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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (9/23/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
TROTTERS STAR IN AMERICAN NATIONALS
Facing his toughest test to date after posting 12 wins in 15 starts while competing mainly on the Illinois fair circuit, Run And Tell Pap was hustled away from the gate by driver Mike Cox and the gelded son of High Falls led the field through an opening quarter in a leisurely 29.2.
“I wanted to leave out of there and race up close with him but not necessarily on the lead,” said Cox. “It kind of just fell into our laps when a couple of horses made breaks and a couple of others who I thought would be leaving elected to duck.”
Cruising along on the backstretch, Cox was patiently awaiting a challenge and it wasn’t long before Mike Lachance hustled Keystone Bernard up to take command as the field reached the halfway station in 59.3.
“That really worked out perfect for us,” said a very happy Cox. “I was hoping one of the top ones in the race would come to the front and give us some cover because that’s how my horse races best.”
With the fractions still on the slow side Keystone Bernard continued to show the way by a half-length, while favored Wishing Stone (John Campbell) moved alongside to challenge as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.0.
With all eyes focused on the expected duel between the two high priced yearlings, a fit and fresh Run And Tell Pap was not about to go away as Cox maneuvered the Leo Grummel trainee into the passing lane.
Quickly gobbling up the top two, Run And Tell Pap then proceeded to draw away from the leaders as he trotted to an impressive 2 ¼ length triumph. Wishing Stone held on for second while Classic Son (Brandon Simpson) rallied to finish third.
“Those top two horses got a pretty big jump on my horse in the stretch but “Pap” just explodes when you race him off a helmet like we did tonight,” said a jubilant Cox. “He may have been a $1,300 yearling but he certainly doesn’t know it and he acts like he just doesn’t know how to or want to get beat.”
Sent off as the second choice in the wagering after putting together that sterling record, Run And Tell Pap returned $7.60, $3.20 and $2.60.
“She’s a filly that you have to be little careful with at the gate and leaving out of there,” explained Campbell. “That’s why I figured I would let those other horses leave and just get my filly settled in.”
Heading down the backstretch Ultimate Cameron continued to show the way with Southern Maebelle (Tyler Buter) sitting right on her back in second, as the field reached the halfway point in 59.0.
With the top two starting to pull away, Campbell decided it was time to get his filly into the game, moving to the outside of horses with the royally bred daughter of Andover Hall.
“Those top two were going at each other hard enough that I didn’t want to go after them too early,” said Campbell. “I knew my filly has a very nice closing kick so I just wanted to make sure we were in good position at the top of the stretch.”
Passing the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.1, Ultimate Cameron still looked strong on the lead. Southern Maebelle was trying to get to the leader along the inside, while a game Behindclosedoors continued to cut into the margin while racing down the center of the track.
With less than a sixteenth of a mile to trot, Campbell and Behindclosedoors finally managed to wear down the pace setter, posting a hard-fought neck decision over a game Ultimate Cameron. Southern Maebelle held on nicely to finish third.
After posting her fourth win in eight career starts, both Campbell and trainer Chuck Sylvester were singing the praises of this $125,000 2008 Harrisburg purchase who now boasts career earnings of $174,462.
“This filly just loves to come after horses and when I needed it the most tonight, she dug way down deep and got the job done for us,” said Campbell.
“She’s had a bruise on her foot since her last start in the Goldsmith Maid elimination back on Aug. 26,” explained Sylvester. “We really haven’t been able to do anything with her so she basically won this race on her guts and toughness alone. I guarantee she’ll be even better down at the Red Mile next week.”
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