Balmoral Park (6/13/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
STATE-BREDS SHINE IN SUNDAY STAKES
A pair of Illinois conceived and foaled events for both pacers and trotters put state breds in the spotlight on Sunday night at Balmoral Park. In the $5,000 Bingo Johnnie Stake for two-year-old pacing colts, the Robert Phillips owned and trained Alís Hammered made it two wins in as many tries as he cruised to a 1 Ĺ length victory in 1:59.0 for Marcus Miller. In the nightcap Kyle Husted pulled off the upset with Ron Marino and David Hermanís 9-1 shot Fox Valley Ruffian as they trotted to an easy three-length score in 1:59.0 to take the $9,000 Fox Valley Diva Stake for three-year-old trotting fillies.
|Marcus Miller drew closer to career victory 1,000 as he guided Al's Hammered to victory in Sunday's $5,000 Bingo Johnnie Stake.|
Fresh off a win in the Jimmy Sunshine Stake in his career debut, Alís Hammered, a son of Droppiníthehammer-Alberts Magic, once again showed the patience of an experienced veteran as he bided his time near the back of the pack as Sportscar George (Dale Hiteman) cruised through splits of 30.1, 1:00.3 and 1:31.0.
Moving into a live outer flow, a second-over Miller tipped Alís Hammered wide for the drive and the big brown colt motored home in 27.1 to keep his record perfect. Fox Valley Cadbury (Ridge Warren) turned a pocket-sitting trip into a second place check while Ice Scraper (Brian Carpenter) rallied to finish third.
Despite a big second place finish in the $42,600 Violet Stake, the Randy Tuftie-trained Fox Valley Ruffian was overlooked in the wagering for the Fox Valley Diva Stake and she made her doubters pay as she overcame a tough first-over trip to score for the first time in her 17 race career.
|Kyle Husted and Fox Valley Ruffian pulled off the upset at odds of 9-1 in Sunday's Fox Valley Diva Stake for three-year-old trotting fillies.|
After getting away in sixth through the opening quarter in 30.1, driver Kyle Husted decided he had seen enough of the slow fractions and sent Fox Valley Ruffian on her way as the field raced down the backstretch.
Losing the cover of My Funky Farkle (Dale Hiteman), who quickly charged from fifth to first during that time, a now first-over Fox Valley Ruffian continued to grind her way towards the front as My Funky Farkle led through middle splits of 1:00.4 and 1:30.1.
After drawing to within a head of the leader at the top of the stretch, the daughter of Vaporize-Reina Bella then uncorked a big 28.4 final quarter to stop the clock in 1:59.0 as she drew away from her seven rivals. Powerful Connection (Brian Carpenter), the 3-2 favorite in the race, rallied to finish second while My Funky Farkle held on for third.
Despite being winless heading into the race, Fox Valley Ruffian had earned more than $60,000 and with Sunday nightís victory her career bankroll now stands at $64,593 for her happy connections.
For more information visit www.balmoralpark.com or call (708) 672-1414.
About Balmoral Park: Located in Crete, IL just 12 miles south of 80/94; Balmoral Park has been one of the nation's premier horse racing facilities since 1926. Balmoral Park features live racing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking is always free.