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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (11/4/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
YOUNGSTERS SHINE IN SARAH MYERS STAKES
In the first filly split, Powers Farms' Southern Maebelle continued to impress as she cruised to an effortless 1 ¾ length triumph in 1:59.4.
Perfectly positioned in the pocket by driver Tyler Buter, the daughter of High Falls-Summer In The City was content to allow St. Louis Holiday (Rick Dane Jr.) to lead the way through opening splits of 30 and 1:00.
Mid-way around the final turn, Buter moved Southern Maebelle to the outside as a hard-charging Claires Rose (James Stiltner) came rolling up on the outside of horses. Quickly engaging the leader, Southern Maebelle was just a head behind the pace setting St. Louis Holiday as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:30.4.
Setting sail for home Southern Maebelle quickly swallowed up the pace setter. Just when it looked as though Claires Rose would have a chance to make things interesting, disaster struck for that filly as she went off stride, taking her out of contention. The issue was never in doubt from that point on as the Robert Taylor-trained Southern Maebelle was on cruise control the rest of the way, reporting home with her fourth win in 12 starts. Powerful Bella (Mike Oosting) rallied to finish second while St. Louis Holiday held on for third.
Backed as though defeat was out of the question, Southern Maebelle returned just $2.10, $2.10 and $2.10 while running her career earnings up to $127,000.
With the favorite making a break just inside of them, driver Dale Hiteman took full advantage of the opening and wisely placed the daughter of Vaporize-Fancy Creek Photo right on the back of Fox Valley Ripple (Todd Warren) as that filly led the way through splits of 29.4, 59.4 and 1:30.3.
Through the stretch a locked and loaded Fox Valley Click anxiously awaited her chance in the passing lane, as Fox Valley Ripple and a first over Merry High (Mike Oosting) battled it out. With a sixteenth of a mile to go Fox Valley Ripple went off stride, allowing Hiteman even more room to come charging up the passing lane for the victory. Merry High turned in a game effort to finish second while Vapor Girl (Dean Magee) rallied for third.
The victory was the first in five career starts for the Joel Smith trainee, who also has a pair of seconds to her credit. The second choice in the wagering returned $9.20, $4.20 and $4.40 while pushing her bankroll up to $23,577.
The miscues started early as the pocket-sitting Powerful Speed (Josh Sutton), the 6-5 favorite after his win in last week’s Hanover Stake, made a break while following Muscatine (Dale Hiteman) through an opening quarter in 28.3.
Heading down the backstretch 69-1 outsider Gumcorner Road (Connel Willis) swept up to take command, leading the field through middle splits of 58.3 and 1:29.1.
In the lane Gumcorner Road continued to cling tenaciously to a short advantage as Muscatine moved alongside in second, and a hard charging Hokey Pokey (Mike Oosting) began to close in on the leaders while racing on the far outside. At this point driver Tyler Buter was desperately looking for room along the inside with a headstrong Dutch Commander.
Coming down to the wire a game but tired Gumcorner Road was all out to hold on to his lead as the trotters spread out across the track. The son of Elk Creek then wound up making a break just a few steps from the finish line. Despite holding on to win by a head, that miscue wound up costing him two spots as he was set back to third after being “lapped” on by both Dutch Commander and Hokey Pokey. Fourth place finisher Big Bucks (James Stiltner) also made a late break and wound up being disqualified from fourth and placed fifth for failure to lose ground while on a break.
The Robert Taylor-trained son of Vaporize-Vivacious Victory more than doubled his career bankroll with the first place check of $14,580 while returning $13.40, $5.60 and $4.80.
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