Balmoral Park (9/15/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Dutch Richman Looking for Back-to-Back Super Night Scores
By Tom Krish
Dutch Richman was making only his fourth career start when he won the 2010 Orange & Blue. Three wins in four starts gave the Erv Miller charge a 75 percent strike rate. The Richess Hanover sophomore returned to the races in 2011. As Dutch Richman goes for a Super Night encore in the Pete Langley Memorial, the numbers show seven wins from 14 outings. It is a 50 percent strike rate. Let not the lower strike rate prompt you to think that Dutch Richman has been less effective this year.
The 2011 numbers are the result of testing the waters in the ultra-tough Canadian three-year-old division. Dutch Richman may not have enjoyed the success that his connections may have hoped for but he was able to raise his game now and then and be competitive. As the Springfield stakes came in August, Dutch Richman had won six races and was on his way to becoming the top dog in the sophomore category. Then came a rude awakening. A demanding 10 post and a trouble-filled trip took their toll in an August 13 stakes. Four days later, another loss followed. On September 3, a third consecutive loss was recorded on a surface rendered sloppy by incessant rain at Balmoral Park. In the Pete Langley Memorial elimination last Saturday, though the betting public made him the post time favorite, Dutch Richman was a generous 3/2.
Marcus Miller had no choice but to let Dutch Richman race in the ‘hold up’ mode. The lead changed hands in the first quarter and He’s So Hot had charged to the front around the three-eighth point. First up before the half and gaining ground steadily, Dutch Richman challenged He’s So Hot as Rockin Rumble was mounting a serious challenge using the open stretch. With a furlong to go, it was a three-way fight.
In the waning yards, Marcus Miller was able to coax Dutch Richman to produce that ‘extra’ that is the hallmark of horses who possess an abundance of winning spirit. It was a 1:52 mile and Dutch Richman won by one half length. He’s So Hot, glorious in defeat, managed to stay ahead of Rockin Rumble for the runner-up berth.
Let us hear what Marcus Miller has to say. “There were dehydration issues downstate. When we came to Chicago, they had not been resolved. The slop two races back was another factor. I knew that Dutch Richman would bounce back. You do not like to come first over in a major elimination but more often than not, you do things that are absolutely necessary. I was confident that I would get the job done turning for home. He (Dutch Richman) found more when I asked him.”
There is no question that Dutch Richman will be on song in The Pete Langley Memorial. A win tonight will set Dutch Richman up for a three-peat in the Tony Maurello in 2012 and emulate the feat that Big Tom accomplished.
Erv Miller is articulate and has a concise answer to even the most perplexing question. “That elimination win was confidence-restoring. The things that bothered Dutch Richman are not a concern any more. He came out of the elimination well and I am pleased with the way he is coming up. Last year, he won the Orange And Blue in his fourth start. He’s bigger, stronger and a lot more mature now.”
He was caught close to home in the elimination but He’s So Hot lives to fight another day (evening) and it may be this evening. Due credit must be placed at He’s So Hot’s door for beating Dutch Richman twice this year. He has been in the vanguard of the sophomore division all year long. The clever Roger Welch knows how to get horses ready for the big races. Given the separation they enjoy from their adversaries, Dutch Richman and He’s So Hot ought to dominate the finish of the Pete Langley Memorial.
Balmoral Park, Chicagoland’s premier harness horse racing facility will host its biggest night of the year this Saturday, September 17. Aptly titled “Illinois’ Richest Night in Harness Racing,” Illinois bred horses run for over $1.3 million in purse money. Doors will open at 5:30 pm, but Super Night comes with a special post time with the first race going off at 6:30 pm.
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.