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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (11/8/12)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Fresh off a record-setting performance here at Balmoral Park, John and Mary Krasnican’s Big Brad will square off against Circle City Stake winner Blatantly Best and seven others in Saturday’s $157,000 American National 2yo colt pace.

Big Brad etched his name into the Balmoral Park record books in his most recent start taking the Crete Stake in a blistering 1:51.1. That clocking made him the fastest 2yo colt pacer in the storied history of the Crete oval, shattering the previous record which had been held by Yankee Cruiser.

Although that type of mile may have come as a surprise to many, trainer Bob Phillips knew that he had a special colt right from the start.

“He trained down very well and showed he was going to be a nice colt,” said Phillips. “The first time we qualified him he went in 2:00 with a last half in 55.0. The next week we qualified him in 1:59.0 but then he came up lame and it turned out he had a slab fracture in his knee.”

With some time off and plenty of care and attention from Phillips, Big Brad has returned with a vengeance posting a record of three wins, one second and one third in just seven starts. Regular pilot Bobby Smolin, who guided the $11,000 yearling purchase to his record setting effort, has also been quick to praise the son of Henry Clay-One Sure Thing.

“He’s only had seven career starts and all of those have come over the past two months,” explained Smolin. “He’s still learning not to wait on horses but he’s definitely progressing. I don’t think we even saw his best the night he set the track record.”

Trainer Erv Miller sends Circle City and Kentucky Sire Stake champion Blatantly Best back to Balmoral and the royally bred son of Cambest–Garish figures to attract plenty of attention as well.

The first—and last—time we saw the $9,000 bargain buy at Balmoral Park was back in early August when the 2-year-old was making only his second career start for owners Mary Jane Anderson and Tim Towne. The race was in a series for non-winners of one lifetime and Blatantly Best gave a hint of things to come, racing first over while powering home in 27.2 to win in 1:55.3 with Marcus Miller in the bike.

After that it was off to The Red Mile where Blatantly Best posted three victories in KSS action including a lifetime best of 1:52.4 with Andy Miller at the controls. After a short rest and a qualifier here at Balmoral, Blatantly Best was back in action at Indiana Downs taking the $83,000 Circle City despite a tough first over journey in 1:53.4 with Marcus once again in the sulky.

“I really like the horse,” said Marcus. “That winning mile at Indiana when he raced first over was a big effort. Blatantly Best has shown me he can take a lot of air. He definitely fits well in the American National field. He isn’t a big horse but he is a very strong horse. He’s built very well and I think he’ll continue to be very successful.”

American National 2yo Colt Pace winners

Year Horse (Driver) Time
1985 Happy Chatter (Doug Ackerman) 2:00.1
  Southern Gentleman (Bruce Riegle) 1:58.2
1986 Jate Lobell (Mark O’Mara) 1:55.2
1987 Armbro Getty (Bill Gale) 1:57
  Concussion (Sam Nobel III) 1:58
1988 Kentucky Spur (Dick Stillings) 1:57.3
1989 Drop-Off (Tommy Haughton) 1:57.3
1990 Mantese (John Campbell) 1:55.1
  Interpretor (D.R. Ackerman) 1:56.3
1991 Crouch (Walter Paisley) 1:55.1
1992 Life Sign (Bill Fahy) 1:54.1
1993 Lucky Jate (Ron Marsh) 1:58.4
  Viking Terror (Dave Magee) 1:56.1
1994 Mattalac (Dave Magee) 1:55.1
  No Standing Around (Doug Brown) 1:54.3
1995 American Premier (Dean Magee) 1:57
  Live Or Die (Steve Condren) 1:56
1996 Johnny Walker Blue (Tony Morgan) 1:54.4
1997 Mattnamaras Band (Dean Magee) 1:55
1998 Another Mile (Dave Magee) 1:53.1
1999 Image Of Jate (Tony Morgan) 1:54
2000 Fully Loaded (Dean Magee) 1:53
2001 Three Olives (Dale Hiteman) 1:52.3
2002 Yankee Cruiser (Dean Magee) 1:51.2
2003 Ninteenth Hole (Mike Oosting) 1:53.2
2004 Team Hutch (Eric Ledford) 1:52.3
2005 Intendo’s Majesty (Sam Widger) 1:54
2006 The Quite Mon (Jason Dillanger) 1:51.2
2007 Mucho Sleazy (Mike Oosting) 1:51.3
2008 Doubletrouble (Dave Magee) R 1:51.1
2009 OK Commander (Brian Sears) 1:51.4
2010 Mystic Desire (Tim Tetrick) 1:53.3
2011 Crime Of Passion (Marcus Miller) 1:54.3

R=Designates Stakes Record Time
*Raced at Sportsman’s Park, 1959 through 1997; and at Balmoral Park 1998 to present.

For more information visit 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.

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