Balmoral Park (5/16/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
WELCH TRAINEES TAKE VIOLET ELIMINATIONS
Veteran conditioner Roger Welch has reason to be optimistic as the first major test of the Illinois-bred stake season draws closer after a pair of sophomore pacing fillies who hail from his barn captured both of Sunday’s $7,000 Violet Stake eliminations. The top five finishers in each division will return on Sunday, May 23 to slug it out for a purse of $51,800.
|Mike Oosting and Ellamakailey used the passing lane to perfection to capture the first of two Violet Stake eliminations for three-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday night at Balmoral Park.|
In Sunday’s first elimination, his Park Place-Town Looker filly Ellamakailey took advantage of a perfect steer from driver Mike Oosting as she rallied through the passing lane to win by a length in a career best of 1:53.1.
Content to sit right on the back of the favored Cotton Candy (Dave Magee) as that filly wheeled through splits of 28.4, 57.4 and 1:26.1, Oosting had Ellamakailey perfectly positioned for a spirited stretch drive.
With Magee all out to try and hold off the first over bid of last year’s champion Fox Valley Oracle (Dean Magee), these three hooked up in a thrilling stretch duel with Oosting’s filly finally getting the best of things thanks to a 26.4 final split. Fox Valley Oracle was second while Cotton Candy had to settle for third. Also gaining spots in the final were Rolldownthehiway (Marcus Miller) and Makena Cat (Dale Hiteman).
The win was the second in three starts this season for Ellamakailey, who “flew under the radar” last season hitting the board in 12 of 16 starts while earning almost $30,000 for owner Steven Leita.
In the second division driver Dale Hiteman did a masterful job of “stealing” some soft early fractions, which allowed Reilly’s Daughter to come home with plenty left in the tank giving Welch a sweep of the Violet eliminations.
|Dale Hiteman teamed up with Reilly's Daughter to make every call a winning one in a career best of 1:53.3 while taking the second Violet Stake elimination.|
Using the inside post to perfection, Hiteman had the daughter of Sportsmaster-Independence Ball under wraps as they strolled through splits of 29.0, 58.0 and 1:26.1.
Seeming to find another gear midway around the final turn, Reilly’s Daughter quickly opened up a three-length advantage on her rivals before coasting under the wire with a 1 ¼ length victory in a career best of 1:53.3. Rev Me Up (Mike Oosting), who endured a tough and troubled first over trip, was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role as the 2-5 favorite while Fox Valley Dazzle (Dave Magee) shook loose late to rally for third. Also advancing to the final will be Leanmean Normanjean (Robert Smolin) and Kennans Nancy Lee (Casey Leonard) who were 58-1 and 79-1 respectively.
After a very light two-year-old season for the partnership of the Obermeier and Quaid Stables, Reilly’s Daughter has racked up five wins in 11 starts this season including a victory in the Direct Balance Stake here at Balmoral Park.