Balmoral Park (9/16/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Power of a Moment and Iam Bonasera Renew Rivalry in Langley Memorial
One of the most thrilling finishes of the 2009 Super Night program occurred in the final race of the night as a pair of Ervin Miller-trained youngsters, Power Of A Moment and Iam Bonasera, battled tooth and nail through the stretch with the former finally prevailing by a half-length in the Orange & Blue Stake. If all goes as expected fans should be in for another fight to the finish between these two talented pacers, as they lead a field of 10 postward in the $173,000 Pete Langley Memorial Championship.
|Iam Bonasera and driver Dave Magee teamed up to win a Pete Langley Memorial Stake elimination in 1:50.|
"That was the biggest thrill of my racing career," said winning driver Marcus Miller when asked about last year's battle. "At the head of the stretch I was pretty sure I had "Bonasera" beat but then he came back on me and I started to get pretty nervous. Just before the finish line though my horse showed the kind of heart he has and he started taking these big long strides and that got us there. It was just awesome!"
Power Of A Moment would go on to wind up his two-year-old season with an eye-catching record of 12 wins and three seconds in 15 starts and earnings of $291,600 for Leland Mathias, Bert Hochsprung and the Ervin Miller Stable. Iam Bonasera finished up his first season with five victories and two seconds in nine starts while earning $99,958 for owners John Carver, Jack and Peggy Hood and the Mystical Marker Farms.
While both of these geldings have ventured outside of the Prairie State to face some of the best sophomores in the country this season, they have also continued their rivalry in several state-bred stakes as well. In the Incredible Finale on July 31 Iam Bonasera finished second while Power Of A Moment was right behind him in third. A few weeks later the two would meet in the State Fair Stake Final in Springfield and this time it was Power Of A Moment who prevailed in 1:50.4 with Iam Bonasera finishing third after encountering traffic problems throughout much of the race. Just two weeks later they would butt heads again with Iam Bonasera taking the Dudley Hanover Stake by a half-length over Power Of A Moment in a wicked 1:49.4 clocking. Both geldings would then go on to win their respective eliminations of the Langley, setting up tonight's much awaited showdown.
Coming into the year trainer Erv Miller thought that Iam Bonasera would have the edge on his stablemate despite Power Of A Moment receiving all the accolades last year.
"Iam Bonasera is a much bigger horse than Power Of A Moment and I just thought that he would probably benefit from the time off to mature a little more," said Miller. "While that's probably been the case, Power Of A Moment has continued to show how talented and determined he is. Either one of them is capable of beating the other on any given day which makes my job pretty enjoyable when it comes to these two."
Saturday’s Super Night card will have a special post time of 7:00 pm. Tickets are available for Illinois’ biggest night of racing by calling (708) 672-1414 or by visiting www.balmoralpark.com.