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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (9/17/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Mystical Victress will be Tough to Stop in Filly Orange & Blue Final
Mystical Marker Farmsí Mystical Victress has been the dominant filly in the division and she figures to be tough to stop as she looks for her seventh win in nine career starts tonight.
The daughter of Sportsmaster and Sneakheravalentine had no problem overcoming the 8 hole in her elimination victory, as she charged from seventh to first in the final quarter mile to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.0 for driver Brandon Simpson.
"I didn't want to use her too hard in her elimination which is why i kept her so far back in the early going," explained Simpson. "I knew I had the best closer in the race and that she was going to give me that one big move which I figured would be enough to get us into the final, and it wound up working out perfectly."
The Erv Miller-trained miss, who also captured the $68,000 Loyal Opposition stake here at Balmoral back on August 1, has not missed a check in eight career starts and will open as the 5-2 morning line favorite with Simpson back in the bike tonight. Miller also has two other fillies going postward in the race in M A Maria (5-1) and Miss Kellie (10-1).
Upsets were the order of business in the other two Filly Orange & Blue Stake eliminations last week as the Nelson Willis-trained Casino Hotspur rallied in the final strides to win by a head at 13-1 with Simpson driving.
"I was surprised we were able to work out as clean a trip as we did," he commented. "Once we hit the top of the stretch I knew I had plenty of horse and thought we'd have a big chance to get there in time."
Trainer Ray Hanna and driver Michael Cox teamed up to pull off a 24-1 shocker with Nice Big Star in 1:54.4, which was the fastest of the three eliminations.
Given a perfect steer by Cox, the homebred daughter of Party at Artsplace showed her versatility by leaving quickly then relaxing nicely when put in a hole by Cox. After securing racing room in the late going, the filly closed with a rush to pick up her seventh win in 10 starts this year.
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