Balmoral Park (11/10/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
CARTER-TRAINED DUO READY FOR SHOWDOWN IN 2YO COLT PACE
Trainer Steve Carter has a right to be optimistic when it comes to Saturday’s $121,100 American National Stake for two-year-old pacing colts as he sends out last week’s elimination winner Star Recruit and the runner-up in that event, Caviart Key.
The two finished just a neck apart in last week’s preliminary action after engaging in a stirring stretch drive. When the smoke cleared from that battle it was the late rushing Star Recruit who managed to stick a nose in front of the pace setting Caviart Key in the final strides. Although they were coupled in the wagering last week, they will go as separate betting interests in Saturday’s battle.
The win was the second straight for Star Recruit who stopped the clock in 1:53.2 that night. Prior to his elimination score, the gelded son of Dragon Again-Remarkable Star captured a division of the Circle City Stake at Indiana Downs in similar stretch rushing style.
Starting his career on the Pennsylvania sire circuit under the tutelage of veteran conditioner Bruce Riegle, the $19,000 2010 Lexington Select purchase showed immediate talent taking a division of the Albatross in 1:53.1 at the Meadows on July 2, which at the time was the fastest mile of the year by a two-year-old gelding on a five-eighths mile track. The striking brown gelding who is owned by the partnership of Steve and Peggy Carter, Robert Reid and Chuck Grubbs would wind up right back in the charmed circle just 10 days later, taking a division of the Reynolds Stake at the Meadows in 1:53.3.
“He was a big horse when he came to me,” said Riegle. “He really continued to mature very quickly. A couple of changes were made on his bridle and a few other things and that really seemed to make him much more aggressive about passing horses, which is why I think he’s done such a good job of racing from off the pace.”
A model of consistency throughout his first season, Star Recruit comes into the American National sporting a record of six wins, three seconds and three thirds in 13 starts with earnings of $195,667.
Although he played second fiddle to his stablemate last week Caviart Key is more than capable of turning the tables in this event.
The son of Ponder-Dee’s Shark, who sold for just $12,000 at the 2010 Lexington Select sale, is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Balmoral having won a division of the Hanover Stake in a career best of 1:53.1 back on July 16. He also proved victorious in Springfield, taking a division of the Review Stake for North America’s leading dash winning drive Dan Noble, who will also be in the bike for Saturday’s American National. A five-time winner in 14 career starts, Caviart Key boasts career earnings of $145,802.
In order to get back to the charmed circle the Carter-owned and trained duo will need to knock off the Roger Welch-trained Indiana-bred champion Fridaynightflight who leads the field in earnings with a bankroll of over $320,000 while posting a record of 6-5-2 in 13 starts with a mark of 1:52.2.
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.