Balmoral Park (9/18/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
Fox Valley Praline gives John Roberts his first Super Night win
By Tom Krish
"My filly is ready. I have to deliver and I am the one under pressure but I have a willing partner," driver Roberts declared in a pre-race statement. Could he have been more prescient? Not only did Fox Valley Praline deliver in a big way but John Roberts was in his element with a courageous drive in the $159,000 Grandma Ann Pace for three year-old fillies.
|Fox Valley Praline won for the sixth time in seven starts this year with John Roberts at the helm as they captured the $159,000 Grandma Ann in a career best of 1:51.2.|
Roberts, away with tremendous alacrity, was parked to the first eighth. Striking the front off a 28 first quarter, Roberts had hardly caught a breather when Pardon came calling. Brandon Simpson had the 2010 top freshman filly rolling and Roberts must have been hoping for a trip behind the speed. Pardon did not have too many moments to enjoy the lead off a 56 half. Marcus Miller and Mystical MJ were on the move and Simpson had no choice but to let Miller go. Now, Fox Valley Praline had receded to third.
Undaunted, Roberts took his filly out of the pocket and in an audacious move, challenged Mystical MJ. The duel did not materialize, Fox Valley Praline took the lead as the clock showed 1:23.2 for the three quarters. Fox Valley Praline put some separation between herself and the rivals as Pardon emerged out of the pack but the bird had flown. The Kris Reynolds-trained Fox Valley Praline crossed the wire in 1:51.2.
Fox Valley Praline paid $5.60, $3.60 and $2.80. By Sportmaster, Fox Valley Praline is out of Carmel Blue Chip who is by On The Road Again.
In nine career outings, Fox Valley Praline has won seven times. The Grandma Ann marked the filly's sixth win in seven trips to the gate. The $70,755 Grandma Ann winner's purse boosted Fox Valley Praline's earnings to $89,223. For a filly who had all sorts of problems last year, the Kris Reynolds charge has come a long way.
"I was married over the Labor Day weekend. My filly had two moves. She had fresh legs. She proved it tonight. Mr Reynolds and her connections prepared her for this race. Life is very good now," driver Roberts said.
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.