Day At The Track

A well supported Balmoral Park finale

12:59 PM 28 Dec 2015 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Driver Casey Leonard and trainer Nelson Willis were honored
Driver Casey Leonard and trainer Nelson Willis were honored
R.E.B. Photos

The curtain came down on at Balmoral Park last night with $1,347,100 bet on the last program of 2016 and likely the final live harness racing card in the long history of the racetrack.

It was the third highest mutuel handle of the year. Only Super Night and American National Night were higher.

A dense fog and a steady drizzle didn’t dampen a large and enthusiastic crowd that filled the track’s apron in the Balmoral Park finale.

They watched Bobby Smolin give the 4-1 longshot Fiveknuckleshuffle (11.60) a winning pocket-trip in the eighth race conditioned pace feature, overtaking the 3-5 heavy favorite Ice Scraper in the late going of the 1:51.1 mile.

The soon-to-be 8-year-old ICF pacer’s win was his eighth of the year for owners John Cross of Onley, Illinois, Bonnie Harlow and Robert Moser, both of Hannibal, Missouri, and trainer Mike Brink of Springfield, Illinois.

Fiveknuckleshuffle proved to be fastest from the gate and parked Ice Scraper (Brian Carpenter) through a quick 26.2 first quarter on a sloppy track before taking the two-hole. The public’s choice got a 28.4 breather to the 55.2 half and reached the three-quarters in 1:23.1 but couldn’t hold off the late charming Illinois bred pacer.

In the only trot race of the night John Barnard’s Hudson Jesse ($3.80) easily won for the third time in her last four starts in the sixth race for Casey Leonard and trainer Bill Crone.

The six-year-old mare was almost two lengths the best over 3-1 longshot Changed It All in the 1:56.1 mile. The $2,850 winner’s share of the $5,750 purse left Hudson Jesse just $161 short of $300,000 in career earnings.

Driver Casey Leonard and trainer Nelson Willis were honored in Balmoral’swinner’s circle for capturing their respective titles a second consecutive year.

In the Balmoral Park finale Matt Krueger had the hottest hand among the drivers, chalking up three winners. Leonard, Smolin and Carpenter each had two.

By Mike Paradise

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: