Balmoral Park (8/4/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
TROTTERS STAR IN WEDNESDAY STAKES
A pair of state-bred trotting stakes for two-year-olds shared top billing on Wednesday’s Balmoral Park program and once again it was trainer Robert Taylor’s My Miss Caroline who continued to dominate the filly ranks as she captured the $49,500 Fox Valley Flan Stake, while the Pam Coleman-trained Powerful Charger proved victorious in the $46,000 Plesac Stake for colts and geldings.
|My Miss Caroline is now a perfect three for three in her career after capturing Wednesday's $49,500 Fox Valley Flan Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies.|
Coming off eye catching back-to-back victories in her first two career starts, La Bella Vita Stables, Kevin Dixon and Robert Taylor’s My Miss Caroline kept her perfect record intact, leaving no doubt as to who was the best in this group as the 1-9 favorite cruised to an easy 5 ¾ length victory in 1:59.0.
Hustled away from post position four by driver Dave Magee, the daughter of Psychic Spirit-Miss Clara T neatly tucked in right behind Bonnie’s Star (Del Chupp) as she led a gapped-out field through early splits of 30.3 and 1:00.1.
“I was hoping that Del’s horse would stay trotting because I figured she had the speed to lead us out of there and things worked out perfectly,” explained Magee. “My filly has a great deal of speed but she can also relax and sit in the pocket which she showed tonight.”
Not wanting to get locked in with the heavy favorite, Magee was taking no chances as he pulled from the pocket midway around the final turn. My Miss Caroline then proceeded to quickly swallow up the pace setter, opening up a one-length advantage over Bonnie’s Star as she trotted by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:30.0.
On cruise control the rest of the way the long-striding filly uncorked a 28.4 final quarter, leaving the rest of the field in her wake as she reported home with her third straight open-lengths victory. Fox Valley Helena (JD Lewis), who also hails from Taylor’s barn, rallied to finish second while Search For Reality (Mike Oosting) was third. Taylor’s Fox Valley Mesa picked up the fourth place check in the race as well, giving the conditioner a 1-2-4 finish with his three entrants.
When asked if the victory was as easy as it looked, Magee had nothing but praise for My Miss Caroline.
“I never even popped the plugs on her tonight,” he said. “She’s not a real big filly but she covers a lot of ground and she does it very easily and very smoothly. She definitely finished up the mile with a lot more left.”
After yet another impressive score Taylor was beaming with joy in the winner’s circle.
“She’s just been perfect for us since we started with her,” he said. “She missed her first start because of a little filling in a tendon but that was a better safe than sorry kind of thing because the track was off that night. We always joke that she gets that good early speed because her mother was a pacing-bred trotter but it’s probably the truth.”
If all goes well My Miss Caroline will be headed to Springfield and DuQuoin before returning to Balmoral for the Lady Lincoln Land, the Hanover and the American National Stakes.
The finish of the Plesac was much tighter but after a thrilling stretch duel it was Jerry Graham, Pamela Coleman and Mystical Marker Farms' Powerful Charger who emerged with the victory, as he prevailed by a 1 ½ lengths in a career best of 1:57.3 for driver Todd Warren.
|Powerful Charger picked up his third win in five career starts, taking the $48,000 Plesac Stake in a career best of 1:57.3 for driver Todd Warren.|
Getting away in fourth as entry mate Powerful Position (Brian Carpenter) led the field through the opening quarter in 29.0, Warren had Powerful Charger perfectly placed right on the back of favored Detailer (Dave Magee).
Heading down the backside Magee sent his charge to the front, but Warren was still well placed as Detailer took the field by the half-mile-mark in 58.2.
“I still liked the position I had with my colt at that point,” said Warren. “I knew there was nothing that strong behind us so I wasn’t in that big of a hurry to get going and it also helped when Brian made it a little tough on Detailer when he tried to get to the front.”
Moving into the far turn Warren floated his charge to the outside from fourth, flushing out live cover from Hammer Head (Marcus Miller). Quickly moving into striking range Powerful Charger was perfectly positioned while second over, just 3 ½ lengths behind Detailer, as the youngsters sailed by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.0.
Moving three wide for the stretch drive, Powerful Charger began to reel in Detailer. With still two lengths to make up and an eighth of a mile to go, the son of Powerful Emotion-Fox Valley Poetry seemed to find another gear rallying in the closing yards for his third win in five career starts. Detailer was a game second while Powerful Position finished third.
After the victory Warren seemed quite pleased with the effort his charge had turned in.
“He hesitated for just a bit when I tipped him off Marcus’s cover at the head of the lane,” explained Warren. “But once he got himself in gear about halfway down the lane he really started to dig in and give me his best. Other than the fact that he shies from some things he really kind of carries himself like an older horse and he’ll let you drive him however you need to.”