Day At The Track

A trio of ICF stakes for 3-year-old pacers

05:58 PM 05 Jul 2013 NZST
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A trio of ICF stakes for 3-year-old pacers head-up Saturday's Balmoral Park harness racing card.

The 11th race $12,000 Hot Head has 11 starters, including all the major colt and gelding pacers in this year's division while the Ohyouprettything for sophomore fillies landed 13 entrants, necessitating a split into two $10,000 divisions.

The stronger of the two is the eighth race split where three of the division leaders Auiqueaquisition (programmed 2-1, Mike Oosting), Aliyah Maria (5-2, Todd Warren) and Feel like Dancing (9-2, Kyle Wilfong) all landed together.

Auniqueaquisition has been rested three weeks since her dominating victory in the $122,000 Maywood Filly Pace Final, a stake that Aliyah Maria wasn't eligible to race in.

Driver Mike Oosting likes what he's seen from Auinqueaquisition in her sophomore campaign.

"The filly getting better and better but so is the competition," said Oosting. "Each week there seems to be another strong challenger in her division.

"Donna (trainer Lee Ozment) has just done a heck of a job with Auniqueaquisition. Last year the filly didn't always want to finish but this year that's not a problem. Donna gives the filly her proper rest and doesn't over race her. It's a long season and the big money races are still ahead of us."

I asked Mike to describe the daughter of Cole Muffler with over $192,000 on her card and only 14 career starts for Bettendorf, Iowa owner John Carver.

"Aquiqueaquisition is a hard horse to explain because she kind of does what she wants to do when she wants to do it," replied Oosting." Sometimes she doesn't want to move when I want her to move and sometimes I think she's all done and she just keeps going forward. But the bottom line is that she's a very good filly."

Aliyah Maria comes into the Ohyouprettything on a three-race winning streak for her Chicago owner Rocky Ruffolo. While the Roger Welch trainee has dropped her last two decisions to Auniqueaquisition, Aliyah Maria did beat her in the $55,300 Violet Final in mid-May.

Feel Like Dancing is already a six-time winner this year for the Brett Wilfong Stable and the runner-up to Auniqueaquisition in the Maywood Filly Pace Championship.

Special Rose (6-1, John Roberts), R Ciao Baby (10-1, Casey Leonard, Big Zipper (6-1, Dave Magee) and Incredible Filly (12-1, Ronnie Gillespie) are Saturday's other second division challengers.

Dallas Jones (p.p. 3, Casey Leonard) and State Street Liz (p.p.1, Bobby Smolin) will open as the 2-1 and 5-2 favorites, in that order, in the first Ohyouprettything division which will go as the second race.

They'll be tested by Mystical Danica (4-1, Mike Oosting), Ryleigh's Luilly (5-1, Todd Warren), Lizzabelle (10-1, Dale Hiteman) and Fox Valley Ruby (12-1).

Fancy Creek Elusive (3-1, Dave Magee) returns to competition after two weeks of R & R that followed his 1:52.3 triumph in the $115,000 Maywood Colt Pace Final. The Nick Giberson trainee drew the seven-slot in Saturday's bulky Hot Head field that has Middle Aged Crazy (12-1, Jared Moyer) starting from post 11 in the second tier.

Starting inside of Fancy Creek Elusiv is Sage Ruck (10-1, Mike Oosting), Silver Devil (15-1, Dean Magee), Kostas Wine (20-1, Tim Wilson Jr.), Mystical Walter (5-1, Casey Leonard), Crankin' It Up (4-1, Kyle Wilfong) and Fox Valley Norman (12-1, John De Long).

To the right of the May 25 Cardinal winner is Darth Quaider (10-1, John Roberts), Big Brad (5-1, Bobby Smolin) and last week's Betzotic stake winner Fox Valley Action (6-1, Todd Warren).

Five Bagger: Casey Leonard had five winning drives Thursday night at Maywood Park including the 9-1 longshot Western Dame ($21.80) in the $12,000 My Metallic stake for ICF 2-year-old pacing fillies.

By Mike Paradise

The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

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