Balmoral Park (7/5/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
STATE BRED STAKES HIGHLIGHT A BUSY WEEKEND
A bevy of state-bred stakes action provided plenty of fireworks at both Maywood and Balmoral Park over the Independence Day weekend.
|Fox Valley Libero and driver Mike Oosting cruised to an easy win in a division of the Enzo The Baker Stake on Friday night at Maywood Park.|
The action kicked off on Friday, July 2 at Maywood with a full field of eight state-bred pacers slugging it out in the $30,000 Cook County Stake. When the smoke cleared from this one, James Gorman’s Well To Do Guru (Casey Leonard) benefited from a disqualification of heavily favored Thisbigdogwilfight (John De Long) to take home top honors in 1:53.0.
Uncorking his patented closing burst, the six-year-old son of Richess Hanover rallied from seventh at the top of the stretch to finish second just a half-length behind Thisbigdogwilfight. However, the judges ruled that the latter had raced inside of pylons in the first turn thus causing the move from first back to second. Sports Fanatic (Art Gregory Jr.) finished third in the mile.
Freshman pacing colts were also in action on Friday night at Maywood as a pair of $7,000 Enzo The Baker Stake splits attracted a total of 12 youngsters.
In the first division, the Nelson Willis-trained Fox Valley Libero made it two straight victories as he cruised to an easy 3 ¼ length win in 1:58.1 for driver Mike Oosting.
Whisked right to the front from post position five, the gelded son of Incredible Finale-Lady Jeeves cruised through splits of 29.3, 1:01.0 and 1:30.2 before finishing things off with a quick 27.4 final quarter. Filled With Wonder (Todd Warren), another Willis trainee, turned a pocket sitting trip into a second place check while Fox Valley Renoir (Marcus Miller) was third.
In the second division, the Michael Cox trained and driven TJ’s Rocky pulled off the upset as he rallied in the final strides to nip 1-5 favorite Little Pauli (Art Gregory Jr.) by a neck in 1:56.4.
Despite making his career debut, the son of Park Place-Duo Gingersnap looked like a seasoned veteran as he patiently sat in the pocket while Little Pauli put up splits of 28.1, 58.3 and 1:28.3. After securing racing room in the lane, TJ’s Rocky then rallied sharply to make his debut a winning one. Little Pauli was a game second while AJ’s Get’s The Money (Marcus Miller) was third.
The action shifted over to Balmoral Park on Saturday, July 3, as some of the state’s top three-year-old pacing colts met in a pair of $11,550 Illinois Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association Stake splits.
In the first division, Maywood Pace winner Southern Sport continued his mid-season roll, making it look very easy in a three-length victory. The final time of 1:51.3 was a career best.
Hustled right to the top from post position six by driver Casey Leonard, the son of Sportsmaster-Dixie Girl was under no pressure as he put up splits of 28.0, 55.3 and 1:23.4. After putting away a brief challenge from Apache Renegade in the stretch, the Kristopher Reynolds trainee then paced away from his rivals to notch his third win in 12 starts this season. Fox Valley Escort (Dale Hiteman) rallied late to finish second while Ucallthatanexcuse (John De Long), a 67-1 outsider, finished third.
The second division provided quite a surprise as Fox Valley Emelio and driver Todd Warren hooked up to pull off the upset, winning at odds of 32-1, in a career best of 1:52.3.
|Fox Valley Emelio teamed up with Todd Warren to pull off a 32-1 shocker in the second of two ISOBA Stake divisions for three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday night at Balmoral Park.|
Fresh off a victory in NW of 1, the Paul Stafford-trained son of Sportsmaster-Fox Valley Amelia took advantage of a perfect pocket sitting ride from his pilot as Indescribable (Dale Hiteman) took the field through splits of 28.1, 57.0 and 1:25.2. Popping out of the pocket with a sixteenth of a mile to go, Fox Valley Emelio then blew by the pace setter with a 27.0 final quarter to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Power Of A Moment (Marcus Miller), the 1-9 favorite in the race, wound up trapped inside for most of the mile before rallying late to finish third.
The action wrapped up on Sunday, July 4, with a pair of $12,175 ISOBA splits for three-year-old pacing fillies getting top billing.
In the first division the Kathy Millman trained Rev Me Up returned to her winning ways for driver Mike Oosting as she made every call a winning one in a career best of 1:52.1.
Despite getting parked through a tough opening quarter in 27.4 the daughter of Park Place-Turbonium continued her march to the front, tearing off middle fractions of 55.3 and 1:23.4. Still looking just as fresh as when she hit the track, Rev Me Up quickly opened up an insurmountable advantage in the lane before putting it on cruise control as she rolled under the wire with her seventh win in 17 starts this year. Rolldownthehiway (Marcus Miller) was second while Mystical Victress (Casey Leonard) finished a late charging third.
In the nightcap, Filly Maywood Pace winner Cotton Candy made it four straight wins on the local scene as she rolled to a 1 ¼ length victory in a lifetime best of 1:52.3.
|Cotton Candy won for the fifth time in just eight career starts and she knocked off seven rivals in the second of two ISOBA Stake divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday night at Balmoral Park.|
Shrugging off the outside starting spot in the field of eight, driver Dave Magee expertly positioned his filly in fourth as Fox Valley Dazzle led the field through an opening quarter in 27.1.
Magee quickly sent his charge to the top as the field moved down the backside, and the daughter of Sportsmaster-Juxtaposition rolled up to take command of the proceedings as she effortlessly cruised through middle splits of 56.0 and 1:24.3.
After turning aside a bid from stablemate She’s Stella at the top of the stretch, the Erv Miller-trained miss was never seriously threatened in the late going as she posted her fifth win in nine starts this season. Fox Valley Oracle (Casey Leonard) finished second while Reilly’s Daughter (Dale Hiteman) was third.