Up front was the place to be in round two of a pair of series legs for pacing fillies and a trio of events for trotting colts on Sunday night (January 15) at Balmoral Park and there were no real surprises.
In the Pacific Series for fillies and mares without two wins or $5,000 in career earnings as of December 1, 2005, the 2-5 overwhelming favourite Crisis had little trouble extending her winning streak to three in a row in the third race first division for Pinske Stables of Plato, MN.
Hall of Fame driver Dane Magee rolled the John Butenscheon trained 4-Year-Old mare out of the six-slot and right to the front where she made it back-to-back Pacific Series leg triumphs in easy fashion. Crisis went to a 28.3 second opening quarter, stepped it up a notch with a 28s second panel with Audrey’s Queen (Gary Rath) in the pocket two-plus lengths off the pacesetter, and needed only a 59s last half to post a ¾ length victory in 1:55.3.
Audrey’s Queen was easily second best behind the daughter of The Pandersoda. The third place horse Ima Sporty Lady (Dale Hiteman) was beaten almost 15 lengths.
In the seventh race second Pacific division, the 2-1 second choice Gro was hustled out from the seven slot by driver Tim Tetrick, while Dave Magee did the same with No. 5 Sign Of the Day. Gro powered to the lead soon after the 28.3 second quarter and wasn’t seriously challenged until the late stretch.
Gro took the field to a 57.2s half and a 1:28 flat three-quarters before holding off Sign Ofthe Day by one length at the end of the 1:56.4 mile for co-owners Amy Welch (Beecher, IL) and Claudia Wright (Charlotte, MI). The Michigan bred 3-Year-Old filly snapped a four-race losing streak when she posted her second lifetime win in 10 starts.
In the three second leg divisions of the Crete Series for non-winners of $25,000 in 2005 (as of 12-01-05), each winner was in control by the half-miler marker.
The second race first Crete division went to AllN who had to work hard leaving from the outside nine-slot when Vanished (Rick Schrock) did the same from the eight-post.
The 5-2 second choice Allgot the lead on the backside after Vanished had command at the 29.1s opening quarter. Driver Mike Oosting was able to give the 11-Year-Old New Zealand import a 30 second quarter breather. All N was then asked to step it up a notch and he did, stopping the third quarter timer in 1:27.4.
AllN had a four length lead in the lane over 8-5 favourite Lithograph (Homer Hochstetler) and he needed it, holding on for a head decision in 1:58.2. It was 5 ¾ lengths to the third place finisher Bingham (Art Gregory, Jr.).
Owned by PB Racing Stables (Beecher, IL) and Stan Blumenfeld (Lacanada, CA), AllN had dropped a neck verdict in the first Crete series leg for trainer Paul Blumenfeld.
Fall Creek Mist was tons the best in the fifth race second Crete division trainer Don Brown, who co-owns the 4-Year-Old mare with fellow Illinoisan William Paugh. The daughter ofwas sent off as the 3-5 favourite and raced like it in her first start on lasix, winning by almost five lengths in 1:58.3 with Oosting.
Fall Creek Mist was parked out getting the lead at the 29s opening quarter. The mare cruised to fractions of 58.4d and 1:29 with Riverbend Cindy in the pocket, putting that mare away in the lane. Cardinal Blast rallied to be second, while Riverbend Cindy faded to third, beaten six-plus lengths.
The 2-1 morning line favourite Moneyball came up sick and was scratched from the third Crete division. No. 1 Fiery Comet (Mike Oosting) and No.3 Awesome Tom (Dean Magee) were sent off as the 6-5 and 9-5 co-favourites, respectively, with latter posting a 1:59.1 victory in her Balmoral Park debut.
Awesome Tom spent the last couple of months racing in Canada and owner-trainer Jim Wilson had his 5-Year-Old trotter ready for his Chicago circuit bow.
The son of Awesome Victory grabbed command and took the field of seven trotters through quarter pole times of 29.3s, 58.3s and 1:27.3. A 31.3s final quarter was all he needed to post a 1 ¼ length victory over a late closing Fiery Comet who had too little, too late coming from fifth at the top of the lane.
The third leg of both the Pacific and Crete will be held next Sunday, January 22. The $10,000 (estinated) Finals will be carded on the Sunday, January 29 program.
Courtesy Of Tom Kelley, Publicity Director, Balmoral Park