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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (4/21/11)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Powerfulconnection and driver Brian Carpenter teamed up to win Wednesday night's $9,000 Trotting Tilly Stake at Balmoral Park.
Illinois conceived and foaled trotters were back in the spotlight on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a field of seven diagonally gaited sophomores squared off in the $9,000 Trotting Tilly Stake for three-year-old fillies.

Picking up right where she left off in her sophomore debut, Dixie Sue Graham and Steve Poore’s Powerfulconnection notched her second straight victory to open her 2011 campaign as she cruised to an easy 1 ½ length triumph in a career best of 2:00.1.

Reserved in the early going as Friendwithbenefits (Robert Smolin) trotted out to an early advantage through splits of 30.4 and 1:01.3, driver Brian Carpenter had the daughter of Powerful Emotion-Alpine Queen in fourth before moving up first over as the field neared the half-mile mark.

Trotting like a freight train, the Gerald Hansen-trained miss blew right by her rivals on the far turn, quickly opening up a 1 ¼ length advantage as she hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:31.0.

The issue was never in doubt from there as Powerfulconnection proceeded to open up a five-length advantage before being put on idle for the final eighth of a mile by her pilot. Bonnie’s Star (Mike Brink) unleashed a nice 28.2 final quarter to rally for the place money while Fox Valley Ruffian (Dean Magee) wound up a distant third, 7 ¼ lengths behind the winner.

After posting four wins in 13 starts last year while campaigning mainly on the fair circuit, Powerfulconnection has looked like a different horse this year, opening her second season with a pair of powerful wins on the pari-mutuel scene.

With four of the seven starters sent off between 2-1 and 3-1 in this evenly matched event, Powerfulconnection returned $7.80, $3.80 and $3.00 to her backers.

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