Balmoral Park (6/26/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
MY MISS CAROLINE STARS AGAIN IN ELK GROVE OTB STAKE
It was another busy weekend of Illinois conceived and foaled stakes action at Balmoral Park and shining brightest of all was La Bella Vita Stables, Robert Taylor and Kevin Dixon’s prize trotting filly, My Miss Caroline, who won for the 14th time in 15 career starts as she easily knocked off six other diagonally gaited three-year-olds in Sunday night’s $9,000 Elk Grove OTB Stake. The final time was 1:58.2.
|My Miss Caroline and driver-trainer Robert Taylor toyed with six other ICF three-year-old trotting fillies as she posted her 14th win in 15 career starts while taking Sunday's $9,000 Niles OTB Stake.|
Driven as if defeat was out of the question by conditioner Robert Taylor, the daughter of Psychic Spirit-Miss Clara T zipped right to the top from post position two. Cruising along effortlessly through splits of 29.3, 59.1 and 1:28.2, the bay filly faced her only challenge midway around the final bend as a first over Powerful Connection (Brian Carpenter) came calling.
Easily putting away that challenge as the field turned for home, this season's Violet Stake winner proceeded to step away from the rest of the field in the lane despite drifting wide through the final sixteenth of a mile. Fox Valley Ruffian (Kyle Husted), who made a break behind the gate and was bothered by a breaking horse in the early stages of the race, managed to overcome all those troubles to finish a fast closing second while Bonnie’s Star (Mike Brink) rallied from far back to finish third.
Shaking off a month layoff, My Miss Caroline pushed her career bankroll up to $203,375 while returning just $2.40, $2.20 and $2.10.
The Balmoral crowd received their first look at this season’s two-year-old colt trotting crop as well on Sunday night as a field of nine youngsters gathered for the $5,000 Million Dollar Bye Stake.
|Monticello Lane and driver Brian Carpenter staged a furious rally to win the $5,000 Million Dollar Bye Stake in the colts debut on Sunday night.|
Despite getting away to a slow start from post position two, Douglas Ricollo’s Monticello Lane rallied from seventh at the top of the stretch to win by a length for driver Brian Carpenter and trainer Robert Taylor, who has emerged as one of the top colt trainers in the state over the past few seasons. The pair tripped the timer in 2:02.4.
Content to bide his time near the back of the pack as Pier Pressure (Kenny Collier) trotted through splits of 30.4, 1:01.4 and 1:33.2, Carpenter moved the gelded son of Northern Kid-Blizzard Lane three deep as the field turned for home.
Gobbling up ground like a seasoned veteran, Monticello Lane and Carpenter proceeded to uncork a 28.0 final quarter to make his career debut a winning one. Victor B (Marcus Miller) shook loose late in the late going to rally for the place money while Pier Pressure held on for third.
Monticello Lane returned a healthy $31.00, $9.60 and $7.00 despite hailing from the barn of Illinois’ newest trotting guru.
A very classy field of 10 state-bred distaffers headlined the Saturday, June 25 program as they took to the track for the $20,000 Sue Fee Stake.
|Mystical Victress teamed up with the red-hot Marcus Miller to win Saturday's $20,000 Sue Fee Stake at Balmoral.|
With a total of more than $2 million in career earnings between the 10 starters, this test figured to be an exciting battle from start to finish and it proved to be just that as Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood’s Mystical Victress shrugged off a grueling first over trip to win by 1 ¼ lengths in a snappy 1:52.0 for the red-hot Marcus Miller.
Coming off a very suggestive third place finish from a tough post in a conditioned event here at Balmoral Park, the four-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster was able to find a good early spot in fourth after leaving from post position seven.
After watching Odds On Dominica (Brian Carpenter) and Native Hotspur (Ridge Warren) trade blows through opening splits of 27.2 and 55.4, Miller elected to move his charge to the outside where she began a slow grind to the front.
Drawing to within a half-length of Native Hotspur as the two mares raced by the three-quarter-mile pole in 1:23.3, a tough as nails Mystical Victress still looked fresh as she straightened for the stretch drive.
Overtaking the pace setter before the eighth-pole, the Ervin Miller-trained miss then began to draw clear of her rivals. Confidently handled to the wire by her 22-year-old pilot, Mystical Victress had no trouble holding off a late surge by 35-1 longshot Devachan (John Roberts) and 18-1 outside Fox Valley Absolut (Robert Smolin) as she scored for the second time in five starts this season.
The co-favorite in the wagering, Mystical Victress returned $6.00, $4.00 and $2.80 while keying a very healthy trifecta return of $2,653.40 on the winning combination of 7-4-10. The win also moved her career earnings up to an eye catching $318,607.
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.