Balmoral Park (11/8/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
FIELDS SET FOR AM NAT 2-YO STAKES
Elimination battles for next Saturday’s American National night were contested on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Balmoral Park for two-year-old colt pacers and two-year-old filly pacers.
With the top five finishers in a pair of $11,030 eliminations for the colts advancing to next week’s $128,000 final, Let It Ride Stables, Robert Cooper’s Stables and Angie Nessa’s Mystic Desire and Mack Racing Stables Mr. Bedrock each toted home victories while Obermeier & Quaid Stables' Little Maeve garnered top honors in the $12,700 filly elimination ($95,000 final) for one of Balmoral Park’s biggest nights of racing.
In the first of the two colt match-ups, Mystic Desire turned a perfect ground-saving trip into an easy four-length victory in 1:53.2 for driver Del Chupp.
Sitting right on the back of the pace-setting Four Starzzzz Z (Travis Seekman), the Shawn Nessa-trained son of Real Desire-Cannes Festival came flying through the passing lane to pick up his seventh victory in 11 career starts. Tink And Tiger (Todd Warren) finished second despite a tough journey, while Sharp West Hanover (Mike Oosting) rallied to finish third.
The win helped push the Bluegrass, Elevation and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner’s bankroll to more than $212,000.
In the second division the Robert Taylor-trained and driven Mr. Bedrock left no doubt as to who was the best on this night, as he stormed to the front from post position seven and made every call a winning one in 1:54.4.
Hustled away from the gate, the Orange Blue runner-up was able to get away with easy splits of 29.0, 57.4 and 1:27.0 while facing very little opposition from his six rivals.
The son of Richess Hanover-Lake Hills Leota then uncorked a 27.4 final split as he cruised under the wire with a 1 ¼ length verdict. He’s So Hot (Dale Hiteman) finished second while Playin For Keeps (Mike Oosting) saw his three-race winning streak come to an end with a third place finish.
With the victory Mr. Bedrock now boasts a record of 6-3-0 in 13 lifetime starts with earnings of more than $113,000.
In the filly elimination the top seven finishers had the chance to move on to the $95,000 finale where they will join Pardon, Fox Valley Touche and Mystical MJ next Saturday.
Taking advantage of a perfect inside trip and then finding room in the passing lane, the Roger Welch-trained Little Maeve pulled off the mild upset at odds of 7-1 as she charged up the inside to win by a half-length in 1:54.4.
Patiently handled by a red-hot Del Chupp, the daughter of Ideal Towne-R N Labelle appeared to be in a bad spot until Weekend Update (John De Long) inexplicably pulled while sitting right behind the pace-setting favorite Eastern Star (Marcus Miller) going to the half-mile mark.
When that filly failed miserably in her bid to get to the front, Chupp found himself in the garden spot as the field turned for the money. Unleashing a nice closing kick, Little Maeve was able to wear down the pace-setting Eastern Star for her fifth victory in 17 starts this season. Eastern Star held on for second while Slickety Split (Pat Curtin) overcame a troubled trip to rally for the show dough.
With Saturday’s triumph Little Maeve will take a record of 5-2-5 in 17 starts with earnings of more than $45,000 into Saturday’s final.
On American National Night (Sat. Nov. 13) there will be six big finals on tap for two-year-olds, three-year-olds and older pacers and trotters. More than $900,000 in purse money will be up for grabs as some of North America’s top pacers and trotters visit the Crete oval for what is sure to be an exciting night of racing action from start to finish.