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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (10/18/10)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Pardon continued her winning ways as she struck for the 12th time in 13 lifetime starts by taking a division of Sunday's Sarah Myers for two-year-old pacing fillies.
Richard Balog’s Pardon remained at the top of the two-year-old filly pacing division here in the Prairie State while James and Teri Blackman’s Elisa’s Model picked a nice time to snag the biggest win of her first season as both fillies came out on top in a pair of exciting $22,265 Sarah Myers Stake splits on Sunday night at Balmoral Park.

Coming into Sunday’s Sarah Myers with victories in 11 of her first 12 starts, the Dirk Simpson-trained Pardon once again gained a measure of revenge on the only filly to beat her this season as she prevailed by a half-length over Fox Valley Touche in 1:54.1.

Using the tactics that have nailed down so many wins for her this season, driver Dave Magee was unhurried through the opening quarter while Fox Valley Touche (Dale Hiteman) battled Nina Coleada (Todd Warren) through that opening split in 28.4.

Storming from fourth to first on the backside, the daughter of Richess Hanover-Rose Dawson then proceeded to click off fractions of 57.4 and 1:26.3 for Magee.

Looking strong through the lane, last week’s Violet Stake winner then rattled home in 27.3 while keeping the pocket-sitting Fox Valley Touche at bay as these two good-looking fillies kept their developing rivalry in check. Nina Coleada was third, two lengths behind the winner.

With the win Pardon, who was the 1-5 favorite in the wagering, now has 12 wins and one second in 13 starts with earnings of just over $171,000.

In the second split, driver Mike Oosting managed to find room along the inside in the late stages as he coaxed Elisa’s Model to a nose decision over heavily favored Mystical MJ in 1:54.1.

Saving ground throughout the mile while sitting third, Oosting managed to scoot up the inside after Mystical MJ (Marcus Miller) had circled a tiring Little Miss Henry (Casey Leonard) and Bigdreamsnhihopes (Sam Widger) after watching those two battle through splits of 28.4, 57.0 and 1:25.4.

Looking like a winner with a sixteenth of a mile to go, the 1-2 favored Mystical MJ never saw the hard-charging Elisa’s Model until it was too late as the Shawn Nessa-trained daughter of Park Place-Graceful Model scooted through along the inside of horses to nail the victory in the final strides. Little Miss Henry held on for third.

The victory was the fourth in 16 starts for Elisa’s Model, who has been as consistent as they come all season long with on the board finishes in 14 of her 16 trips to the gate and more than $31,000 in earnings.

Playin For Keeps
Playin For Keeps scored in impressive fashion for Mike Oosting in a division of Saturday's Sarah Myers for two-year-old pacing colts.
In Sarah Myers Stake action from Saturday, Oct. 16, Stretch It Over Stable's Fox Valley Griffin and Mark and Stephanie Winship and Amy Giberson’s Playin For Keeps both toted home victories in a pair of $23,180 splits for two-year-old pacing colts.

Playin For Keeps was particularly impressive in his victory, as he stormed by rivals at the top of the stretch for driver Mike Oosting and then held on gamely to fend off the fast-closing He’s So Hot (Dale Hiteman) by three-quarters of a length in a brisk 1:53.0.

Despite being off for three weeks since his victory in the Elevation at Indiana Downs, the Nick Giberson-trained son of Cole Muffler-Panfastic was sharp enough to earn his fourth win in 12 starts during his first season. Playin For Keeps has also been on the board in all 12 lifetime starts and Saturday’s earnings helped push his bankroll over the $120,000 mark.

In the second division a confidently driven Fox Valley Griffin came storming first over for driver Marcus Miller on the far turn, before unleashing a 27.3 final quarter to win by 1 ¼ lengths over Filled With Wonder (Todd Warren) in 1:55.0. Longshot NJ’s Pistol Trick (Mike Cox) finished third.

The victory was the fourth in 11 trips postward for the John Butenschoen-trained son of Sportsmaster-Fox Valley Gale, who boasts a record of four wins and three thirds now with career earnings of nearly $40,000.

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