Balmoral Park (10/14/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
STAKES-FILLED WEEKEND AT MAYWOOD AND BALMORAL
Some of Illinois' finest two and three-year-old pacers will be in action in what promises to be a very busy weekend of stakes action at both Maywood Park and Balmoral Park.
|Cotton Candy, winner of this year's Filly Maywood Pace, will lead a field of eight three-year-old pacing fillies postward in Thursday's $17,450 ISOBA Stake at Maywood Park.|
The action kicks off on Thursday, October 14 as a field of eight state-bred three-year-old pacing fillies meet in a $17,450 Illinois Standardardbred Owners & Breeders Asscociation Stake, which goes as race nine on Thursday’s 11-race program.
This test would appear to be showdown between the John Butenschoen-trained Fox Valley Oracle and a pair of Ervin Miller-trained fillies in Cotton Candy and Rolldownthehiway.
Fox Valley Oracle comes into the race as a bit of a question mark because of missing nearly a month after her second place finish in the $171,000 Grandma Ann on Super Night. The daughter of Sportsmaster has only one win in 15 starts this year but she has still added over $110,000 to her bankroll which now exceeds $307,000.
Cotton Candy was unraced during her two-year-old season but she has made up for lost time with a big three-year-old season which includes a victory in the Filly Maywood Pace here earlier in the year. The Ervin Miller-trained daughter of Sportsmaster has been on the board in 13 of 17 starts and has earned over $102,000 in her first season of action.
Rolldownthehiway just continues to be a money maker for her connections, hitting the board in 28 of 34 career starts while racking up $137,134 in earnings. The daughter of Cole Muffler has two victories this season but they have come in her last three starts, one of which was the Time Dancer Stake in DuQuoin where she took a new life mark of 1:51.1.
Sophomore pacing colts will highlight the action on Friday, Oct. 15 at Maywood Park as Power Of A Moment leads a field of eight state-breds to the gate for the ninth race, which is a $16,700 ISOBA Stake.
|Power Of A Moment shown here winning over the half-mile oval at Maywood Park in 2009. The reigning Illinois bred champion figures to be tough to stop in Friday's $16,700 ISOBA Stake at Maywood.|
The Cole Muffler gelding ships back to the local scene for this start after taking the $35,000 Circle City Stake at Indiana Downs in 1:53.4 in his most recent outing. At the top of the state-bred ranks in both of his first two seasons on the track, the Ervin Miller trainee has 17 wins, six seconds and four thirds in 29 lifetime starts with earnings of $408,651.
The action shifts to Balmoral Park on Saturday, Oct. 16 as two $23,180 divisions of the Sarah Myers Stake for two-year-old pacing colts share top billing. The two splits will go as the fifth and 11th races on the 14-race card, which gets underway at 7:10 pm (central).
In the opening split which goes as race five, the late blooming Fox Valley Griffin is the 3-1 morning line favorite in what appears to be a very wide open race. The John Butenschoen trained son of Sportsmaster has been first or second in six of his 10 career starts, including a victory in an Orange & Blue elimination here at Balmoral Park.
The second split features division leader He’s So Hot, who hails from the barn of Beecher, Illinois resident Roger Welch. The gelded son of Sportsmaster is fresh off a convincing score in the Cardinal Stake at Maywood Park and he comes into Saturday’s affair sporting a record of seven wins and one third in 10 starts with earnings of more than $108,000.
|Division leader He's So Hot will gun for his eighth win in 11 career starts when he goes postward in the second of two divisions of the Sarah Myers Stake on Saturday at Balmoral Park.|
The ladies will be in action on Sunday, October 17 with a total of 15 three-year-old pacing fillies contesting a pair of $22,265 Sarah Myers Stake splits, which have been carded as races nine and 11 on the program.
In the first division the match-up between the Ervin Miller-trained Mystical MJ and the Curtis Rice-owned and trained Little Miss Henry should be a good one.
Mystical MJ has been on the board in 10 of 11 lifetime starts while earning $80,552 in the process. The daughter of Sportsmaster captured a Directors Award Stake in DuQuoin this summer, taking her lifetime best of 1:54.1 in the process.
Although campaigned primarily on the fair circuit to start her career, Little Miss Henry has more than held her own on the big stage, winning a Violet Stake elimination two starts back before finishing a tough luck fourth in the final. The daughter of Henry Clay has been on the board in 17 of 19 lifetime starts and has banked nearly $40,000 in the process.
The second division figures to be a showdown once again between Filly Orange & Blue winner Fox Valley Touche and Violet Stake winner Pardon.
|Pardon is shown here edging out Fox Valley Touche in the Violet Stake Final last week at Maywood Park. The two will be back at it in Sunday's Sarah Myers Stake at Balmoral Park.|
Fox Valley Touche has really come on strong in the latter half of her freshman season, winning her Filly Orange & Blue elimination, the $218,000 final and her elimination for the Violet before falling a head short to Pardon in the $54,800 final. Sporting a record of five wins, two seconds and two thirds with earnings of $136,572, the Joel Smith-trained miss boasts a career mark of 1:53.0.
The Dirk Simpson-trained Pardon has been the division leader all season long with the only loss in her illustrious career coming in the Filly Orange & Blue on Super Night. The daughter of Richess Hanover is now 11 for 12 in her career with earnings of $159,916 and a mark of 1:52.3, which was taken in the State Fair Stake Final in Springfield.
Post time for the opener on Sunday is 6:30 pm (central).