The first American National elimination of the season saw the recent Hanover stake champion Halle Go Lightly end up second best as overwhelming 2-5 favorite when Tony Morgan guided CC Stacy to victory in the $14,000 first division for two-year-old pacing fillies Tuesday night (July 12) at Balmoral Park.
The 1:54.3 mile was CC Stacy’s first win in five career starts for Blissfield, Michigan owner Chuck Campbell. Also gaining the next Tuesday (July 19) night’s $90,000 American National Final were the third through fifth place finishers—Spanish Rosey, Lady N Diamonds and Rylee N Ryan.
In the first American National elimination driver John Roberts hustled the 44-1 longshot Kelli Rivndel out at the start and into a quick lead from the four-post. Morgan left with CC Stacy from the three slot and dropped in behind the pacesetter who took the field to a :28.3 first quarter, ahead by two and one-half lengths. The heavy favorite Hallie Go Lightly (Dale Hiteman) got away slowly and was sitting sixth in the seven-horse field, some 12-plus lengths behind the leader with three-quarters of a mile to go.
Kelli Rivndel was comfortably on top by two lengths at the :57.1 half-mile marker while Morgan patiently waited with CC Stacy in the two-hole and Halle Go Lightly was getting a second over trip behind the first up Lady N Diamonds (Joe Anderson), now five and one-half behind the pacesetter.
Kelli Rivnel still had command at the 1:26.3 three-quarters when Morgan tipped CC Stacy out for the stretch drive, popped the Robert Harmon trained filly’s earplugs and she responded and swept past. CC Stacy was far enough ahead to hold off the fast closing Halle Go Lighty, who sped the last quarter in :27.1 on the “good” racing surface, falling short by one and there-quarters lengths.
“She’s a nice going filly,” said Morgan after the fourth race co-feature. “You can see she has some class. I was content to sit behind Robert’s horse (Kelli Rivndel) because I felt my filly could take her in the lane. I was impressed the way this filly dug in and held off Hiteman’s horse (Halle Go Lightly).”
The second elimination saw Meant To Persist (Andy Miller), the lone Illinois bred filly in the eight horse field, hold off another Hanover split winner, Three Men Diamonds (Dale Hiteman), gaining a head decision in 1:55.1 as the 7-10 public’s choice.
Those 1-2 finishers will be joined in next Tuesday night’s final by Brissonate Hanover (Pat Berry), Daybreak Hotel (Tim Tetrick) and Model A (DR Ackerman), the third through fifth place horses in the eighth race second elimination.
Model A, Winbak Rita and Brush The Sand hooked up in an early duel that saw the lead change hands with first Model A on top at the :28.4 first quarter and then Winbak Rita a head in front at the at the :57.3 half over Brush The Sand. Andy Miller had Meant To Persist on the move out of fifth place, second over, and his filly put her head in front of Brush The Sand at the 1:28.3 three-quarter pole.
Meant To Perist ($4.60) started to pull away in the lane however she then hung a bit, allowing Three Men Dreamin to close in before she quicken her pace and notched her second consecutive career start for trainer Erv Miller (Sherman, IL) and co-owner Ron Michelon (Chicago, IL).
I had to move my filly a little sooner than I wanted” said driver Andy Miller. “She’s very green and I was little worried because she was starting to get real aggressive. Once she cleared and got to the front though she seemed to be a little lost. But when that filly (Three Diamonds Dreamin) came at her she knew what she had to do and she took off again.”
Meant To Persist, afilly out of the dam Charged To The Max, won her July 6 debut in the first leg of Hawthorne’s Sleazbiscuit series, uncorking a wicked :25.1 last quarter at the end of her 1:58.1 mile. The youngster was a $54,000 yearling purchase at the 2004 Cottonwood Farm Sale.
Balmoral Park Publicity Department