Balmoral Park (5/23/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
FOX VALLEY ORACLE CAPTURES VIOLET STAKE FINAL
The first big money event of the year for the state-bred set was up for grabs on Sunday night and once again Fox Valley Oracle seized the moment as she reported home with a determined neck verdict in a career best of 1:53.0 to win the $51,800 Violet Stake Final for three-year-old pacing fillies.
|Driver Dean Magee guided Fox Valley Oracle to victory in the $51,800 Violet Stake final for three-year-old pacing fillies in 1:53.0.|
Despite being saddled with post position nine, driver Dean Magee was able to leave quickly and wound up finding a good early spot in fifth as Rolldownthehiway (Marcus Miller) led the field through an opening quarter in 28.2.
“Anytime you leave out of there from a post like that you always hope that you can find a spot, especially for a horse like her who likes to chase horses,” explained Magee.
After watching both Cotton Candy (Dave Magee) and Rev Me Up (Mike Oosting) zip to the front, Fox Valley Oracle was left to rough it first over as Rev Me Up took the field by the half-mile mark in 56.2.
Continuing a slow and steady to grind towards the top, Fox Valley Oracle was just 1 ½ length off the lead of Rev Me Up as the field raced by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.0.
“We had been out a long way but I wasn’t too worried about it,” Magee joked. “I know how tough she is and she really seems to thrive out there when she’s first over which makes it easier on me.”
Gobbling up the pace setter with an eighth of a mile to go, Magee and Fox Valley Oracle then had to brace for the challenge of a fast-closing Fox Valley Dazzle (Todd Warren) who was roaring up on the outside.
Gamely digging in, the John Butenschoen trainee fought off the challenge of Fox Valley Dazzle to record her fifth win in 17 lifetime starts. Fox Valley Dazzle was second while entrymate Rolldownthehiway came on again to finish third.
In the winner’s circle Magee was all smiles as he talked about his filly’s gritty performance.
“She really likes to chase horses but once she clears she has a habit of waiting on them before she turns it on again,” said Magee. “She blew by the leader and I knew she wasn’t done but as always she waited until Todd’s horse came up alongside of her before she dug in and took off again.”
A Violet Stake champion during her two-year-old season Fox Valley Oracle, who was a recent purchase for the ownership group of Larry Baron, Eugene Schick and Jean Goehlen, now boasts career earnings of $226,202.
Illinois conceived and foaled trotting fillies were also in action Sunday night as a field of nine diagonally gaited sophomores vied for spots in next week’s $44,000 Violet Stake Final. The top eight finishers on Sunday night will join Fox Valley Click and Merry High who received byes into the final on a money-earned basis.
|St. Louis Holiday and driver Dean Magee teamed up to take the Violet Stake elimination for three-year-old trotting fillies early in the night.|
Despite having a 1-25 win record over the past two seasons, St. Louis Holiday managed to get a neck in front at the finish line as she edged out Claires Rose (Homer Hochstetler) in a career best of 1:58.2.
Nicely handled by driver Dean Magee, the daughter of Vaporize-Never Ms Still sat in the garden spot the entire way as Claires Rose cruised through splits of 28.3, 57.3 and 1:27.3.
Popping out of the pocket with an eighth of a mile to go, the Trenton Watson trainee gamely wore down the pacesetter in the closing yards to record her first victory of the season. Claires Rose was a hard trying second while KF’s Pictureperfect (Leroy Miller) rallied for third.
Also gaining spots in the final were Powerful Bella, Fox Valley Sienna, Miss Brody, Tropicana Key and Awesome Dream.