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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (7/29/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
FOX VALLEY SMARTY IN 50-1 SHOCKER
After seeing the heavy favorite make a nasty break right next to him as the gate was set to open, driver Todd Warren sent the son of Vaporize-Self Confessed right to the front.
Cruising through splits of 30.0, 1:00.2 and 1:30.1 while Shore Road (Brandon Simpson) was working hard to make his way towards the front of the pack again after spotting the field some 18 lengths, Warren had Fox Valley Smarty on top by a length as the field turned for home.
Through the lane the Brett Ballinger trainee was still strong on the front end as the difficult trip began to take its toll on a fading Shore Road. The pocket sitting Big Bucks (Homer Hochstetler) still loomed a danger to the pace setter as did a hard charging Kid Cormac (Dave Magee) who was making up ground in the center of the track.
Showing a great deal of grit and determination, Fox Valley Smarty dug in gamely through the final sixteenth of a mile to prevail by three-quarters of length over Kid Cormac. Big Bucks wound up third, two lengths behind the winner.
Also gaining spots in the final where they will join Powerful Speed and Smokin Homer were Muscatine, Ichabob, Shore Road, Fox Valley Solomon and Showmeyourstuff.
The win was the second in five career starts for the South of the Tracks-owned gelding who returned a whopping $102.40 for a $2 win ticket and was selected by track handicapper Mike Antoniades on his in-house television show and in his complimentary Players Guide handicapping sheet.
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