Balmoral Park (6/20/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
BUSY WEEKEND IN THE BOOKS AT BALMORAL
With the Illinois conceived and foaled stakes season in full swing, Balmoral Park played host to a pair of state-bred stakes events on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19.
|Fort Silky and driver Marcus Miller captured Saturday's $30,000 Broadway Preview Stake in 1:51.1.|
The top older pacers in the state assembled on Saturday night as a classy field of nine were sent postward in the $30,000 Broadway Preview Stake.
In a heated battle from start to finish it was John Prentice and Neva Jane Grevengoed’s Fort Silky who emerged with a hard-fought neck victory in a brisk 1:51.1 for the red-hot Marcus Miller who notched his 1,000th career victory just a night earlier at Maywood Park.
Getting away seventh from post position five, the gelded son of Ft. Apache Hanover was moved into the outer flow as Special Joe (John Roberts) and My Boy Luke (Robert Smolin) battled through an opening quarter in 26.4.
Continuing a steady advance while picking up live cover from 3-5 favorite Well To Do Guru (Casey Leonard), Fort Silky was in perfect striking position as Lets Getit Started (Jamaica Patton) grabbed control with the field moving by the half-mile mark in 54.1.
Continuing to creep closer around the final bend, Fort Silky was just 2 ¼ lengths behind the pace setting Lets Getit Started who was battling Well To Do Guru tooth and nail as the pacers charged by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:22.2.
With just five lengths separating the top seven pacers as the field turned for home, Well To Do Guru eventually wore down Lets Getit Started with the field moving by the eighth pole. The tough first over trip was starting to take a toll on the favorite though as a fit and fresh Fort Silky took dead aim on Well To Do Guru. A hard-charging Voomerang (John De Long) was also gaining ground quickly on the outside of horses while a locked in Fox Valley Yukon (Dale Hiteman) desperately searched for room from just behind the embattled leaders.
Continuing a methodical march to the wire, Fort Silky eventually managed to put a neck in front in the final strides, holding off the late charge of Fox Valley Yukon who finally secured racing room on the inside of horses. Voomerang finished third in the blanket finish with only 5 ½ lengths separating the top eight finishers in the race.
The win was the fifth of the season for Fort Silky, who has been a model of consistency with 11 on the board finishes in 14 starts while battling the top pacers in the Chicagoland area. The John Prentice-trained five-year-old who returned $19.20, $7.80 and $6.00 now sports career earnings of $165,716 after Saturday’s victory.
The youngsters were back in action on Sunday night with a total of 14 two-year-old colt and gelding pacers squaring off in a pair of $7,000 Wicked Brew Stake splits.
|Miller was back in the winner's circle on Sunday night as he guided first time starter Crime Of Passion up the inside to win the first division of the Wicked Brew Stake in 1:55.2.|
In the first division Ervin Miller Stables, O.J. Miller and Leland Mathias’s Crime Of Passion snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he rallied from 15 lengths back at the opening quarter to win by a neck in 1:55.2.
Reserved early on in his debut by Marcus Miller, the roan son of Armbro Mackintosh-Broadway Passion sat on the pylons throughout as Scherzo (Ronnie Gillespie) rolled through splits of 28.0, 57.4 and 1:27.3.
Still some nine lengths off the pace setter as the field turned for home, Miller maneuvered the 1-2 favorite through traffic and came charging up the passing lane to get up in the final strides thanks in part to a wicked 26.0 final quarter. Scherzo held on for second while Ice Scraper was third.
In the second division Gillespie gained a measure of revenge as he piloted Ronald Phillips and John Carver’s Peachy’s Pistol to a 1 ¾ length triumph over Miller and the previously unbeaten Al’s Hammered in 1:56.1.
|Ronnie Gillespie and Peachy's Pistol made every call a winning one in the second division of Sunday's Wicked Brew Stake for two-year-old pacing colts.|
Coming off two straight fair victories, the gelded son of Incredible Finale-Peachy Revrac was sent right to the front by Gillespie where he proceeded to rattle off splits of 29.4, 1:01.1 and 1:29.1 before sealing the deal with a 27.0 final quarter to remain undefeated in three starts. Al’s Hammered sat on the winner’s back the entire way but could not gain on him when it counted most and was forced to settle for second while Fox Valley Rainier (Kyle Wilfong) finished a distant third, 11 lengths behind the winner.
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.