Balmoral Park (9/14/13)
Contact: Tom Kelley
TROTTING EVENTS GET SUPER NIGHT 25 UNDERWAY
Illinois' biggest night of racing, Super Night is underway at Balmoral Park. With clear skies and temperatures in the upper 60s a large crowd continued to file in as the big 14-race card kicked off with a pair of trotting events for Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-olds.
|Trot Fudge Sundae captured the $105,000 Lady Ann Reed Championship in 1:55.2 for Dave Magee.|
Diagonally gaited fillies were first onto the track with a field of 10 squaring off in the $105,000 Lady Ann Reed Championship. In a division that has remained fairly wide open throughout the season, it was last year’s two-year-old champion Trot Fudge Sundae who continued a late season surge as she trotted to a very impressive one-length victory in 1:55.2 with Super Night’s all-time leading driver Dave Magee at the controls.
Confidently handled by Magee, the daughter American Native—What A Joy was sent right to the front from post position four. Turning back an early challenge from Little Ms Chrissy (Robert Taylor), the Dirk Simpson trainee put up splits of 28.3, 56.3 and 1:25.0.
“My filly was very aggressive tonight,” said Magee. “Once she heard those other horses coming after her near the quarter-pole she grabbed on and there was no way she was going to let them go.”
After putting away a second challenge from a game Sara The Spy (Todd Warren) who was outside every step of the mile, Trot Fudge Sundae dug in determinedly as Just For Fun (Casey Leonard) began to cut into her lead. Showing the grit that earned her divisional honors last season, Trot Fudge Sundae held firm to the wire for her 15th career victory. Just For Fun was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Sara The Spy turned in a big effort to hang on for third.
In the winner’s circle a relieved Simpson talked about the thrilling stretch drive.
“I swear that was the longest stretch drive of my life,” said the Illinois based conditioner. “I just kept looking at her, looking at the horse that was coming on the outside and looking for the wire. It seemed like it took forever to get there but she showed once again how tough she is.”
Sent off as the 8-5 favorite by the large crowd, Trot Fudge Sundae returned $5.20, $2.80 and $2.20 while running her career bankroll up to $272,370 for proud owners Sam Daddono, James Bafia and Eugene White.
Chalk players were rewarded again in the second race of the night as H. “Bill” Wright and Mystical Marker Farms' King Mufasa reigned supreme, but not without some anxious moments as he held on to win by a diminishing head in 1:56.2 with Mike Oosting at the controls.
|Mike Oosting and King Mufasa held off Fox Valley Camo to win the $124,000 Su Mac Lad Championship in 1:56.2.|
After getting away in third from the inside post, Oosting sent the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Foxy N Diamonds to the top where he proceed to trot through splits of 29.2, 59.2 and 1:27.3.
“I probably could have out-footed them out of there but I figured I would just let them trot out of there, settle in and then send my horse to the front. With the fractions we were going I really thought we were going to win the race pretty handily.”
After drawing away to a three-length advantage mid-way down the lane, it appeared as though the only thing in doubt would be the final margin of victory. That’s when a fit and fresh Fox Valley Camo (Jamaica Patton) pulled from the pocket and began to cut into the “King's” advantage. That forced Oosting to get after the brown gelding through the final sixteenth of mile and the wire arrived just in time for the 1-5 favorite who notched his 12th win in 13 starts this season. Fox Valley Camo was a hard-charging second while Fox Valley Legend (Dale Hiteman) rallied to be third.
“I was chasing after him pretty hard down there at the wire,” said a relieved Oosting. “I don’t really think he was quite himself tonight. It’s been a long year for him and he may be getting just a little bit tired right now.”
The Mike Brink trainee returned $2.40, $2.20 and $2.10 while running his career record to 14-2-0 in 21 starts, with earnings of $213,382 for his proud owners.
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.