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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (5/23/09)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Fox Valley Topaz
2008 Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year Fox Valley Topaz looked sharp in last week's eliminations for the Violet Stake.
The first “major” test of the Illinois conceived and foaled stakes season takes place on Sunday night as last year’s Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year, Fox Valley Topaz, leads a field of 10 sophomore’s postward in the $56,900 Violet Stake Final, which has been carded as race 11 on the 12-race program.

The pride of the Engel and Rucker Stables certainly was impressive in her elimination triumph last Sunday, shaking off a six month layoff, to win by a widening 1 ½ length margin in 1:52.3. Last year’s Breeders' Crown winner is the co-holder of the track standard for a two-year-old pacing filly here at Balmoral Park with a mark of 1:52.2, which she took while winning the Filly Orange & Blue on Super Night. Now with 16 lifetime starts under her belt, the Paul Stafford trained daughter of Sportmaster-Theladyappealstome boasts a record of 11 wins, two seconds and two thirds with more than $632,000 in earnings. Mike Oosting gets the call behind the 2-1 morning line favorite who has drawn post position 10 for this affair.

Native Hotspur comes into this battle sporting a perfect four-for-four record in 2009 for owners Kay Willis and Richard Beere and she figures to give the heavy favorite a tough battle this evening. The daughter of Ft. Apache Hanover-Broadway Charisma was a wire-to-wire winner in her elimination last week, tripping the timer in a career best of 1:53.0. The Nelson Willis-trained miss has captured an ISOBA Stake and the Direct Balance Stake here at Balmoral as well as the Desperate Lady Stake at Maywood Park this season. Sam Widger will be at the controls as the 4-1 second choice leaves from post position six.

Others who figure to play a big role in the outcome of this race include ISOBA Stakes winner Aristocracy, who finished a fast closing third in her elimination; Park Lane Rhythm, who pulled off the upset at 12-1 in her elimination last week; and Fox Valley Tyra, last year’s Filly Orange & Blue runner-up, who finished an improving third in her elimination last week.

Rounding out the field will be She’s A Pegase, Smashy Cerise, Kennans Ellery, Honey B Skipalong and Kiss My Josie.




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