebody go,” explained Sutton. “Tonight she left out of there just perfectly without having to be rushed and they all settled in behind her, which allowed her to finally relax a little bit.”
Continuing to show the way, Overt led a first over Dover Miss (Mike Oosting) by 1 ½ lengths as they headed into a stiff breeze through the stretch. A determined Dover Miss finally started to cut into the advantage in the closing yards but disaster struck for that filly as she made a break in the final strides, allowing a tough as nails Overt to keep a nose in front at the wire. Talkaboutjoy (Sam Widger) followed the favorites cover to wind up third, 5 ½ lengths behind the top two.
After the race a relieved Sutton had nothing but praise for his hard trying filly.
“She’s drawn poorly so many times this year but now she’s been inside for her last three starts and you can see how much better she’s been,” he said. “I’m not sure it would have turned out any differently if that other filly hadn’t made a break. To me it looked like she actually lunged forward when she went off stride so I’ve got to believe we would have held her off anyway.”
The win was the first in 15 starts this season for Overt, who also has four seconds and three thirds to her credit. The winner’s check of $40,650 nearly doubled her seasonal earnings as they now stand at $86,472 for the partnership of Phillip Rietveld, Gordon Wright and Paul Gibson.
For more information call (708) 672-1414 or visit www.balmoralpark.com.
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