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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (7/19/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SOUTHERN ROCKETOP CLOSES OUT HANOVER STAKES IN SPECTACULAR FASHION
Using the inside starting spot to full advantage in the field of 12, driver Brian Carpenter hustled the son of Psychic Spirit-Summer In The City away from the gate and the speedy gelding went uncontested through an opening quarter in 27.3.
“I was hoping to just get him away in good shape and then let somebody else go because he’s able to relax so nicely in a hole this year,” said Carpenter. “Unfortunately we were going so fast that none of the others were able to get close to us and provide the cover I was hoping for.”
Trotting along effortlessly on the front end, the Robert Taylor trainee continued to roll along all by himself through middle splits of 56.2 and 1:24.3, which was just fine with his pilot.
“He was strictly on idle out there tonight,” said an astonished Carpenter. “Bobby (Taylor) told me he thought he was going to be good tonight but I had no idea he was going to be this good.”
On cruise control through the lane, Southern Rocketop laid down a 27.4 final quarter which left his rivals gasping for air as he rolled under the finish line with a 3 ¾ length decision. Ivy League Lindy (Sam Widger) turned in a solid performance to finish second while Rompaway Beau (Don Harmon) was a distant third, some 10-lengths behind the victor.
While the track record performance and national season's mark may have surprised some folks, trainer Robert Taylor seemed to take it all in stride.
“After the performance he turned in to win from the 10-hole the week before I knew he was capable of knocking off this track record,” said the proud conditioner. “This was quite a performance from him tonight but believe me he’s still got more left in the tank and hopefully we’ll see an even better race from him during his upcoming schedule.”
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