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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (9/17/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Fox Valley Lover and Miss Vickie Set to Square Off Again in Lady Ann Reed
Fresh off a convincing 4 ĺ length victory in last week's elimination action, Paula Smith and James Runyan's Fox Valley Lover has been installed as the slight 5-2 morning line favorite from post position seven.
The bay daughter of Vaporize has been a model of consistency all season long, winning 10 of 13 starts while finishing second and third in two others. The pride of conditioner Joel Smith gained a measure of redemption in DuQuoin, capturing the $30,000 Windy Skeeter Stake after finishing second behind Miss Vickie in the $50,000 State Fair Championship at Springfield earlier in the month.
This seasonís Violet Stake winner has proven that she can win on the front end or while coming from well off the pace, and regular pilot Dale Hiteman gives Smith all the credit for keeping this filly razor sharp.
"Joel has had her ready to go right from the time she hit the track this season," said Hiteman. "She hasn't thrown one bad race and nothing seems to bother her out there, which makes my job much easier."
Boasting a career record of 15 wins, four seconds and three thirds in 27 starts, Fox Valley Lover has amassed $213,496 in career earnings.
After a slow start to her sophomore season Kevin Dixon and Robert Taylor's Miss Vickie, last seasonís freshman sensation, appears to be finding her best stride as we head into the final portion of the 2009 season.
The daughter of Valley Victor had to overcome a tough first over trip in her elimination win, and the triumph left driver Brandon Simpson pretty impressed.
"With all the bad luck she's had this year I just wanted to make sure she stayed flat," he explained. "But once we pulled alongside the leader she put her away with no problem and then I could really feel her dig in when the horse on the outside of her got close nearing the wire."
After winning six of 10 starts and finishing third in three others during her freshman season, trainer Robert Taylor had very high hopes for this filly. After shipping to Canada to try her luck against some of the top sophomore trotting fillies in the country, Miss Vickie wound up getting sick and never really showed the talent she possesses. Despite some bad luck in draws and the illness, Miss Vickie has still managed to post three wins and three thirds in 13 starts this year while adding another $81,659 to a bankroll which now stands at $202,074.
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