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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (7/26/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
STATE-BRED PACERS STAR IN CHICAGO SOUTHLAND FESTIVAL OF RACING ELIMS
With a total of 19 freshmen pacing fillies dropped in the entry box for the Loyal Opposition Stake, a pair of $10,000 eliminations were contested with the top five finishers returning next week to meet for a purse of $68,000.
In the first elimination, Mystical Marker Farm's Mystical Victress split horses in the late going to win by a head in 1:55.3.
After enjoying a ground-saving trip for most of the mile, driver Brandon Simpson managed to secure racing room with an eighth of a mile to go and the daughter of Sportsmaster-Sneakheravalentine responded beautifully to notch her second win in as many starts for conditioner Erv Miller. Hanover stakes winner Fox Valley Oracle (Tyler Buter) rallied from last to finish second while Vegas Date (Travis Seekman) was third. Also gaining spots in the final were She’s Stella (Marcus Miller) and Lets Go To Cancun (Dave Magee).
The second elimination provided an upset as 13-1 outsider Fox Valley Angie cruised home with a 2 ¼ length victory in a career best of 1:54.2 for the Stretch It Again Stable of Marengo, Illinois.
Perfectly handled by driver Dave Magee, the daughter of Sportsmaster-Assailed benefited from a two-hole trip before popping out of the pocket at the top of the stretch. The John Butenschoen trainee then went right by the pace-setting Odds On Dominica in the lane to win for the second time in three career starts. Lyfslykaboxachoclt (Marcus Miller) was second while Rolldownthehiway (Brandon Simpson) finished third. Fox Valley Naomi (Robert Smolin) and Leanmean Normajean (Tyler Buter) earned the last two spots in next week’s final with their fourth and fifth place finishes respectively.
With a total of 25 colts entered for the Mini Me eliminations, the top three finishers in each of the $10,000 eliminations as well as one fourth place finisher (drawn by lot) will be back next Saturday to slug it out for a $71,000 jackpot.
In the first elimination, William C. and William P. De Long’s Voomerang continued his impressive start to his racing career as he rolled to a half-length victory in 1:52.3 for driver Josh Sutton.
Sweeping from sixth to first on the backstretch, the gelded son of Cole Muffler-Vavoom Hanover then gamely held off his seven rivals to post his third win in four career starts for trainer Roger Welch. Fox Valley Barbosa (Todd Warren) turned in a solid effort to finish second while Nash Gram (Marcus Miller) overcame the outside starting spot to be third. Apache Renegade (Sam Widger) was fourth.
Sent to the front as the field headed down the backstretch, the son of Cole Muffler-Glorious Future was in complete control the rest of the way as he glided to his second straight victory for driver Brandon Simpson. Power Of A Moment (Marcus Miller) finished second while Burnthemidnight (Dave Magee) was third. Charlie Beans (Sam Widger) was fourth.
In the final Mini Me elimination Richard Keys Chi Town Gambler picked the right time to notch his first career victory, as he took advantage of breaks by several of the leading horses to rally for a half-length victory in 1:55.1.
After finding a good early spot despite leaving from post position nine for driver Dale Hiteman, the Homer Hochstetler-trained son of Richess Hanover-Armbro Lorna wound up shuffled back to sixth before bobbing and weaving his way through traffic in the late going to get the victory. Dynamo Blue (Sam Widger) gave Hochstetler another starter in next week’s final with his second place finish while Come Home Honey (Robert Smolin) was third. Fox Valley Valkari (Marcus Miller) was fourth.
A field of 10 was sent postward in the $10,000 Incredible Finale Stake elimination. The top nine finishers in the race will join Park Lane Deputy for the $56,000 next week.
After pulling from fifth on the backstretch for driver Brian Carpenter, Doubletrouble proceeded to battle tooth and nail with the heavily favored My Boy Luke (Josh Sutton) for the final half-mile. The son of Richess Hanover-Fox Valley Monika finally wore down the pace setter in the final sixteenth of a mile to post his second victory of the season for trainer Scott Foster. My Boy Luke held on gamely for second while Smellthecolornine (Marcus Miller) was third.
The elimination action continues on Sunday night with three-year-old pacing fillies battling in a pair of Ann Vonian Stake eliminations (originally carded as the Lorna Propes Stake) and three-year-old trotting colts going postward in a Kadabra Stake elimination. Post time on Sunday is 6:30 pm (central).
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