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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (5/26/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
QUEEN CREEK PREVAILS IN A THRILLER
Despite the fact that a torrential downpour just a few races earlier had turned the one-mile oval into a sea of mud, Delbert and Ruth Burkett’s Queen Creek had no trouble getting over the sloppy surface as she rallied up the inside for a thrilling head decision in a career best of 1:57.2.
Whisked away from post position two by driver Dean Magee, the daughter of Elk Creek-Darts Queen held a slight advantage as a three wide Lane’s Game (J.D. Finn) and a parked Tropical Caprice (Dave Magee) battled through a tough opening quarter in 28.2.
Finally giving way to Lane’s Game as the field moved down the backstretch, Magee had his charge perfectly positioned in the pocket as the fillies hit the halfway point in 57.0.
The hot and heavy action continued around the final turn with Lane’s Game holding a short lead while a first over Maple Grove Sarah (Josh Sutton) stormed up to challenge. Queen Creek was still enjoying the perfect pocket sitting journey, while Lekka (Mike Oosting) and Luna Marker (Brandon Simpson) began to circle horses from the back of the pack as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.3.
Through the lane Maple Grove Sarah grabbed command, but her advantage was short lived as Luna Marker was trotting up a storm on the far outside. Patiently awaiting room along the inside, Magee maneuvered his filly inside of the tiring Maple Grove Sarah with a sixteenth of a mile to go. Gobbling up ground, Queen Creek quickly engaged Luna Marker and these two raced head and head down to the wire with Queen Creek prevailing in the final strides. Luna Marker was a hard fought second while Lekka finished third. Also gaining spots in the final were Tropical Caprice, Maple Grove Sarah, Lil Red Fox and Lane’s Game.
The victory was the first in three starts this year for the Delbert Burkett homebred, who earned over $26,000 last year while compiling a record of 3-1-3 in 13 starts. Coming off a pair of third place finishes to open her second season, Queen Creek returned $10.80, $5.80 and $4.60.
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